War in Ukraine
“We have no funding restrictions,” Russia’s President Vladimir Putin told a gathering of military top brass in December. “The country, the government will provide whatever the army asks for.” Eighteen months into his war in Ukraine, Putin seems to be keeping that promise. But he’s doing it increasingly at the expense of another, unspoken, compact with the Russian people: to maintain economic stability at home. ... Richard Connolly, a specialist on the Russian economy at the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies, also suggests that military spending this year will far exceed $100 billion. He said that before the war Russia would typically splash around 3-4% of its annual gross domestic product on defence but now it could be anywhere between 8% and 10%.