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How Much Does Russia Really Spend on Its Army?

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Russia has reported to the UN on its military expenditures in 2015, which reached 2.9 trillion rubles (about US $43.5 billion). The expenses on the various branches of the Armed Forces have been revealed: the Navy forces had the most expensive cost, while the Aerospace Forces showed the greatest increase.

How Much Does Russia Really Spend on Its Army?

Photo: AFP 2016 / Kirill Zykov

Russia, unnoticed by the general public, reported to the United Nations on its military expenditure in 2015, the year of the Syrian campaign and the confrontation with NATO. According to reports, provided to the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) with a three-month delay, Russia has spent 2.9 trillion rubles (about US $43.5 billion) on military purposes in 2015, which is almost one trillion (or 48%) more than in 2014. The presented to the world community figure roughly corresponds to the country’s appropriations for the budget section ‘National Defense’, executed in 2015 (3.18 trillion rubles or about US $47.6 billion). In 2014, the difference between the data for the UN and the budget execution data was larger – about 500 billion rubles (US $7.5 billion).

Russia’s reports to the UN sheds light on how much the state spends on its defense in the context of the branches of the armed forces. The Navy was the most expensive branch of the Russian Armed Forces in 2015 – the government spent on it 700.3 billion rubles or US $10.5 billion (an increase of 38.6% in nominal terms relative to 2014). At the same time, the cost of the Russian Air Force, which have been enlarged and transformed in the Aerospace Force in mid-2015, showed the most significant increase by 66% up to 662.4 billion rubles (about US $9.9 billion). It was the first time, when the budget the Russian Air Force exceeded the cost of the ground forces. This may be connected with the military operation in Syria, or just be a consequence of combining the Air Force and the Aerospace Defense Forces.

Nearly 1 trillion rubles fell into the category of ‘Other’ (other types of the armed forces). This means that one third of all declared military expenditures accounts for other unnamed structures. According to the UN standard, states may include to this column the costs of the paramilitary forces capable of conducting military operations.

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Wow, if the Ruble exchange rate was in 2014 levels, this would be over $90B. Russia really is expanding its military capabilities. Of course there are costs.

Eventually, after modernization course will be reduced as increased amount of newer machinery have entered the Russian forces. Meaning next procurement (SAP) program will be much less thus dropping overall budget of the armed forces.


90-100 billion spent effectively is close to 200-250 billion US budget. The initial stage of the rearmament ending in 2020 will modernize Russian armed forces up to 70% level. After 2020 Russia will increase naval procurements including the Lidder heavy destroyer platform and helicopter and aircraft carriers, and a varietety of new generation submarines. Also hypersonic glide vehicles armed with nuclear and conventional will be on the procurement agenda along with increased numbers of armored vehicles and aircraft. Strategic nuclear triad will be modernized with the introduction of newly built T162 along with possible hypersonic bomber, Sarmat and a new SLBM eventually replacing the newly deployed Bulava.


Make no mistake: Killary WILL be elected…. and the first (the only) thing she’ll do is to escalate conflicts in both Syria and Ukraine. Russia must be ready, i predict a new full scale ukrainian offensive, no-fly zone in syria, US openly arming terrorists and fantics in both countries, more propaganda, more sanctions, more money for ‘opposition’ in RUssia, russian presdiential elections are in 2018. and if all of that fail, then i don’t exclude a full scale nato aggresion against Russia.
Conventional weapons are important, but Russia must focus on nuclear weapons, that’s the only thing that can prevent NATO invasion.



How do they propose to get the funding to the opposition in Russia? And how do they expect to gain anyone in the opposition when they are too pathetically small? The whole purpose of the national guard in the first place to prevent this.

They will attempt to escalate stuff, but it wont work for them. Neither is some kind of conflict, because I imagine the people/military will turn on their overlords before being vaporized.

chris chuba

One thing you have going for you is the coolest, most strategic leader in the world today. I know that Putin’s passivity must be frustrating but there is value in playing the cards you have at the right time.

For example, he pretty much let Turkey hang themselves on their own rope. Even though Erdogan is a vicious Islamist, he can’t use his military anymore to help his fellow travelers in Syria and he realizes that the ISIS bomb might explode in his face.

If Hillary starts throwing $1M Tomahawk cruise missiles at Syria, what will Putin do, shoot them down with S400’s? You tell me, morally he would be 100% right but crazy Hillary would then try to impose a naval blockade, then what?

I am very worried that there will be a conflict if that evil Hillary Clinton gets elected.


After blockade can Syria nad Russia form 1 country. And the american dreams will be finished.

chris chuba

First Hillary and the Neocons have their JFK fantasy because half of them think it’s 1962 anyway. Personally, I don’t think Putin would get into a naval battle, I just don’t see it.

Since the S400’s are already installed, all the Syrians need are just a resupply of missiles anyway, so perhaps the Russians can do that via air bridge with Iranian and Iraqi air space. I think that Putin would make a stand there.

Hopefully Syria will be stabilized to such an extent by next January that even a Hillary/Breedlove combo would not dare interfere. Trump is George Washington compared to her. Most Americans don’t realize how dangerous she really is.


Crazy Hillary will quickly find out American casualties are going to increase incrementally as her craziness unfolds. Naval assets in the Meditaranean cannot impose a blockade against the Russians in Syria, US naval assets, including carriers are going to get hurt, trying to implement Hillary’s moronic mind set . BTW the Russians do not have to use S400 against Tomahawks, they can jam or use shorter range SAMs to neutralize them. They will save the the S400 for the stealth toys that somehow do not have the gumption to come close to Syria.

Jacek Wolski

I’m planning on going to Russia for the World Cup 2018. I hope there is no invasion by Nato as this would ruin my vacation. What a ‘toxic’ holiday that would be ?


I just came back from Moscow, they’re doing a lot of work getting the city ready for the world cup. It should be really nice by then. Also don’t let anyone discourage you from going for ‘security reasons’ – I went solo with only a tiny understanding of Russian and I was fine.


How does your scenario going to develop if Trump is elected? As far as NATO invading Russia, present day NATO pales the Werchmat that invaded Russia in 1941. German staff was far more capable and disciplined than anything present day NATO has to offer.

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