CIS Armies intend to create a joint framework on the maintenance and repair of weapons and military equipment, Deputy Defense Minister of the Russian Federation Army General Dmitry Bulgakov announced on Thursday at a meeting of the Military Technical Committee under the Council of CIS Defense Ministers.
The meeting took place at the backdrop of a rapidly changing military-political situation. According to the deputy minister, its instability is characterized by the emergence of centres of tension in various parts of the planet and the support by shadow sponsors of international terrorist organizations.
The deputy head of the military department noted that all these factors are a direct threat to state sovereignty and security of the Commonwealth states and CIS Armies.
General Dmitry Bulgakov said, “The presence of a significant amount of the same type of armament and military equipment that the armies of the CIS member states are equipped with and the need for their repair predetermine wide opportunities for establishing mutually beneficial ties between the ministries of defence and specialized enterprises of the Commonwealth states. In accordance with the decision of the committee, they will be determined in the near future and the directions and forms of interaction on the maintenance and repair of weapons and military equipment were worked out in detail”.
“The heads of our states determined that the strategic line of military cooperation is the strengthening of the national armed forces. And on this basis, joint security. This joint work has been ongoing for more than a year, and today, in the interests of fulfilling these tasks, field training is not only carried out systematically, and military-vocational training, but also new forms of cooperation are being tested, “he added.
Defence Insight Analysis
At the height of Soviet military strength in 1985-1986, USSR’s active forces counted about 4.9 million personnel and about another 1 million belonged to the Organization of the Warsaw Treaty.
Following the collapse of the USSR at the end of 1991, severe budgetary issues in Russia— which inherited the majority of former Soviet military forces— precipitated deep cuts in troop numbers and arms acquisition. Although the economy of Russia improved in the 2000s, allowing for higher spending on defence, the military continued to resist reforms to its mission and organisation.
Given the significant decrease in the size of the armed forces, the Russian army remains the fifth largest in the world in terms of active personnel — officially 1 million in 2011—only exceeded by military forces in China, India, North Korea, and the US.
Although Russian spending on defence has also fallen sharply, it is still one of the highest in the world.
Because of the lessened capabilities of its conventional forces, Russia has relied on nuclear forces as a deterrent to conventional or nuclear attack and as a means of response to an attack.
Russia has undertaken several efforts to revamp the armed forces it inherited from the USSR times. For example, in 2007, near the end of then-President Vladimir Putin’s second term in office, he appointed Anatoliy Serdyukov—the former head of the Federal Tax Service—as defence minister as part of an effort to combat corruption in the military and carry out reforms.
In 2008, after Russia-Georgia conflict revealed large-scale Russian military operational failures, the leadership became more determined to boost military capabilities, and a new wave of reforms was launched in September-October 2008.
A major question about the military reforms introduced in 2008 is whether they are designed to replicate or approach the capabilities of a Soviet-era “superpower” military with a global reach that threatens U.S. interests or to build smaller, trained, armed forces for home security and counter-terrorism missions.