But We Make Rockets
Yes, Russia is making rockets now.
Vladimir Putin came to power on the eve of the 21st century promising (among other things) to remake Russian military power. But progress was slow. The economy struggled to emerge from the default and devaluation of 1998. A poor, unready army found itself mired for several years in the Second Chechen War.
Not until after an uneven military performance in the August 2008 five-day war with Georgia — and not until after the 2009 economic crisis, perhaps in 2012 or 2013 — did the funding necessary for significant improvements in combat readiness and larger procurement of weapons and equipment reach the Russian Armed Forces.
Then came war in Crimea and eastern Ukraine and Syria. Blow back from Syria could make Central Asia or the North Caucasus Russia’s next front. But questions about recent Kremlin bellicosity already bear close to home — on Russia’s domestic political and economic circumstances.
Consider a Gazeta.ru editorial from October 26.
“But we make rockets”
“Can the army and navy replace everything else for citizens”
RS-24 Yars ICBMs on Parade (photo: AP / Ivan Sekretarev)
“Often it’s easier for people to accept growing financial hopelessness to the sound of bold military marches. Not for the first time in Russian history the army is beginning to replace the nation’s economy, life, general human values, and becoming the new old national idea and practically the only effective state institution.”
“Not everywhere in Russian industry are orders shrinking and demand falling. There is production that is very much in demand. In the ‘Tactical Missile Weapons’ corporation, for example, they’ve gone to three shifts of missile production for the Syrian front, a source in the defense-industrial complex has told the publication ‘Kommersant-Vlast.’ Against this backdrop, an article appeared in The Independent newspaper about …read more
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