Russian military capability in a ten-year perspective - problems and trends in 2005


  • Leijonhielm Jan
  • Knoph Jan T
  • Larsson Robert L
  • Oldberg Ingmar
  • Unge Wilhelm
  • Vendil Pallin Carolina

Publish date: 2005-01-01

Report number: FOI-R--1662--SE

Pages: 313

Written in: Swedish


The aim of the report is to appraise Russian military capability in a ten-year perspective. As in the previous three reports of the series, the assumption is that military capability stems from and is influenced by the development and character of the Russian leadership and society. Therefore, military capability is analysed in relation to the development of Russian democracy, domestic and foreign policy, threat perceptions, the war in Chechnya, security policy decision-making, civil-military relations and economy. Overriding factors like the growing influence of the power structures, corruption and the weak civil society are also scrutinized. In the military sector, the development of the armed forces, the progress of military reform, WMD, military R&D and MiC are assessed. The conclusions are that the centralisation of power to the Kremlin continues, the nascent democracy is backsliding and that domestic and the foreign policy are becoming more assertive. Putin no longer meets any noteworthy domestic political resistance. The economy grows at an impressive pace but is unbalanced. Defence budgets are expanding rapidly, which gives room for modernisation and military procurement. The military capability also grows through the increasing number of exercises. Russia´s ambition to strengthen its regional (conventional) power projection capability while maintaining its global (nuclear) power projection capability is feasible.