Military weapons on display at the International Engineering Technologies Forum near Moscow (photo: dpa)

Is Putin’s ambitious military upgrade for security or his image?

Vladimir Putin has high ambitions to modernise Russia’s ageing military. However, observers suggest the president’s goals have more to do with his own image and desire to stand up to Nato than with any real threat to his country. President Putin’s promise of a boost in defence spending by 19.4 trillion rubles (about US$600 billion) until 2020 is highly attractive to a populace seeking national security as their fears grow during times of global economic uncertainty and Mid-East unrest. But several analysts doubt whether he will be able to deliver - or whether the industry itself will be able to deliver - after decades of stagnation following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

RUSSIA'S...

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Professor Stefan Hedlund
Experience from the 2008 war between Russia and Georgia showed that much of the equipment used by the army was not only obsolete but also so physically old that a high rate of simple breakdowns caused a logistics nightmare
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