Is Russian military a paper tiger?

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by KGB_resident, Jan 28, 2009.

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  1. Army that I prefer not fight against

  2. Average army but with nukes

  3. Rather agree with the statement

  4. Quite close to it

  5. Absolutely agree

  6. No, it is a paper cat no more

  7. One of the best armies in the World


    I suspect that according to 'the thinkers' British army is a lion in his best shape.

    Well, may I ask you. Taking into account your own experience, information provided by mass media, free press and so on, how do you estimate Russian military?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. I've no great knowledge of the army, but the navy is in a shocking state. The Northern Fleet has 13 major surface units, but based on what I've seen over the last five years only three destroyers, two cruisers and the carrier ever go anywhere. Th ships on order - one destroyer and 4 light frigates, don't look much either. The NF subs are a little better, but out of 14 SSN/SSNG and six SSK's, only the one Oscar II and six Akulas in service are any good. The whole fleet with a couple of exceptions will be past its date by 2020, so it will only get weaker.

    Overall with regard to the Navy, I'd have to agree with the think tank - a few good Soviet left-overs still around, but no where near enough mass to pose a real threat to anyone on the high seas.
  3. The Russians are making a big effort to bring their Army up to scratch and re-equip. Watch out, watch out!
  4. In the West's dreams maybe it is - but, why has the Russian 'defence' budget risen by a factor three in the last three years?

    "War to the hilt between communism and capitalism is inevitable.

    Today, of course, we are not strong enough to attack. Our time will come in thirty or forty years. To win, we shall need the element of surprise. The Western world will need to be put to sleep. So we shall begin by launching the most spectacular peace movement on record (Gorbachev?). There shall be electrifying overtures and unheard of concessions. The capitalist countries, stupid and decadent, will rejoice to cooperate to their own destruction. They will leap at another chance to be friends. As soon as their guard is down, we shall smash them with our clenched fist."

    Dmitrii Z. Manuilskii (Lenin School of Political Warfare, Moscow, 1931)

    Read, learn and inwardly digest. I address the 'apologists' - 'Sven', 'ashie' and 'parapuke'. They won't learn of course, but, they will be wringing their hands as they walk to their 'Gulag' --------------------------
  5. Communism?

    I've got some news for you, you may want to sit down...
  6. Sergey,

    I presume you are trying to suggest that it is a bit cheeky of a Brit to make remarks about the mighty Russian Army. UK spends twice as much on defence as Russia and your forces are several times larger. Do you really think that these ratios somehow give the Russians the edge. Yes, you would win if someone was dumb enough to try a ground invasion. But apart from that you would struggle to turn over anyone else more than a couple of hundred miles from your border. Slash the size of your army and then spend some proper money on equipment and then you can sneer at the analysis. Until then - paper tiger.

  7. Russian Military Reform Delayed by Financial Crisis

    Russia’s agenda for military reform, announced by Defense Minister Anatoliy Serdyukov in October 2008, is facing revisions and delays due to the global financial crisis. This has also affected the arms industry, as there are fewer customers for the purchase of military hardware, and has consequently damaged Russia’s defense industry, which relies heavily on the international export market. Boris Obnosov, the general manager of the Tactical Missile Arms Corporation, for example, recently expressed his confidence that the defense industry would pull through the crisis but admitted that this would depend on state assistance in the form of inexpensive loans, tax breaks, and additional state orders. Without this, many Russian defense companies would go under.

    Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is already actively deflecting blame away from the government by attacking the inefficiencies of the defense industry. He underscored the vital nature of Russia’s defense industry, which he linked to maintaining Russia’s security at a time when the country’s own military was in desperate need of modern equipment. Despite the declining demand abroad, Putin is confident that increased state spending will preserve the volume of production. He said that fiscal planning envisaged spending 1 trillion rubles ($30 billion) in 2009, rising to 4 trillion rubles ($121 billion) by 2011, for the purchase of military equipment for the Russian armed forces. “The majority of defense enterprises are companies [with local employees]; the well-being of millions of citizens depends on them. A fitting response from the state is therefore required,” Putin explained. The trouble for the Russian state, however, is that the number of defense industry companies on the list for state assistance during the crisis is continuing to escalate (Komsomolskaya Pravda, Moscow, January 16).

    Putin attributes these problems, in the mainly state-owned enterprises, to mismanagement and the “inefficiency” of executives. Alluding to the longer term implications of the crisis, Putin acknowledged that the state could not bail out such companies indefinitely and called for checks to be made about whether banks were lending to the defense industry and were not artificially inflating interest rates on those loans. He said that the state would not cover these losses endlessly.

    The sense of crisis within Russia’s defense industry is noticeably deepening, even over a short period of time, as reports increase about the number of companies struggling to cope with the current economic climate. In Bolshoy Kamen in Russia’s Far East, the Dalenergosbyt Far East energy company cut power to the Vostok plant, a subsidiary of the Amur shipyard, which repairs submarines for the Ministry of Defense (MoD). The radical action was taken as a result of the plant’s failure to pay its electricity bills since October 2008. A concession has now been agreed, allowing the debt to be repaid in installments, but the debt itself is continuing to mount. Dalenergosbyt has been imposing tougher measures on such companies since the start of 2009. “The money from these enterprises is needed for the stable and uninterrupted operation of [electricity] generation companies and power grid organizations supplying electricity to end consumers, especially in times of peak demand,” the company said (ITAR-TASS, Moscow, January 20).

    Meanwhile, Putin has sought to shore up the defense industries, following a government meeting on January 15. He declared afterward:

    We have agreed to provide subsidies from the federal budget to enterprises in the defense industry complex to compensate partly for interest paid on loans provided by Russian credit organizations. We have agreed to provide subsidies to compensate for some of the losses as a result of basic industrial operations, that is, subsidies preventing an unfavorable development of the economic situation and bankruptcies of enterprises (Interfax, January 15).

    For the time being, this entails using the banking sector in support of the defense industries, but Putin has made it clear that the government might need to intervene if this fails.

    Sources within the MoD have disclosed that its military reform and modernization program will be delayed as a result of this crisis. Initially it will postpone these plans by about six to eight months. Nonetheless, even in this deepening crisis, planned large-scale transformations, which include cutting 250,000 officers’ jobs and eliminating warrant officers, will go ahead within the announced timescale—the end of the year. This seems highly ambitious, given the announced revision of the 2009 federal budget. It seems only a question of time before more delays are announced to these plans.

    It appears that the delays will mainly occur in implementing the transfer to a brigade-based manning principle. In Russia’s ground forces, the plan was to disband in a nine-month period, 23 all-arms divisions and 12 all-arms brigades, forming 39 permanent combat-ready all-arms brigades. In the Air Force it was planned to set up 55 aviation bases of different categories, based on the disbanded aviation divisions and regiments (Interfax, January 19). Transfer to the new brigade-based structure was scheduled for implementation by June 2009. Other aspects of the military reform agenda are hurriedly being revised, in light of the present financial crisis affecting the Russian state, as the planned cut in the overall numerical strength of Russia’s armed forces from 1.2 million down to 1 million scheduled for 2012, has now been postponed by presidential decree to 2016. The financial crisis has come at the worst possible time for Russian military reform.

    —Roger N McDermott

    Looks like the modernisation is grinding to a halt. I wonder if Tsar Putin will plow on regardless?
  8. A paper tiger that raped Georgia whilst we did nothing. :?
  9. I think that Russian military without nukes would be rather average one. But nuclear weapons, thier numbers place Russian armed forces well above the mean level.

    And I'm very pleased that the majority of our friends supports my vision.

    If so called 'think tank' makes apparently absurd statement then what is the cost of the results of its 'investigations'? About zero, I suppose. And The times looks rather silly repeating the fantasies.
  10. :D
  11. Russian military will need to restructure to meet the requirement for interventions in the Near Abroad. They already do peacekeeping operations in the NA, and Georgia demonstrated their capability to make war on their borders, but anything a bit further from home turf would be a push.

    Russia has been emphasising Contract service to provide these expeditionary forces, and cutting a lot of paper divisions that have minimal manpower and equipment but are intended to be activated and filled with reservists in the case of WWIII. The original 'Mobile Forces' it may not be, but still. However, I believe recently, despite decreasing conscript service to only 1yr, they are having to shelve plans to get rid of all conscripts due to the cost of Contract troops. Plus, a lot of Contract troops ain't known for being the brightest nor the best...

    Recently there was an announcement that they will abolish some previous Warrant/Ensign ranks and establish a professional NCO cadre (rather than NCOs being young conscripts with a little extra training). Good news, since more switched on NCOs is going to equal career progression for Contract privates, and less dedovschina.

    I think Russia needs to just realise that massive armed forces are not really required any longer though. A 1.2m regular force and 20m reserve? I know they had it nasty in WWI and II, but surely they know that nuclear deterrent has taken the place of a massive ex-conscript-based reserve force in modern warfare?

    Mobile Forces and a nuc deterrent would be able to achieve more than a massive army and reserves waiting for an attritional war that will never come and too lumbering to be able to carry out interventions and support foreign policy effectively.
  12. In the Defence of The Motherland Russia would be the Tiger she always was.
    Czars or Communist, Ivan will fight for her.
    However the west is not coming and Vlad needs to look to his eastern border.
  13. The “west” (EU and/or NATO), does not want to expand further east; and, does not want to embrace Eastern Orthodox Slavs. However, Vlad needs to portray the motherland Russia, as being under siege and threatened by exterior forces - in order to hold together his disparate internal groupings.
  14. RCT(V), I would hope you are right regarding further NATO expansion Eastwards - we haven't exactly been allaying Russian security concerns by getting all the Eastern European states onside and ready to be used for US national interests in their NMD programme, and considering the Ukraine for NATO membership is far too provocative.

    I will agree with you that Russia does seem to have limited powers even within its own borders, and that the demographic effect near the border with China (and no doubt the Central Asian states too) is going to rear its ugly head sooner or later.