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Military of Russia

Since the breakup of the U.S.S.R., the Russians have discussed rebuilding a viable, cohesive fighting force out of the remaining parts of the former Soviet armed forces. A new Russian military doctrine, promulgated in November 1993, implicitly acknowledges the contraction of the old Soviet military into a regional military power without global imperial ambitions. In keeping with its emphasis on the threat of regional conflicts, the doctrine calls for a Russian military that is smaller, lighter, and more mobile, with a higher degree of professionalism and with greater rapid deployment capability. Such a transformation has proven difficult.

The challenge of this task has been magnified by difficult economic conditions in Russia, which have resulted in reduced defense spending. This has led to training cutbacks, wage arrears, and severe shortages of housing and other social amenities for military personnel, with a consequent lowering of morale, cohesion, and fighting effectiveness. The poor combat performance of the Russian armed forces in the Chechen conflict in part reflects these breakdowns.

The Russian military is divided into the following branches: Ground Forces, Navy, Air Force, and Strategic Rocket Forces. The available manpower for the various branches of the Russian armed forces was estimated at 38.9 million in 2001. According to Russian reports, in FY 2002, there will be about a 40% increase in arms procurement spending. However, even this increase is not enough to make up for the budget shortfalls of the previous decade. Russia's struggling arms producers will, therefore, intensify their efforts to seek sales to foreign governments.

About 70% of the former Soviet Union's defense industries are located in the Russian Federation. A large number of state-owned defense enterprises are on the brink of collapse as a result of cuts in weapons orders and insufficient funding to shift to production of civilian goods, while at the same time trying to meet payrolls. Many defense firms have been privatized; some have developed significant partnerships with United States firms.

Military branches: Ground Forces, Navy, Air Force, Strategic Rocket Forces

Military manpower - military age: 18 years of age

Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 38,825,113 (2000 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:
males age 15-49: 30,294,374 (2000 est.)

Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males: 1,195,916 (2000 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $NA

Military expenditures - percent of GDP:NA%

The Russia Project: Radio and Online Stories a Decade After the Soviet Union (http://www.russiaproject.org/part2/military/) has this report on the struggles facing the Russian military.

See also : Russia



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