Russia and Eurasia

Within the framework of FOI's Russia and Eurasia Studies programme, RUFS, we study Russian military capability, Russian politics, economics and society as well as developments in the former Soviet republics (except for the three Baltic States).

Russia's President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting of the Security Council of Russia, in the Kremlin on October 26, 2019. (Photo by Alexei Druzhinin / Russian Presidential Press and Information Office / TASS / Sipa USA)

The FOI Russia and Eurasia Studies programme covers the following aspects of developments in Russia and the former Soviet Union:

  • Russian domestic, foreign and security policy
  • Russian defence industry and military research and development
  • Russian economic development and military expenditures
  • Developments in Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, the Caucasus and Central Asia

The primary client of the FOI Russia and Eurasia Studies programme is the Swedish Ministry of Defence. Once every three years, the programme conducts a comprehensive assessment of Russian military capability in a ten-year perspective. The programme also publishes in-depth studies in the areas mentioned above.

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Compared to a decade ago, Russia has clearly made substantial progress in transforming
its military into an efficient fighting force. This report addresses the question: What military
capability will Russia possess in another ten years?

Through analyses of Russia’s Armed Forces and their fighting power, and of the political
and economic factors that affect the development of military capability, this report arrives
at a forecast of Russian military capability towards 2029. The study’s primary focus is on
regular warfare capabilities. This is the ninth in a series of FOI reports, dating back to 1999,
on Russian military capability.

At present, there is no sign of a change in Russia’s current authoritarian and anti-Western
security policy. Recognition as a great power and establishing a sphere of interest in its
neighbourhood will remain its main objectives. Change can come quickly in a ten-year
perspective. However, we cannot expect any precise signs in advance.

The impressive pace of improvement of Russia’s Armed Forces in the past decade is
probably not sustainable. Instead, the next ten years will consolidate these achievements,
notably the ability to launch a regional war. Strategic deterrence, primarily with nuclear
forces, will remain the foremost priority.

Over the past ten years, Russia has bridged the gap between its policy ambitions and
its military capability. A significant increase in Russia’s military capability towards 2029
would require that an increase in defence spending, arms procurement, the Armed Forces’
organisation, and exercise activity were given priority and received sustained political

Read the report

Experts involved in the Russia and Eurasia Studies Programme. All these experts speak Russian:

Johan NorbergDeputy Research Director  MSc in Business Administration and in Russian. Johan follows developments in the Russian Armed Forces.

Maria Engqvist, , Analyst, M.A. Project Manager.
Maria is a Historian and a Slavist. She follows the development of Russian security and domestic policy, as well as military related questions.

Johan Engvall, Analyst, PhD – On leave
Johan covers developments in Central Asia. He also follows Russia's efforts in military research and development (R&D).

Pär Gustafsson, Senior analyst - On leave
Pär holds a doctorate from Oxford University, UK, and has been a Russia observer since the 1990s. Dr. Gustafsson was awarded his degree for a thesis on formal and informal conflict resolution in the contemporary Russian economy. He held a postdoctoral position at the University of Uppsala and was a Senior Member of St. Antony’s College, Oxford. At FOI, Dr. Gustafsson is a Russian military & technology analyst.

Carl-Michael Gräns, Deputy Research Director.
Carl-Michael is a diplomat and former ambassador. He has a master of economics, a BA in Russian and covers mostly Russian security- and foreign policy.

Ismail Khan, Analyst, M.Sc.
Ismail follows developments within the Russian military and security establishment, analysing as well security related developments in Russia’s immediate neighbourhood, such as Ukraine.

Jonas Kjellén, Military Analyst, Master of Social Science (PM)
Jonas follows different aspects of the development in the Russian Armed Forces.

Tomas Malmlöf, Researcher, MSc in Political Science and BSc in Economics.
Tomas follows developments in the Russian defence industry and Russian energy policies and also works on energy security and economic development in the Baltic region as well as Nordic defence cooperation.

Kristina Melin, Junior Analyst, M.A.
Kristina is a Junior Analyst at FOI’s Department for Security Policy, focusing on Russia and countries in the former Soviet Union including Belarus and Ukraine, and nuclear weapons. Kristina holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Uppsala University and has a master’s degree from the Department of War Studies, King’s College London.

Gudrun Persson, Associate Professor, Deputy Research Director
Gudrun covers Russian security policy and foreign policy, as well as Russian strategic military thought, and military reform.

Carolina Vendil Pallin, Deputy Research Director, PhD
Carolina covers Russian decision-making, domestic politics, as well as Russian military reform, cyber strategy and Russia’s relations with the EU.

Emil Wannheden, Analyst, MSc in Development Economics and BA in Philosophy
Emil’s work focuses on Russia’s economy and defence economics.


Last updated: 2023-06-20