Home / Articles / Back to the Future? Prospects for Russia’s Military Industrial Revival
Vitaly Shlykov, deputy chairman of the Russian Defense Council under President Boris Yeltsin, declared in 2001 that despite the strong economic growth spurt reported by Goskomstat, the Russian statistical agency, in the last two years, the deficiencies of Russia’s post–Soviet economic system preclude the construction of an adequate long-term defense. Apparently, he does not believe that Vladimir Putin’s economic mini‑miracle is either real or sustainable, and he has no faith in the government’s ability to fundamentally reform Russia’s broken economic mechanism. Yet he is equally certain that the Soviet Union’s past version of guns and butter, pushek i masla (guns and crude consumer goods), enabled it to easily maintain standing armed forces vastly superior to America’s and that a new version of it could be applied in a liberalized variant to restore Russia’s great power, a development he strongly opposes.