The Centre for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies (CAST), founded in 1997, is a leading Russian defense industry and arms trade think tank. Its main print publication is the Eksport Vooruzheniy (Arms Exports) journal. The first issue came out in 1997.
In 2002, CAST launched the Periscope, a Russian daily media digest, and in 2004 – the Moscow Defense Brief, an English-language magazine. In 2008 CAST also began publishing books, including the well-received "The Tanks of August", a collection of articles about the August 2008 events in South Ossetia (CAST, 2010). Two more books are now in the pipeline: on the role of the military in the political systems of various countries, and on armed conflicts in the former Soviet republics.
CAST also offers consultation, analysis and information services to Russian government agencies, defense industry companies, banks and investment institutions.
CAST does not receive any financing from the government, commercial companies or other organizations. All its funding is derived from research and media products, consultation services and other projects. In that sense, CAST is a commercial venture, and its success depends entirely on the quality of the services it offers to customers.
CAST is led by its two original founders, Ruslan Pukhov (Director) and Konstantin Makienko (Deputy Director). Both have earned a reputation as leading experts on the Russian defense industry and arms trade. Their professional commentary can often be found in the Russian and foreign press, on the radio and on television. In 2007, Ruslan Pukhov became a member of the Public Council under the Russian Defense Ministry. In 2008, Konstantin Makienko was appointed member of the expert council under the Russian Duma defense committee.