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,