How can Russia pay for its new weapons plans?

Russia is planning to boost its military spending to its highest levels since the height of the Cold War, but where is it going to get the money to pay for it?

Former Defense Minister and current Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov, Russian Prime Minister and former President Vladimir Putin’s trusted right-hand man in reviving the Russian military over the past eight years, announced Thursday that the Kremlin’s military budget would be boosted to $50 billion next year.

From WASHINGTON, Oct. 17 (UPI) — By Martin Sieff

“This is the total aggregate amount — 1.3 trillion rubles — for 2009. I hope that the State Duma will approve this sum in its second reading tomorrow (Friday),” Ivanov stated, RIA Novosti reported.

Ivanov, revealingly, said the increase would be greater than the one originally planned because military needs had been reviewed following the initial assessment of the Russian armed forces’ performance in their successful operations in the former Soviet republic of Georgia in the Caucasus in August.

The Russian army overran one-third of mountainous and heavily forested Georgia in only five days from Aug. 8 to 12. However, reports in the Russian press have said the army’s communications and command and control systems were very weak, and the Russian air force sustained unexpected losses from U.S-supplied anti-aircraft systems that the Georgians operated.


Russia has a lot of older technology military equipment that it would like to replace.  Above: a TU- 160 “White Swan” bomber, considered a museum piece by many Western military experts.

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