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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Professor Stefan Hedlund
Many of those who are eligible for the military obtain deferments, and the reduction in service from two years to one means that those who do serve will not receive sufficient training
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