Russian President Vladimir Putin is driven by a myopic vision of restoring his country’s erstwhile glory and consumed with a sense of personal pique that prompts him to attempt to build a resurgent Russia. But this edifice is being built on a base of sand. By most measures of national power, Russia is an extraordinarily weak nation. Its economy is reliant on extractive industries, primarily gas and oil, and on arms exports. Its dependence on foreign technology grows almost daily. Russia’s demographic situation is nothing short of a catastrophe. Even the Russian military is not what a great power requires. Russia is a military power primarily because of its large arsenal of nuclear weapons. I have written more about this for RealClearDefense here.
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