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Russia: Key facts
Modest reform

After a rapid decline in the early 1990s - when its weaknesses were exposed by the disastrous first Chechen war and the loss of the Kursk - Russia's military has recovered some of its old prestige at home. But new prosperity has had a modest impact on defence.

National security still largely depends on nuclear forces. A new intercontinental missile, the Topol-M, was deployed in 1997.

There are plans for a contract-based (professional) military, but conscription still accounts for many personnel.

Despite increases in procurement and ambitious designs like the fifth-generation fighter jet project, the defence industry relies heavily on exports.

The conventional military largely has to make do with Cold War-era weapons while new hardware, like the Ka-50 attack helicopter, enters service at a trickle.

Graphs showing military strenth of Russia



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