Russia’s Military Only Deserves a Two-Page Update to US Congress

Russia’s military is so meaningless to the US that the annual report on the capabilities of Russia’s armed forces is two pages long and a one-paragraph disclaimer.

Oil and gas production makes up about 39% of Russia’s economy. Oil prices in 2020 are about half the level in 2018. Coronavirus is also impacting Russia’s economy and shutdowns will trim 5% off the 2020 GDP.

Official figures suggest Russia’s military expenditures have ranged between $60 billion and $65 billion a year, or roughly 4% of its gross domestic product (GDP). However, the extent of defense spending may be greater if assessed on the basis of purchasing power parity rather than market exchange rates.

Russia’s newest ten-year plan to buy new military equipment calls for total spending of about $330 billion (in 2018 dollars) and 3%-4% of GDP from 2018 to 2027. The US defense procurement is about 5 times greater.

Russia’s one aircraft carrier is currently broken. Russia has some submarines but is having trouble making ships over 7000 tons in size. Most of Russia’s navy are ships over 30 years old.

Russia’s airforce:

8 × Bomber squadrons (4 operating Tu-22M3/MR; 3 operating Tu-95MS; 1 operating Tu-160)
37 × Fighter squadrons (8 operating MiG-29; 3 operating MiG-29SMT; 11 operating the MiG-31/MiG-31BM; 10 operating Su-27; 4 operating Su-27SM1/Su-30M2; 1 operating Su-27SM3/Su-30M2)
27 × Attack squadrons (11 operating the Su-24M/Su-24M2; 13 operating Su-25/Su-25SM; 3 operating Su-34)
10 × Attack & Reconnaissance squadrons (1 operating Su-24M/MR; 8 operating Su-24MR; 1 operating Mig-25RB)
1 × AEW&C squadron (1 operating A-50/A50-U)
1 × Tanker squadron (1 operating Il-78/Il-78M)

Europe Energy

Gas prices in europe are done over 6% and demand for gas is down over 10%.

In 2018, Europe was importing 30% of its oil from Russia and 40% of its natural gas.

Germany was importing 64% of its energy.

Almost 10% of new cars in Germany in 2020 were battery-electric or plug-in hybrids. This was over 20,000 cars per month. The Tesla gigafactory in Berlin could be finished in 2021 and will ramp to a production of 500,000 cars per year.

By 2030, half to all new cars and many new trucks and buses will be electric. This and solar and wind power will erode demand for oil and gas and reduce imports from Russia.

This puts Russia on track for further military and economic decline.

SOURCES – CSR Reports, USNI, Wikipedia
Written By Brian Wang,

66 thoughts on “Russia’s Military Only Deserves a Two-Page Update to US Congress”

  1. Well, this is exactly the cocktail one needs to trigger a full-scale war. Desperate leadership and brain-washed nation will inevitably seek for “opportunities elsewhere”.

  2. Wouldn’t be so confident if I were you. Read on “LEP” and Nuclear Modernization Program. They still use floppy-disks!

  3. Political inertia would be my guess … I think you have the right of it – ‘a concern’. Now the primary consideration would be China …

  4. Ever hear of MAD? The USN and their 12 Ohio subs can end life on earth for the most part. In terms of a conventional war. The worlds largest air force is the USAF the world’s second largest is the USN. Then there is Space power, thanks to SpaceX, the US has the ability to deploy space based assets faster than anyone. For the last 4 years SpaceX has handled over 50% of all orbital launches by weight. They are getting close to 70% this year. Additionally, the Starship they are building could potentially be used for orbital bombardment. Think manmade meteor strikes.

  5. But why would Putin commit suicide like that? He’s not stupid — he knows that the resulting counter-attack would make Russia cease to exist not just as a nation but as a culture. China would certainly take advantage of the opportunity and grab Siberia. Decades later when the world has recovered, “Russia” would be like the Austro-Hungarian Empire — something you need to look up on Wikipedia.

  6. You’re trapped in a time warp. USSR is long gone, Cold War is long gone. Russia is Mexico with nukes. Meanwhile China has FIFTEEN TIMES the GDP of Russia, and expanding across the world map. China is eating America’s lunch, while you fixate on Russia.

  7. Well, well, well… I just muted Luka and simultaneously 2 suddenly changed to “This user is muted”

    That’s a very strong indicator that the muting system OpenWeb is IP or host dependent, and not just blocking account, oh, and Luka uses sock puppets.

  8. Yes, that’s why you’ll have a bad day.

    Oh, and I wasn’t ‘exposed as wrong.’ You cohort were exposed as bombasts and prevericators.

  9. Like “ameritard” isn’t a personal attack.
    And this wasn’t a personal attack, it’s just you’re such a great pro-russian cheerleader that you can’t realize it. Chillax, will you? Or your boss doesn’t allow it?

  10. Maybe. With an aging and shrinking population, energy consumption will likely continue to fall – so within 10 years they could either eliminate most coal or all their remaining nuclear and some coal, if they continue on the current path. (They could have eliminated most lignite by now if they’d kept nuclear at 2010 levels.)

    The site below seems to indicate they’re already reducing consumption while boosting the share of renewables and natural gas and apparently reducing coal consumption, despite what many here have said.

  11. I first give your posts a thumbs down and then I read them. If what you write is true, I change my vote. That’s not the case here.

  12. Actually, a majority of the anti-Russian partisans in Ukraine aren’t even Nazis.

  13. Mmh, I think it is misleading to conclude that someone is not a threat if they lack the resources to run a conventional war. When someone cannot fight a symmetric war they very rarely stop fighting, more often than not they develop asymmetric and lateral ways to damage the opponent.
    With a minimal investment in social media manipulation Russia managed to influence UK politics on Brexit and the election of a U.S. president. In terms of projection of power those are results that the USSR never achieved even at the apex of its military strength.
    Furthermore, even if you think that Putin did not influence U.S. and U.K. elections, since such actions are considered within Russia capabilities the authority of the winning party/candidate will always be weakened by the doubt of foreign support (even if such support did not manifest)
    Russia certainly lacks the strength to run a strong army, but if they are both able to promote friendly candidates in hostile nations, and to weaken the authority of the hostile ones at one thousandth of the cost of a conventional army I personally do not think they should be ignored.

  14. How many of them are “ready” and can be used asap? Maintenance and we’re all know, how the situation is, was and gonna be Russia isn’t doing well and the income from dirty industry will decline further.

  15. Italy had quite a rich commie tradition, ya know… Antonio Gramsci and others of his ilk. Plus Mussolini’s fascism, which is also a “the collective trumps the individual” ideology.

  16. Conventionally Russia is no threat to the US. However they do have a nuclear arsenal so that’s always a concern.

    So one wonders why the warmongers in DC are always up in arms about how dangerous Russia is.

  17. Russia doesn’t have gay rights, they don’t topple their racist monuments and their hate speech laws are not enforceable. They’re a joke. Besides that Russia is not a democracy. I don’t see parties in the Duma pushing for LGBTQQT+ rights, multiculturalism and speech laws. They urgently need a leader like Merkel for at least two decades like Germany. Russia has no chance against the free world and that makes me happy.

  18. “Get their natural gas from the middle east”
    “makes no sense to fed[sic] your enemy”


  19. Luca claims not to be a Russian, he’s Italian (or at least has claimed so for years now).
    A bizzaro Italian who hates all democracies and cheer leads for all authoritarian threats to freedom. And even made disturbing comments about how he didn’t agree with Hitler’s final solution but he understands his motivation.
    Best not to interact. There is no use.

  20. Russia can’t into superpower, not even regional power. 
    This title belongs to EU + EU at the same time has also global superpower title along with US and China
    India will join in maybe decade or so
    Russia = poor economy, poor per capita GDP, weak science and technology, innovation
    Poor potential because of declining population, declining global need for gas and oil in middle and long term

  21. It doesn’t matter that they have all that land, it’s a burden and they don’t have enough people to even inhabit it. China has been stealing Russian land for years and soon they’ll have their Haishenwei back. I would agree that Russia would be in an advantageous situation if two criteria which aren’t met arw somehow met; they’ll need at least double the population, and they’ll need less corruption so budgeting for projects doesn’t go in some oligarch’s pocket. Lastly, nobody will fight for Russia, if England is attacked then NATO would back them. England on paper isn’t as powerful but their allies boost their power, Russia’s autocracy buddies wouldn’t shed their own blood so Putin’s investments are secure.

  22. Whatever, it’s connected my a small chicken neck of an isthmus. It may have bases but that means absolutley nothing when Turkey can just blockade all that garbage from reaching the Mediterranean. As for the shiv above, it doesn’t matter if it was recognized by ‘civilized nations’. The Crimeans themselves wanted to be apart of Russia regardless of international law, it would be stupid to fight over. Back to Crimea, it is 3rd world, when apart of the Navy we’ve docked there and we couldn’t believe that the Iraq warzone had better quality of life. Crimea isn’t Ukraine and it is ignorant to assume they’ll let Russia take the country, Russia hasn’t been able to do it and never will. Russia is a shell with some Soviet equipment and powerpoints, if they could’ve beaten NATO they would’ve.

  23. Great topic. It is funny to see people interested in science and stuff totally fall for stupid propaganda. Seeing russia as an enemy is so old, dumb and outdated, it is not even funny. Comparing the size of the armies and making fun of smaller armies of other countries….sorry. This is so infantile and stupid. 

    The US is responsible for evicting the democratically chosen leader of the ukrain and that this country now has hordes of nazi troups terrorizing the people. Well done you greatest country of the world. And thanks for bringing peace and democracy to vietnam, iraq, iran, lybia, syria, chile, venecuela, afghanistan, bosnia, cuba, japan…. The world is really greatful. You know what? The world outside your propaganda bubble already celebrates the inevitable decline of your power.

  24. I bet he’s particularly livid of the recent set backs Iran has had in their nuke program… You gotta hand it to the Jews, they really know how to give those Iranians heII.

  25. For the US, I guess Russian military power is irrelevant. The USA can always bomb itself if Putin asks.

  26. From a European perspective, a weak and unhappy Russia is a much worse neighbour than a powerful but contented Russia.

  27. The most effective way to fight Russia is to go EV and renewable. Europe should also focus on getting the natural gas it needs from North Africa and the Middle East rather than Russia. It makes no sense to fed your enemy.

  28. The Germans would build the world’s finest Handbasket to Hell while never stopping to ask if they really should be going to Hell in the first place. Intelligence void of wisdom.

  29. A significant portion of which would never make it out of the silo, much less detonate. It was junk when the Soviets were in charge, it’s absolute garbage now. We have nukes too, except ours would actually work in over 90 percent of the cases. Yours closer to nine percent.

  30. A significant portion of which would never make it out of the silo, much less detonate. It was junk when the Soviets were in charge, it’s absolute garbage now.

  31. <<<<< The Russians annexed Crimea, a majority Russian area that wanted to be apart of the RF for years. >>>>>
    Well, I want some things too, but I’m not getting it, as there is a constitution and no, the so called referendum was illegal not recognized by any civilized nation.

  32. What matters is the economic power. Remove Russia from SWIFT would mean instant death to everything. I was very surprised EU and US didn’t do that step while illegal Crimea annex….

  33. Like Obama sad back in time, Russia is only a regional power… Still surprised that Russians have a different view on that topic.

  34. Please also ignore that Germany and Russia just finished a second gas pipeline with contracts for decades to come and ignore that natural resources rents are less than 10% of GDP not 39%. brian wang continues his quest to sell his fantasies to willing morons. the news is not really that a congressional report is short on pages because it is an executive summary of thousands of pages of reports, as to suggest irrelevance, but that he thinks somehow more EVs thanks to subsidies, of which half are combustion engine hybrids, equals less energy needs because solar and wind. Explaining base load would truly be a gigantic waste of time on this joke of a tech blog.

  35. I hope you’re not referring to Crimea as “some 3rd world island with only minor importance in the Black Sea”.
    It is a peninsula, not an island and it has a pretty impressive -in terms of size and diversity – array of military installations. Making it one of the most important sites in the Black Sea. Admitedly, it’s pretty easy to get to that status considering only Turkey has a relevant navy & airforce over there, aside from Russia.

  36. That is true… The victory goes to the one who sticks through it to the end, not the one who gives up and goes home.

  37. history doesn’t favor the Russians when they’re the ones being the aggressor

    Still, the Russians are the only European colonial power that still has much of their vast Empire from the 16th-19th century.
    Even England is down to a handful of islands if we ignore the polite fiction of Canada/Australia/NewZealand etc. still, on paper, answering to the Queen.

    (The Russians (like, the USA) were clever enough to conquer places they could get to by road and train. Makes it much easier to keep.)

  38. You’re going to have to expand on that.

    What evidence is there that Germany is starting to come around on this subject?

    If we know anything about Germany, they can push a silly initial idea long, long after most people would have given up.
    To some extent this is because the Germans have a pool of resources (human, technical and otherwise) that lets them keep going long after most would have failed completely.

    But it doesn’t stop the initial idea from being deeply silly.

  39. Russia has some powerpoints, some scrap metal SU-57s, and a bunch of Soviet equipment given minor upgrades. Without nuking the world into Venus then Russia loses war in weeks, they’re pushed back into Russia just like Iraq was humiliated in the Gulf War.

  40. The Russians annexed Crimea, a majority Russian area that wanted to be apart of the RF for years. Europe will fight for Ukraine, but they won’t go to war over some 3rd world island with only minor importance in the Black Sea which isn’t strategically game changing. If Moscow tried taking Istanbul you’ll have NATO in Moscow within a month whether or not the city is ash. You are ignorant to assume Russians want to fight, history doesn’t favor the Russians when they’re the ones being the aggressor.

  41. It is amazing how willing the europeans are to shoot themselves in the foot for the sake of appearances.

  42. What matters most in a military: willingness to fight. If the Russians decide to annex Ukraine or the Baltic states, will the Europeans do anything? Germany won’t. The Europeans have very little fighting spirit.

  43. Sounds about right… Russia really is just a nuclearly armed has-been military power… They can’t even operate an aircraft carrier, which is something both the UK and France can muster.

  44. Solar and Wind will help to lock in Russian gas sales. Russia only really has to sweat if some country starts building a 4th gen nuclear power plant like a HTGR or MSR.

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