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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
The crisis in Ukraine is wreaking havoc on Russia’s ambitious plans to modernise its armed forces. The most obvious cause is the combined impact of cheap oil and Western sanctions on state finances. Thus far, the Kremlin has insisted that military procurement be exempt from otherwise drastic budget cuts. But unless the price of oil starts climbing again very soon, ...
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.