15 February 2018
BEARing back: Russia's military power in the Indo-Asia-Pacific under Vladimir Putin
By Alexey D Muraviev
Current perceptions of Russia as a power factor in the Indo-Asia–Pacific (IndAsPac) geopolitical system are very much influenced by established post-Cold War assumptions that Moscow is no longer able to influence the regional geostrategic landscape because of its reduced military power and limited economic engagement with the region, and thus should be disregarded as a player worth considering and factoring into any strategic calculus.
In the 2000s, the Russian military began gradually rebuilding its fallen combat potential. Under President Vladimir Putin’s leadership, the once cash-strapped national military machine received a massive financial boost and, more importantly, full political support, which remains unchanged to date. Qualitative upgrades of Russian modern military power, while visible, remain neglected by the Western strategic and defence community.