(WSJ) MOSCOW—Russia’s economic crisis is forcing President Vladimir Putin to quietly scale back plans to build an “indomitable” military, even as Moscow readies one of the largest-ever displays of its might on Red Square this weekend.
When Mr. Putin promised to spend more than 20 trillion rubles to modernize the military in late 2010—some $650 billion at the time—some senior officials questioned whether Moscow could afford it. Now left with fewer petrodollars and grappling with Western sanctions, the Kremlin is being forced to cut spending and delay other defense plans.
The modernization project was aimed at replacing 70% of Russia’s armaments, much of which dates back to the Soviet era, with hundreds of modern tanks, guns, submarines and fighter jets. In turn, Russian military spending doubled between 2007 and 2013. […]
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