Russia reforms and re-arms, but its glory days are over

Conscripts at a recruiting point in Siberia's Zabaikalsky Territory (photo: dpa)
Conscripts at a recruiting point in Siberia's Zabaikalsky Territory (photo: dpa)

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.

<i>Apprehension is mounting about a renewed military threat from Russia. The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) has been officially branded as a threat and the public rhetoric is becoming increasingly hostile. The State Armament Programme for 2011-20 foresees spending close to US$660 billion (20 trillion rubles) on pr...

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