Podcast: Is the Syrian war partly an ad for Russia’s arms industry?

February 18, 2016

Russia has gone to great pains to display its refurbished and modern weaponry the last few years. First in Georgia, then in Ukraine and now in Syria. Pundits, journalists and bloggers have marveled at how far Moscow’s military has come after the decade of decay following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

But just how strong is Russia’s military? Are the new tanks, land-based drones, stealth fighters and fancy missiles as effective as Moscow wants the world to believe? How has the conflict in Ukraine and the collapsing price of oil affected its modernization efforts?

This week on War College we talk with Nick de Larrinaga of IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly. De Larrinaga is an expert on European and Russian weapons systems and he walks us through the new hardware Moscow has rolled out on the battlefields of Syria and the challenges its army faces as it tries to catch up with the West.

PARTICIPANTS: Nick de Larringa, Jason Fields, Matthew Gault

Subscribe to the War College podcast on iTunes

Listen on SoundCloud

Previous, related episodes of War College:

How Garry Kasparov sees the chess match between Russia and the West

Vladimir Putin: 25 precent violence, 75 percent propaganda

Most of Russia’s military still ‘rubbish’ despite Ukraine, Syria deployments


We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/

What about American Arms Sales. The American Military Industrial Complex
dominates American economy and America itself just like the Russian.

Posted by pharoah | Report as abusive

U.S. and Russian companies in a race to see who can sell the most missiles and bombs to the Muslim Crazies.

And we wonder where refugees come from.

Posted by Solidar | Report as abusive

Its NUCLEAR not Nucular… some expert. :-)

Posted by Reykice | Report as abusive

The fact is with a mere $50B/yr budget, Russia is bringing successful closure to the conflicts that US starts but unable to contain even with a cumulative $1T/yr expense. Articles such as these seem to glorify the inefficiency/incompetency on our end.

Try to learn a thing or two from Russia and Israel, in their effectiveness in carrying operations rather feeling good about the glitter and glamour of our armor.

Posted by Mottjr | Report as abusive

The Russians seem to have their eyes on the ball, unlike the US. Compare the hideously expensive and complex F-35 to its adversarial fighters. It is a pig. The Russians seem to make weapons for defense, the US increasingly makes them to generate dividends and bonuses and donations.

Posted by ArghONaught | Report as abusive