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Is the Russian bear still half asleep? Experts question army’s ...


Is the Russian bear still half asleep? Experts question army’s prowess

Reports of poor morale and organisation as Russian troops get bogged down in Ukraine, echoing past weaknesses

Marc Champion

The Russian army’s unexpected struggles in Ukraine are prompting calls for a fresh look at widely shared assumptions about the effectiveness of President Vladimir Putin’s military machine.

Putin spent well over a decade modernising a conscript-based military that proved wanting in Chechnya during the 1990s and Georgia in 2008. Its first test in a large-scale conflict since the end of the Cold War has raised questions about what that boom in spending achieved.

Russian forces have been bogged down for weeks in parts of Ukraine and have failed to take control of key cities. While it is too early and data are too sparse to draw conclusions, that’s raising many questions, including over the high-end equipment it has not yet deployed in Ukraine. ..

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