This November was the month when Russia, with statements made by both President Vladimir Putin and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Sergei Ivanov focussed on the military, ranging from army morale improvement to strategic missile acquisition.
"Russia's Army and Navy have recovered from post Soviet underfunding and poor morale and are now ready to modernize," said Putin on November 16, as reported by Reuters News Service.
The Kremlin has poured time and money into reforming its conscription based military, one of the biggest in the world, whose image has been tarnished by sinking submarines, bullying in the ranks and begging in the streets for extra money, said Reuters.
"The period of patching together and basic survival is finished. The Army and Navy have increased strength and self-confidence," Putin was quoted by Russian news agencies at a meeting with leaders of the armed forces. He added, "Russia will be strong and modern."
Putin said he had earmarked an extra $188 billion for military spending, 80% of which will be for upgrading equipment.
RIA-Novosti (Russian News Service) quoted Ivanov as saying that Russia will buy 17 intercontinental ballistic missiles in 2007.
"We must meet schedules to create new strategic weapons to secure a balance of forces in the world. This means that we will not indulge in comparing the quantitative data of our strategic nuclear deterrent forces like we used to do earlier," said Putin.
"As of January 1, 2006, Russia possessed 927 nuclear delivery vehicles and 4,279 nuclear warheads strategic offensive weapons," said Nikolai Artyukhin, head of the Defense Ministry's department for compliance control.
We must also remember these numbers are from the Russians and their math wasn't all that good.
Post Soviet military doldrums over (1)