Putin refuses to accept Ukraine as a legitimate, independent country. And since non-legitimate, non-independent states cannot possibly muster legitimate, independent armed forces, Ukraine was low-hanging fruit for Russian expansion.
Under those conditions, Russian forces invaded Ukraine under the assumption that Kyiv would fall 72 hours after Russian forces crossed the border. Almost two years later, Vlad’s amateurish army cannot hold so much as a regional capital.
Nevertheless, the Russians are doubling down.
- The country’s latest budget, passed on October 26th, will increase defense spending by 70%.
- Military spending will have grown 3x between 2021 and 2024.
- Military spending will be three times higher than spending on education, health care, and the environment combined.
- Military spending will account for 6% of GDP (the US spends ~3% of GDP on defense).