Russia’s Military Training and Other Assessments

Russia’s military is not that well trained and most of the Soviet-era gear is nearly useless and in rusting in storage. Russia has ground combat troops of amost 500,000. Russia has 600-1000 good and modern planes. Russia is about 25% one year conscripts versus US soldiers with an average of 4-8 years of service. About half of Russia’s troop are contracted and are more professional troops. Russia has veterans of the 2014-present Crimea conflict and from deployments in Syria.

Russia spends about 40% of its military budget on training, supplying and paying benefits to its soldiers. It would be difficult for Russia to ramp up to any larger force. China and Russia copied the US decades old move in downsizing and professionalizing more of their military forces. Russia’s military budget is about $60 billion per year or about 4.3% of GDP. Reducing oil prices by $20 per barrel would cost the Russian economy about $60 billion per year. Russia’s current military would not be affected immediately but it makes it more difficult to spend. If oil was brought down to $30 per barrel then 6 million barrels per day of Russian oil exports would bring in $66 billion in revenue versus $219 billion per year in oil revenue if oil prices are $100 per barrel.

Ukraine has about 150,000 troops and much more from reserves. Ukraine does not have air power. Ukraine ground forces can slow Russia’s armor and troops but cannot withstand the assault. Ukraine can mount what could be an effective guerrilla war.

Russia currently does not have a yard capable of building aircraft carriers. All previous Soviet aircraft carriers were built in what was then known as the Nikolayev South Shipyard (Shipyard 444, Black Sea Shipyard) at Nikolayev in what is now Ukraine. Russia’s one aircraft carrier is still disabled from a large fire and they have yet to replace the only floating dock for such large ships.

Russia is currently able to build new Frigates, Corsairs and submarines. The last Destroyer and Battle Cruiser were added in 1998-1999. They added eight Frigates since 2000. Ships about 5000 tons or less. Submarines of comparable size. Destroyers are 8000-10000 tons.

Russia’s Black Sea fleet was rebuilt and repaired after the 2014 war started. They bottled up the Ukraine navy in 2014. The Russian ships can now launch cruise missiles into Ukraine.

Russia can build planes. The bulk of the new air force procurement are planes like the SU-34 and the SU-35S.

Peak Russian military plane procurement (post-Soviet era) was from 2013-2018. This was when 400 planes were delivered. This was about 60-70 per year on average. The average number of planes delivered dropped to about 20 per year in 2019-2021. Over half of Russia’s modern planes were added from 2014 onwards.

SOURCES- Wikipedia, Blinkov
Written by Brian Wang,