Russia needs a one million man army. That level of manpower is excessive for dealing with local and regional conflicts, while more serious conflicts with NATO or China can be deterred with nuclear weapons.
This summer, the VDV will receive the first cohort of sergeants graduating from the three year training program in Riazan that is designed to train sergeants to command troops. This sounds great, but the Russian military will need a lot more of these sergeants before there will be much effect on overall discipline in the force.
The current contract portfolio of Russian arms exporters is worth about $46 billion. Annual exports total $15 billion, and this will ensure uninterrupted deliveries for the next three years, even in the worst-case scenario. The list of the main buyers of Russian weapons is unlikely to change drastically.
Why did Russian officials choose to make Fogle’s case so public and then insist that it was unlikely to affect U.S.-Russia relations? The official explanation for this is that Moscow had already asked the United States to stop trying to recruit its intelligence officers—which seems like a silly and unrealistic request, since Russian agencies seem unlikely to halt similar steps in the United States—and that officials were frustrated after handling a similar case quietly earlier this year.
In light of the present situation in the Middle East, Russia and Israel find themselves facing common challenges. Under these newly emerging situations, Russia sees its partnership with Israel as a potential asset in resolving acute regional issues. From a Russian perspective, the compatibility of Israeli and Russian interests could contribute to such a partnership.