Skip to main content

Global Insights: Modernization Leaves Russia’s Military Improved but Limited

Richard Weitz

With Russian forces still massed on the Ukrainian border and the world watching to see whether President Vladimir Putin will try to seize more Ukrainian territory, a key question is how effective Russia’s military machine has become after a half-decade of modernization efforts. The takeover of Crimea proceeded competently, with little bloodshed, but any attempt to occupy more territory in eastern Ukraine would likely be met with resistance. Russia would probably still win due to the weak state of the Ukrainian armed forces, but the true strength of the Russian military remains uncertain.

Although Russia’s defense budget started rising in the mid-2000s, the Russian military’s surprisingly poor performance during the August 2008 war with Georgia served as a critical catalyst empowering reformers to modernize Russian military tactics and procedures. The war highlighted such weaknesses as the slow reaction and mobilization of the Russian army, failures in Russian technical equipment, a lack of air-ground coordination and problems with communications. …

Click here to read the full article.

Related Articles

The Bizarre Trump Dossier

Lee Smith

The report is so bizarre and incoherent that it has the effect of undermining the accusations that Trump has unsavory ties with Russia....

Continue Reading

Trump vs. 'Lying, Disgusting' Media

Gabriel Schoenfeld

Espionage laws could mean trouble for journalists under the new president....

Continue Reading

Russia Questions for Rex Tillerson

David Satter

New revelations about an opposition leader’s murder and bombings in Boston and Russia....

Continue Reading