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 was followed by 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, reformed Russian military. What does Russia’s performance in Syria tell us about the advances that have been made? What specific capabilities has Russia acquired? Which branches of the armed services have benefited the most from reforms and procurement, and where has progress lagged? Can Syria tell us which reforms have been more or less successful? And what does all of this mean for Russia’s strategic balance with NATO? Anton Lavrov, visiting fellow with the Russia and Eurasia Program, will present his assessment of Syria as a scorecard for the Russian military and its reforms.
This event is made possible by the generous support of Carnegie Corporation of New York.