Pavel Luzin

Dr. Pavel Luzin is a visiting scholar at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University. He is also a regular contributor at The Jamestown Foundation, Riddle and the Foreign Policy Research Institute. He is a specialist in international relations and an expert on the Russian Armed Forces. Much of his research and writings focus on Russian foreign policy and defense, space policy and non-proliferation studies.

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    Articles by Pavel Luzin

    Russian Ministry of Defense Conducts ‘Great Purge’

    Executive Summary: The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) is currently purging numerous military officers and MoD officials in an alleged “anti-corruption” campaign. The political motivation for these attacks is unclear,

    Belousov Appointed as Russian Minister of Defense

    Executive Summary: On May 12, Moscow replaced Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu with Russian economist and former First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov. Belousov’s appointment is likely geared at optimizing military

    Arms Manufacturing in Russia: Q1 2024

    Executive Summary: Russia’s State Statistics Service’s (Rosstat) newly published data on the military-industrial complex in Q1 2024 demonstrates limitations for arms production. The increase in some manufactured goods is in

    Russia Exhausts Soviet-Era Arms Storage Bases

    Executive Summary: Russia has proposed a pause of the fighting in Ukraine in exchange for strategic arms and space negotiations with the West.  The Russian armed forces have been taking

    Russia Reorganizes Military Districts

    Executive Summary: The Kremlin announced a transformation of its military districts to “buy” loyalty from its officer corps and organize its military with to prepare for war on and beyond

    Chinese Machine Tools Serve as Russia’s Safety Net

    Executive Summary: Russia’s industrial sector has become full dependent on China for machine tools and parts critical to arms manufacturing. Moscow’s war against Ukraine, Western sanctions, and the inability to

    Russia’s Drone Industry Hits Serious Turbulence

    Russia’s war against Ukraine has challenged its military’s approach to unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and the Russian industrial base that supports the development and production of UAVs. According to open-source

    Where Can the Kremlin Go for New Officers?

    Since June 2023, Russia has lost two generals during the fighting in Ukraine: Major General Sergei Goryachev, chief of staff of the 35th Combined Arms Army, and Lieutenant General Oleg

    Moscow in Urgent Search of New Space Partners

    Russia is searching for new long-term partnerships in outer space instead of relying on cooperation with the United States, Europe, Canada and Japan. Recently, Yuri Borisov, head of state-owned Roscosmos,

    The Nuclear Sequence of the Belgorod Raid

    The hit-and-run raid by anti-Putin Russian operatives—Kyiv officially claims that the raid was conducted by combatant units made up of Russian citizens, while Moscow claims it was the work of

    Russian Arms Production for Q1 2023

    The published Pentagon’s leaks in April 2023 coupled with additional evidence of the growing deficit in arms for the Russian Armed Forces, from the pathetic Victory Day’s parade on Red

    Russia’s Changing Navy

    As a result of recently proposed reforms, the Russian Navy’s four fleets—Pacific, Northern, Baltic and Black Sea—as well as the Caspian Flotilla would become directly subordinate to the central headquarters

    Russia’s Crisis of Restoring Manpower

    On March 13, a draft law on increasing the age of conscription for military service in Russia was introduced to the State Duma. The planned increase, from 18 to 26

    Russian UAVs: What Has Gone Wrong?

    Since the beginning of its large-scale aggression against Ukraine, Russia has demonstrated relatively poor capabilities regarding its unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), much poorer than one would expect given the extensive

    Russian Challenges in Missile Resupply

    After more than three months of its undeclared war of aggression against Ukraine, Russia fired over 2,100 cruise missiles and short-range ballistic missiles at targets inside the embattled country. Now

    Russia’s Space Satellite Problems and the War in Ukraine

    Three months into Russia’s full-scale war of aggression against Ukraine, the role of Russian military reconnaissance and communications satellites remains noticeably underdeveloped. Although Moscow has 102 military satellites in orbit,

    Russia’s Space Program in Wartime and Beyond

    The Kremlin’s full-scale aggression against Ukraine, launched on February 24, became a game changer for the Russian space program. Western sanctions, adopted in response to the war, have thrown Russia’s

    Russia’s ASAT Test: Motivations and Implications

    Russia conducted its first kinetic satellite interception on November 15, 2021. A ground-based (presumably silo-based) missile was launched from the Plesetsk launch site and targeted the dead Soviet military satellite

    Russia’s Race for Hypersonic Weapons

    The global race for hypersonic weapons, or at least for technologies to reach hypersonic velocity, undoubtedly goes on. Russia is paying close attention to the research, development and testing of

    Roscosmos Suffers From Russia’s Confrontation With the US

    Dmitry Rogozin, the head of the Russian state-owned space corporation Roscosmos, confirmed during parliamentary hearings earlier this month that Western sanctions have damaged Russia’s space and orbital activities (, June

    Russian-Chinese Cooperation in Space

    On March 9, Russia and China signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in the construction of an international lunar research station (ILRS) (, March 9). Though there is no

    GLONASS Program for 2021–2030

    In January, Russia started a new federal ten-year program for developing a GLONASS dual-use satellite navigation system. Its main goal, and challenge, is to replace the old generation of satellites

    Cosmos ASATs and Russia’s Approach to Space Weapons

    In recent years, Russia repeatedly demonstrated the increasingly advanced orbital maneuvering capabilities of its satellites by conspicuously moving them closer to Russian, United States and European orbital space assets. These