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

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

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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