Posts by Kimberly Marten

Kimberly Marten 07-16-2019
(Post-Soviet Affairs) Abstract: This article provides a definitive, in-depth case-study, using primarily Russian sources, of Russia’s use of the informal “Wagner Group” private military company (PMC) and its antecedents (from 2012 to 2018) in Nigeria, Crimea and Eastern Ukraine, Syria, Sudan, and the Central African Republic. It explores why Russia has used this group without legalizing its existence or role. While Wagner is sometimes used in the same...
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Kimberly Marten 07-13-2018
(Foreign Affairs) Ask most commentators and you’ll hear that next week’s summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki is doomed to failure. The United States and Russia share few regional or global interests and have clashed over Russia’s alleged meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Any lasting grand bargains are unlikely and probably unwise, as some fear that Putin’s KGB-honed negotiating skills—...
Kimberly Marten 07-09-2018
(LawFare) Russian aggression is a central concern of the foreign and security policy community, with debate focusing on what Russian President Vladimir Putin’s intentions are and how best to deter him. But missing from much of the discussion is the fact that a variety of semi-state security groups, with a hazy relationship to Moscow’s central authorities, are playing an increasing role in Russian actions both at home and abroad. The United States and...
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Kimberly Marten 07-05-2018
(War on the Rocks) A frightening event in U.S.-Russia relations unfolded in February near Deir al-Zour in eastern Syria, as both sides battled the remnants of the Islamic State. In violation of a 2015 deconfliction agreement that divided the area into zones of Russian and U.S. military control, around 500 pro-Syrian fighters – most of whom spoke Russian, but whose citizenship remains unverified – crossed the Euphrates River to the U.S. side from the...
Kimberly Marten 05-03-2018
(International Politics) Abstract: Russia’s attempt to interfere in the 2016 US presidential election succeeded in introducing an element of chaos into US politics, but neither Russia nor its leader Vladimir Putin gained much from it. Instead, US sanctions against Russia increased, and Russia’s 2017 attempt to introduce a new “reset” policy to the administration of Donald Trump fell flat as conflict between the two countries escalated. This article...
Kimberly Marten 01-12-2018
(EJIS) Abstract: This article re-examines the history of NATO’s original post-Cold War enlargement to include the Visegrad states of Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic. It uses both published materials and the author’s new interviews with key US and Russian policymakers, and employs robust qualitative counterfactual methods to ask two questions: whether there were any realistic alternatives to NATO enlargement, and whether NATO enlargement was...
Kimberly Marten 11-28-2017
(New Republic) In September 2016, I applied for a Council on Foreign Relations fellowship that would have allowed me to work for the U.S. government during my sabbatical year at Barnard College. I’m a professor of political science there, and I direct the Program on U.S.-Russia Relations at Columbia University’s Harriman Institute. I’ve been a close observer of Russian affairs for over 30 years, and I was eager to contribute my expertise to one of America...
Kimberly Marten 11-17-2017
Сделанные во время азиатского турне Дональда Трампа заявления о его желании улучшить отношения с Россией были скептически оценены в самих Соединенных Штатах. Как мы уже сообщали, представители американского разведывательного сообщества заподозрили, что Трамп позволяет Владимиру Путину манипулировать им. Сомневаются в возможности улучшения американо-российских отношений и эксперты. Многие из них, в частности, указывают на то, что в обеих странах на пути...
Kimberly Marten 09-16-2017
(Warontherocks.com) (Co-authored with Olga Oliker) Earlier this year, armed protesters used violence and threats to force Ukraine’s government into a substantial policy reversal: a ban on anthracite coal imports from separatist-controlled territory, crucial to the country’s electricity supply. The protesters were representatives of “volunteer battalions” (or pro-state militias), broadly credited with helping Ukraine survive the early days of its...
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Kimberly Marten 07-26-2017
(Washington Post) Bilateral negotiations on cyber issues may be starting soon between Russia and the United States, following President Trump’s recent meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Beyond the substantive concerns at stake, what should U.S. negotiators expect from their Russian counterparts in terms of negotiating style and tactics? Analysts from both the West and Russia have noticed some striking continuity in how Russia approaches...

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About the author

Professor; Chair of the Political Science Department
Barnard College, Columbia University