Russian Military Reforms from Georgia to Syria
Russia’s five day war with Georgia in 2008 was victorious, but brought to light a number of inadequacies in Russia’s military forces and capabilities. As a result, the conflict spurred sweeping reforms and a streak of big-budget military procurements. Since 2015, Russian operations in Syria have served as a public testing ground for the resulting, new and improved Russian military. And, indeed, Russia’s performance in Syria serves as a useful lens to understand what advances that have been made and capabilities acquired. Using Syria as a scorecard, Anton Lavrov’s new report takes a sector-by-sector, service-by-service look at what has and has not changed for Russia’s armed forces over the last decade, and assesses the implications for the strategic balance between Russia and its possible adversaries.
Anton Lavrov was a visiting fellow with the Russia and Eurasia Program at CSIS.
This report is made possible by the generous support of Carnegie Corporation of New York.