One week ago, RAF jets were scrambled to intercept two Russian Tu95 “Bear” strategic bombers heading awfully close to Scottish airspace.
Around two weeks ago, Putin tested a deadly missile, which was launched from a sub in the White Sea. It entered the stratosphere before hitting its target precisely nearly 3,800 miles away in the Russian Far East. This missile is so fast that that no current defense system could detect, (let alone intercept) it in time.
In 2001, Russia had a defense budget of fewer than 150 billion roubles, now it has increased six fold to over 850 billion.
Russia is once again engaging in some good old-fashioned saber rattling. A cold war mindset is returning as are elements of autocratic rule. Fraser Nelson argues that whilst the current military build-up is case for concern, like North Korea the real danger emanates from the nations inherent weaknesses including very high rates of HIV infection, drug abuse, and a falling population.
Now that Russia is enjoying a steady stream of petro-gas dollars, the confidence to confront is returning. Like a bear returning from a long sleep after nearly two long decades, no doubt we can expect more stiff rhetoric after the long hibernation.
We can speculate endlessly, but with Putin outwardly pointing Russia on an increasingly nationalist course coupled with significant military spending we can only be suspicious especially since Sergei Ivanov, the architect of the new Russian military being set to replace Putin early next year.
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