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On New Year’s Eve, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed off on an updated national security strategy. Its tone matches the deterioration in Russia’s relations with the West. Compared with the 2014 version, two features stand out. NATO is now presented as an adversary rather than a rival, and the instigation of so-called “color revolutions” has been elevated to t...
Professor Stefan Hedlund
Russia is reforming and re-arming its forces, and stepping up the rhetoric against Nato. If the reforms, costing close to US$660 billion, stay on course it will have a leaner but meaner force structure by 2020. But this is by no means certain – for instance, it cannot produce its own high-quality weaponry, and demographic changes leave it short of soldiers.
While foreign observers have expressed concern over Russia’s rearmament programme, there is little to suggest that the country is about to achieve the military superpower status it had under the Soviet regime. The second part of the series on Russian rearmament looks at why the legacy of past neglect, not just in the forces themselves but in industries which supply...