Putin has not been sitting on his hands when it comes to re-arming the Motherland.More here.
With tensions rising again between Russia and Ukraine, there are fears of a renewed upsurge in the fighting.The Russians have deployed advanced weapons systems that are causing NATO commanders a great deal of concern. These are not proposed systems. These are systems that were used in the Crimea and Ukraine incursions.
Russia-watchers in the West are monitoring events carefully, not just in terms of the day-to-day crisis, but because Russia's military is worth watching.
Moscow's military's performance in Ukraine has provided a foretaste of a new kind of warfare; eastern Ukraine has provided a laboratory for ground combat in the 21st Century.
- The use of drones to provide targeting information.
- New, long-range air defenses.
- Anti-access and area denial systems.
- Communications jamming.
But perhaps the most worrying element of Russia's new approach is what has been broadly termed "hybrid warfare" - a mix of semi-clandestine operations; propaganda and information warfare; computer hacking and so on.
This was seen in its seizure of Crimea with troops in unmarked uniforms (the so-called "little green men"); the closing down of independent news sources and so on.
What is fascinating from the Russian literature is the priority that Moscow gives to the whole cyber-domain, ranging from large-scale hacking to even the trolling of Western service personnel using their Facebook and Twitter accounts.