chapter  12
10 Pages

The rebuilding of Russian military capabilities

WithJennifer G. Mathers

Russia has made very considerable progress in rebuilding its military capabilities since the start of the Anatoly Serdyukov reforms. The Russian armed forces of today are almost unrecognisable in comparison with the 2008 version, especially in the streamlining of its structure and the significant improvement in its ability to deploy forces quickly and carry out its assigned missions, in Crimea in 2014 and in Russia’s intervention in the war in Syria since 2015. While there continue to be limits to the ability of the defence industry to perform at the level that the Russian state demands, there is nevertheless a stream of new weapons and equipment being delivered each year, and a clear determination to develop the technological basis for new generations of weapons. A combination of more traditional and high-tech conventional forces, together with the maintenance of its nuclear deterrent, could be a mixture that is entirely suitable for Russia.