Russian President Dmitry Medvedev announced today that his nation would begin a “large-scale” rearmament campaign for both its army and navy starting in 2011 in response to persisting threats to the nation’s security.
Pointing to NATO’s continued expansion and the increasing amount of military forces massing along Russia’s western borders. Medvedev warned of “a serious conflict potential” that “requires the quality modernization of our Armed Forces and acquisition of a new advanced appearance by them.”
Though they easily overpowered the much smaller Georgian military in a brief war last August, analysts say the war underscored the Russian military’s obsolete, mostly Soviet-era equipment and lack of airborne surveillance. The Russian economy has been reeling from the major drop in the price of oil, however, making the challenge of paying for the modernization a significant one.