MOSCOW, March 5 (RIA Novosti) – Russia's armed forces should expand to at least a million men in order for the country’s defenses to be effective, Kremlin chief of staff Sergei Ivanov said in an interview published on Tuesday.
“Fewer [people in the army] is already dangerous for the country. With all respect to Europe – we are not Luxembourg and not Belgium,” Ivanov, a former Defense Minister, told the Komsomolskaya Pravda tabloid daily.
“Russia has a different territory. Besides, we are a nuclear power,” he added.
According to State Duma data, Russia’s armed forces numbered around 800,000 people last year.
The Russian forces are in the midst of a major shake-up, including a huge reequipment program, a gradual transition to fully-volunteer armed services, and organizational changes, in a bid to create forces more suitable for future challenges and less like the legacy forces left over from the Soviet era.
Part of that transition has involved large cuts to the number of servicemen. Former Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov announced a plan in 2008 to cut the forces from 1.2 million to under 1 million, with the number of officers to be cut from 355,000 to 150,000. He later backtracked, and in March 2011 said President Medvedev had authorized officer numbers to rise to 220,000, according to a Congressional Research Service report.
Ivanov, who ran the ministry from 2001 to 2007, praised Serdyukov's successor, newly-appointed Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, saying he enjoys support of the military.
Ivanov also responded to criticism of failed tests of the Bulava submarine-launched ballistic missile.
“Every failed launch attracts criticism, which is often justified. But I’d like to remind you that the Soviet Union’s tests of the Sineva ballistic missile had more failed launches than Bulava,” Ivanov told the paper. Only 11 of 18 or 19 test launches of the troubled Bulava have been officially declared successful, according to Russian defense analysts.
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- xama226Serduykhov Destroyed the Army10:38, 06/03/2013Serduykhov made sure that not one division had modern weapons. Both human and material resources of the army are not adequate to fulfill the defence doctrine of russia. Russia can be invaded very easily. This would force the army to use nuclear weapons very early--- a choice the red army would not have to make.
- NikoProblem with Russia is...19:14, 06/03/2013That politicians, demagogs and people with profession and education of (economists, electric engineeres, sociologists, musicians, artists, painters and pop singers...) who don't understand the basics of modern military doctrine and military strategy of 21. century comment about this things.
Problem with this people is that they have their own opinion about absolutely everything !
1.) First and the most important thing in modern combat of 21. centurt is air supperiority. Your enemy can have much moore troops and equipment on ground than you have... but you can effectivly carpet bomb, napalm or cluster bomb him with your intercontinental strategic bombers, destroy his infrastructure and undermine his logistical and strategic centers. You can send cruisse missiles and long range artillery to destroy your enemy command centers and army battalions. You can completely destroy your enemy armor and mechanical divisions on ground simply by sending some JDAM's or satellite guided bombs to knock them down.
You must remember war in Falklands in 1982 where Argentine outnumbered British military forces by 20:1...but Britain captured and destroyed Argentinian military in just few days.
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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.