ANSWERS: RUSSIA IS NOT A NUCLEAR THREAT
PUTIN WANTS TO MOVE AHEAD WITH DEEP CUTS IN NUCLEAR FORCES
The Toronto Star February 7, 2000, HEADLINE: MOSCOW'S NUCLEAR OFFER // ACS-LN-02-10-00
Putin said he'll push the new Russian parliament to ratify the START 2 agreement, signed in 1993 but languishing since then.
It will cut the number of warheads on each side to below 3,500 from 6,500 today for the U.S. and 5,500 for Russia. That's good news. It means that a START 3 agreement to get the warheads to 2,000 or even lower on each side, just may be within reach.
RUSSIA CANNOT AFFORD TO ENGAGE IN A NEW NUCLEAR ARMS RACE
David Hoffman in Moscow The Guardian (London), October 27, 1999, SECTION: Guardian Foreign Pages; Pg. 17 HEADLINE: Russians threaten new nuclear arms race // ln-acs-11-11-99
But there are big obstacles to any Russian attempt to expand its nuclear arsenal. Prolonging the life of existing missiles could be costly. Many of them have already passed said on Friday that Russia had 'every technical means' to proceed if the US pulled out of the ABM treaty, but did not have the funding.
RUSSIAN MILITARY WILL SOON BE INSUFFICIENT TO DEFEND ITSELF, SO RUSSIA MUST BE DEFENDED BY OTHERS
JOHN STEINBRUNER and CLIFFORD GADDY, Brookings Institution's foreign policy studies program, Los Angeles Times, May 3, 1998, Part M; Page 5; HEADLINE: THE BEAR HAS LOST ITS ROAR // acs-VT99
In reality, Russia can probably afford a military of no more than 400,000 personnel. But at that level, it could not possibly perform traditional missions against the opposition of any major military establishment. Because Russia cannot guarantee its own security in the form of a traditional security establishment, in effect, the outside world is going to have to guarantee Russia's security for it. At present, neither Russia nor the rest of the world seems close to accepting this unavoidable implication.
RUSSIA'S CONVENTIONAL FORCES ARE IN SHAMBLES AND CORRUPTION IS RUNNING DEEP
Greg Myre, January 21, 1998 [AAP NEWSFEED. HEADLINE: CIS: YELTSIN SAYS MILITARY NOW SUPPORTS HIS REFORM CAMPAIGN\\jan]VT99
The once-proud military has been in sharp decline since the Soviet break-up, and there's broad aareement that it needs new direction in the post-Cold War world. But there's been no consensus on what the new Russian military should look like. At present, many officers live in tents because there isn't enough housing The conscripted troops come mostly from the ranks of the poor and ill-educated, while youths who are better off find ways to avoid the draft. Corruption is rife, with about 30 generals and admirals currently facing criminal charges. All these factors contributed to the humiliating, defeat at the hands of Chechen rebels in the 1994-6 war for control of the southern territory.
RUSSIA POSES NO SERIOUS MILITARY THREAT IN THE FORSEEABLE FUTURE
Richard Norton-Taylor February 8, 2001 The Guardian (London) SECTION: Guardian Home Pages, Pg. 3 HEADLINE: Bleak new world, as seen by the MoD: Drought, disease and social unrest - the face of future conflict //VT2002acsln
Russia, meanwhile, poses no conventional military threat, says the MoD, which goes out of the way to recognise Moscow's concerns, in particular the spread of Islamic fundamentalism and instability at Russia's borders.