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Trends in Russia's Armed Forces: An Overview of Budgets and Capabilities

11/01/2019

This report assesses how Russian military forces are postured and are likely to operate based on open-source reporting about their organization, modernization plans, force structure, and readiness. It discusses the goals and effects of Russian military reform efforts, including initiatives that span all of the Russian armed forces’ services and independent branches. The report touches on most of Russia’s armed forces’ major capabilities, by service or domain, but it is not comprehensive. It concludes with a look at how those capabilities are being integrated in practice.

 

Key Findings

The Russian military has developed in three key ways since 2000:

-- A surge in funding starting in 2000 has enabled the development of Russian military forces that are more capable under more-varied circumstances than was the case in the first two decades following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

-- The modernization of Russia's weapons and equipment and changes in force structure have emphasized improvements in strategic and operational air defenses focused on key defensive bastions, faster generation of ground units at high readiness, and the deployment of technologically advanced long-range battlefield fires systems. Moscow has also improved its operational-tactical missile forces, especially short-ranged ballistic missiles and land attack cruise missiles.

-- Growing numbers of contract soldiers, improved training, more exercises and, increasingly, combat operations in Ukraine and Syria have resulted in broad improvements in the quality of Russian units. Although most Russian forces are postured defensively, the capabilities Russia has pursued gives them substantial offensive capability against states along Russia's borders. Russia's forces also now have some limited ability to project power farther abroad, as in Syria.

 

 

Read The Full Report

Date: 
11/01/2019
Sources of Information:  Rand

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