Dmitry Gorenburg, Ph.D.
Senior Research Scientist


Dmitry Gorenburg is an expert on security issues in the former Soviet Union, Russian military reform, Russian foreign policy, and ethnic politics and identity. His recent research topics include decision-making processes in the senior Russian leadership, Russian naval strategy in the Pacific and the Black Sea, and Russian maritime defense doctrine.

Gorenburg is author of "Nationalism for the Masses: Minority Ethnic Mobilization in the Russian Federation" (Cambridge University Press, 2003), and has been published in journals such as World Politics and Post-Soviet Affairs. In addition to his role at CNA, he currently serves as editor of Problems of Post-Communism and is an Associate of the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University. From 2009 to 2016, he edited the journal Russian Politics and Law.

Gorenburg previously served as Executive Director of the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES). He received a B.A. in international relations from Princeton University and a Ph.D. in political science from Harvard University. He blogs on issues related to the Russian military at Russian Military Reform. He is a native Russian speaker.


April 23, 2019

Dmitry Gorenburg writes, "The protection of the state and nation through armed force has been portrayed as a holy act that is highly compatible with religious belief and spiritual values."

Russian Military Reform: "How Much Did Orthodox Church Help Revive Russia's Military and Nuclear Complex?"

February 4, 2019

Dmitry Gorenburg says that Russia has sought to ameliorate its relative lack of surface warfare capabilities through cruise missiles, which are “seen as force multipliers capable of offsetting the Russian shortfalls in ship numbers and quality”

The National Interest: “Contested Waters: Great Power Naval Competition in the 21st Century”

January 9, 2019

Samuel Bendett and Dmitry Gorenburg discussed Russian weapons systems.

VOA News: “New Weapons of Russia: A Real Threat, Proven in Syria” [Russian]

January 7, 2019

Dmitry Gorenburg writes, “The November 25 naval skirmish between Russian and Ukrainian forces in the Kerch Strait was significant first and foremost as an open military confrontation between the two countries’ armed forces. But it also highlighted the fraught legal status of the strait and the Azov Sea, a status that Russia has been exploiting in recent months to exert political and economic pressure on Ukraine.”

Russian Military Reform: “The Kerch Strait Skirmish: A Law of the Sea Perspective”

January 3, 2019

Dmitry Gorenburg writes, “I argue that Russian foreign policy preferences and activities have been largely continuous since the early 1990s. These preferences have focused on the quest to restore Russia’s great power status and maintain a zone of influence in states around its borders as a buffer against potential security threats.”

Russian Military Reform: “Circumstances Have Changed Since 1991, but Russia’s Core Foreign Policy Goals Have Not”

November 28, 2018

Dmitry Gorenburg and Michael Kofman write, “During the events on Sunday, Ukraine sought to demonstrate that Russia is not the master of the Sea of Azov, while Russia sought to communicate that it indeed was.”

The Washington Post: “Russia and Ukraine Had a Short Naval Battle. Here’s What You Need to Know.”