Russia cannot mass produce any of its vaunted superweapons: Not the Su-57 “stealth fighter,” not the T-14 Armata “super tank,” not the RS-28 Sarmat super-ICBM, and none of the long line of vaporware advanced weapons systems that Putin boasts of. Russia has fallen far behind in the space race, the tech race, and the weapons race.
Russia’s annual defense budget tends to hover at around $60 billion, which places them on fairly equal footing with nations like the UK, despite maintaining a force that is significantly larger than that of its spending peers. As a result, Russia has been forced to make hard decisions regarding the allocation of its meager budget—sacrificing the capabilities of its surface fleet at times to bolster spending on new submarines and limiting orders of technologically advanced platforms like the T-14 Armata main battle tank and Su-57 stealth fighter to little more than “token” numbers, as a few examples. __ A Pretense of Strength
As Putin gradually expands his creeping invasion of Ukraine that was begun in 2014, Russia struggles with a demographic collapse, a long-term economic crisis, and the inability to build the high tech infrastructure to support Putin’s “weapons envy” directed toward the west.
Russia continues to develop these systems, despite the inability to fund their mass production, in part because merely having a military capability is often enough to get your name mentioned in the media alongside more formidable opponents like the U.S. or China. Russia’s troubled stealth fighter, the Su-57, serves as a good example of how Russia develops “capabilities,” that aren’t practical in a fight, but do garner headlines. __ Potemkin Russia
Russia has one of the lowest fertility rates in the world of 1.58 births per woman, which is also below the replacement rate of 2.1 births per woman. Russia also has one of the oldest populations in the world with an average age of 40.3 years. Further contributing to Russia’s population decline is a low level of immigration.
While projections into the future of Russia are very difficult, it’s estimated that Russia will fall from the 9th most populous country to 17th by 2050.Russia 2022
Russia is losing its people of working age and military age. It is losing its qualified engineers and its brighter scientists and technologists. Russia is losing its future.
In the long run, Russia is dead — just like Putin. For the Russian thug’s gamble to work, it must work quickly. The Russian economy is not in great shape, and the Russian people do not feel the same affection for Putin that they may have felt 20 years ago. Putin has hurt Russia too often, for the sake of his own power, profit, and personal pride.
Putin is gratified with the weak response of US president* Joe
Brandon Biden to his creeping aggression against Russia’s peaceful neighbor Ukraine. But Putin cannot count on Biden’s tacit complicity forever. In the US, the political landscape can change very quickly. Biden is a senile placeholder. It is the actual puppetmasters behind the puppet who are calling the shots. And today’s US puppetmasters are rapidly losing popularity.
Why China Will Retake Siberia
China is biding its time, pretending to be Russia’s ally. When the time seems right, China will make its move to take the land it believes is rightfully hers. While Putin’s attention is directed toward a failed gambit to its western flank, may be an opportunity.
“A land without people for a people without land.” At the turn of the 20th century, that slogan promoted Jewish migration to Palestine. It could be recycled today, justifying a Chinese takeover of Siberia. Of course, Russia’s Asian hinterland isn’t really empty (and neither was Palestine). But Siberia is as resource-rich and people-poor as China is the opposite. The weight of that logic scares the Kremlin.Why China Will Reclaim Siberia NYT
The logic for a Chinese takeover of Siberia is the exact mirror reflection of the logic for a Russian takeover of the peaceful and independent nation of Ukraine.
Putin’s blind trust in China may be his undoing.