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The Swedish Center for Russian Studies is a
think tank dedicated to understanding Russian thinking
and the developments in Eastern Europe

THE SWEDISH CENTER FOR RUSSIAN STUDIES, SCRS, is a politically independent think tank dedicated to providing insights and a different perspective on the developments in Russia and the Eastern Europe. By analyzing strategic developments from a Russian perspective, using Russian values and views, SCRS provides original analyses with new ideas and perspectives.

WE BELIEVE that understanding Russia and Eastern Europe requires taking a different perspective than the traditional western view. In doing so the inherent risk of misunderstanding and misinterpreting fundamental developments can be avoided. Our work is based on a continuous analysis of Russian values, interests and internal dynamics. To further deepen the understanding of Russian values, Russian thinking and Russian perspective in our analyses, SCRS strives to have a dialogue with stakeholders – decision makers as well as analysts – in Russia and in regions neighbouring Russia.

WHAT WE DO. SCRS is continually studying and analyzing current events in Russia at a strategic level. By doing so, we aim to have high relevance for decision makers in business as well as politics. We aim to improve our clients’ decision making and to give them both a Russian and a Swedish perspective to use in their decision or further discussions with international partners. Our analyses are provided in the form of reports, conferences and presentations to clients and other stakeholders.

SCRS cooperates with most government bodies, authorities and other leading think tanks and academic centers in Sweden involved with Russia and pools resources from relevant expertise. We also interact with relevant think tanks from other countries.

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18-07: This report highlights how domestic Russian factors affect the country’s foreign policy. Russia’s legacy together with its experiences from the 1900’s has had a strong impact on how the current leadership views the domestic arena, resulting in increased censorship and control over society as well as a focus on hard power. This results in Russia adopting bellicose rhetoric and an aggressive posture abroad to discourage foreign enemies to intervene in the country. What does the recent protests against the government’s pension reform mean for the country’s leadership and are the protests able to threaten Putin’s reign?
SCRS RPT 18-06
18-06: Blockchain technologies can be used both to circumvent sanctions and counter Western economic domination. In addition, Blockchain technologies may also provide a much-needed contribution to the effectiveness of the Russian financial systems. But it is also viewed as a potential threat by some people close to president Putin. Just as the Kremlin can use it to decrease US and Western control over the global economy, enemies of the Kremlin – the political opposition, terrorists and foreign agents – can use it to evade control within Russia.
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18-05: This report explains the apparent paradox between the weak Russian economy and the apparent growing military strength of Russia. How does the Kremlin manage to combine low economic growth with increasing military capacity and for how long can this continue? There are several factors that together explains this apparent contradiction. In general, it can be compared to the bumblebee that cannot fly. But since it does not know that, it flies anyway.
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18-04: The report explores Russian influence on elections in the West in general, and on the upcoming Swedish elections in September in particular. It describes the different tools used by Russian actors in influencing elections in other countries and analyzes the various situations for a number of Western countries which have held elections in the past two years. The report analyzes the narratives pertaining to Sweden in Russian news media and social media and evaluates the preconditions for Russian influence during the election campaign.
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18-03: The report illustrates the most common narratives used in three Russian state-owned news outlets during 2017. It also introduces a comprehensive classification system for narratives on Sweden in Russian media while also discussing the roles that some of these outlets have in reaching audiences.
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18-02: This report describes the break-up of the Soviet Union and the developments in the new and open mass media market to Putin’s ascent to the presidency and the changes that occurred in this landscape during his subsequent presidencies and premiership. It also highlights the most watched evening TV-shows, most read newspapers and online sources in Russia today as well as the emergence of social media as a new medium to spread and share news.
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18-01: The report begins with remarks about the deep-structure of Chinese security policy, followed by an analysis of Russia and China from each other’s perspectives. The report ends with a brief comment on Korea, from both a Chinese and a Russian perspective.
SCRS 17-09 Front
17-09: Describes how the Russian Military Thought has changed since Soviet times and how it currently is evolving in relation to the perceived antagonism with the West. Five key strands within Russian military thought are analyzed and their relation to Western thought is discussed. Thereafter, the findings are applied in an analysis on the Baltic Sea Region. This part seeks to concretize the theoretical part and improve the understanding of the rationale underlying Russian decision-making.
SCRS 17-08 Front
17-08: Takes a closer look at the Kaliningrad region and what Russia does to address the perceived weaknesses or vulnerabilities of the region. Russian measures have been accelerated lately, and are implemented in order to prevent the region from turning into a liability. The report covers the following domains: political stability, defense, energy, economy, transport and food security.
SCRS 17-07 Front
17-07: An analysis of the Russian narratives regarding Sweden’s possible membership in, and cooperation with, NATO during a three-year period. The aim of the report is to highlight the most common narratives occurring in the Russian media outlets as well as those disseminated by Russian officials while also looking at whether there is an overlap between the narratives existing in the official statements and those prevalent in the state-owned news outlets.
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17-06: Russian public diplomacy towards Sweden has been restrained during the months before and during Aurora 17. Russian state-controlled media have given Aurora 17 more attention and taken advantage of the event to promote familiar Russian narratives and messages. Nevertheless, we found no evidence of any systematic disinformation effort, although some articles contained misleading or false pieces of information.
Russian Disinformation
17-05: During the US presidential election in 2016, two Russian state-owned news outlets had a clear focus of depicting Hillary Clinton as corrupt in various ways. To a much less significant degree, the news outlets reported on Donald Trump, most often positively. Moreover, the outlets focused on other issues, such as the US being an aggressor, promoting the benefits of a multiple world order, and criticizing US hegemony.
Russian Economic Conflict
17-04: In the Russian understanding of modern war, the importance of non-military means is seen to be increasing in the relations to military ones. Economic means is a key element among these. This report analyses how they are perceived as a threat to Russia and how Russia can use them in monetary conflict, leveraging economic dependence and provoking a systemic disruption.
Russian Economy in Global Perspective
17-03: The Russian economy is only a fraction of the Soviet Union’s economic power and it continues to shrink (slowly) in a global comparison. The problems are rooted in internal structures and policies (e.g. import substitution), which are reinforced by the ongoing confrontation with the West and the relatively low oil price. The current Russian economic strategy and foreign policy will not remedy these problems.
Trump from Putin’s Perspective
17-02: The election of Donald Trump has the potential to significantly alter US-Russia relations. This paper analyzes the Russian perspective on a potential improvement in relations between Russia and the US. Firstly, it compares the values and worldviews of Trump and Vladimir Putin. Secondly it analyses what effect this has on Putin’s foreign and security policy.
Russian Values
17-01: This report analyzes the basic values of Russia at various levels. Significant differences between Russian and Western values are highlighted. Comparing values with opinion polls, official strategy papers and other policy documents makes it possible to put Russian policy in a new context. The analysis shows a consistency between the deeply rooted values among the Russian population, the policies of the Russian regime, and the values of president Putin.

CONTACT. For further information or other inquiries, please see contact details below.

Swedish Center for Russian Studies
info@scrs.se

Blasieholmsgatan 3
SE-111 48 Stockholm, Sweden
scrs.se