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. ...
To read the rest, sign up to try World Politics Review
Sign up for two weeks of free access with your credit card. Cancel any time during the free trial and you will be charged nothing.
Request a free trial for your office or school. Everyone at a given site can get access through our institutional subscriptions.
- The Realist Prism: U.S. Outreach to Iran, Cuba Still Lacks Broader Strategic Framework
- Global Insights: Energy, Defense Ties Anchor Russia’s Southeast Asia Outreach
- Global Insights: For U.S., Dividing China, Russia in Central Asia Easier Said Than Done
- Global Insights: Caspian States Boost Security, Economy With Trilateral Partnerships
- Global Insights: Spoilers Emerge as Iran Nuclear Talks Reach Delicate Endgame