Moscow, Russia–  Today, Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu proclaims the revival of Russia military might during a speech to lawmakers today. Showcasing the Syrian campaign as an example of its return to prominence. As, Vladimir Isachenov reports for The Associated Press from Moscow.

During his speech Shoigu spoke about the military achievements that have been accomplished under his watch as Russia’s Defense Minister for the past six years. Stating to lawmakers that Russia’s armed forces have turned into a highly mobile force capable of projecting power to distant areas.

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Russia’s Growing Arsenal

Continuing with his address to lawmakers Shoigu highlighted the additions to the Armed Forces arsenal during his six years as Minister. The Russian military has added 1,000 warplanes and helicopters, 3,700 tanks, 109 Intercontinental missiles, 108 submarine launched ICBM’s, and 10 brigades with state-of-the-art short range missile capabilities.

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Raise in the Ranks

Also, during this time the basic construction of the military has changed under Shoigu’s watch. The Russian military is standing at 1 million strong with 400,000 enlisted personnel amongst its ranks. Which is a big change Russia’s military manpower that in the past relied exclusively on the draft.

With this explosion of growth the military has been able to add 136 battalions of professional personnel to its ranks. Many of those battalions being created are combat or combat related units which allows for the Russian military to deploy quickly. Shoigu states every brigade or regiment in the Russian military now has two battalions of professional soldiers and one made up of draftees. The Defense minister added that the draftees aren’t sent into combat.

A Syrian Example

Shoigu uses Russia involvement in the Syrian conflict as an example of Russia revival of military power. That during the conflict in Syria the Russian military has been able to test its new weapons in combat, including shipborne and long-range cruise missiles.  He also noted the expansion of drones, laser guided artillery, and other precision weapons the army has been able to implement and test its combat effectiveness during the conflict.

Russia and the West

This news from Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on Russia’s revival of military power to Russian lawmakers will only serve to complicate the relationship with the Trump Administration. The ties with the Trump Administration and Russia have been turbulent at best during this time. With the recent withdrawal of the US from the 1987 INF treaty over alleged Russia violations, to which the Russian government denies. To the expanded presence of NATO on its Western allies borders, which Russia sees as a threat to its security. The War in Syria with Russia backing the Syrian government and supporting with Air Strikes. To the falling domino of Russia controversial annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula back in 2014. With all these events happening it only calls into question how the two countries will response next to each other. Will it be with fire or ice? We must watch and see how the on going diplomacy develops between the two powers.

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