The Christian Science Monitor

Specter of new arms race has Russia recalling Soviets’ fate

Most Russian schoolchildren hold as true that the Soviet Union collapsed in part because it was foolish enough to engage in a vast global competition with the United States. Key to that competition, they know, was a ruinous arms race that diverted resources from the civilian economy and ultimately bankrupted the country.

The truth may be a bit more complicated. But the need to avoid a fresh arms race with the US, even amid renewed geopolitical tensions, has been a staple of Russian discourse for years. Vladimir Putin has said so over and over again.

Despite a decade-long crash program to reform and reequip Russia’s moribund Soviet-era armed forces, Russian military budgets are actually declining once again. The Kremlin's financial priorities today, it insists, are to modernize national infrastructure and apply resources to meet public needs.

But lately

Back to the USSR?Not the old Russian military‘A different world’

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