I’ve already flagged a few stories in the past couple months about Russia’s “Bremer approach” to professionalizing its military. This NY Times piece is basically an update, but with a twist: The malcontents quoted in it are active-duty Russian officers. That would be surprising for a piece running in the St. Petersburg Times. To see it in the NY Times is positively shocking.
Russia’s re-emergence is far from a straight-line graph. Lots of deferred maintenance, including ongoing violent separatism in the Caucasus, that wasn’t taken care of while the cash was flowing in. Modernizing its military is necessary. But if I was Putin, I’d be keeping that Praetorian Guard (i.e., the elite airborne division that won’t be touched by the reforms) pretty close at hand.