Russia: February 5, 2002


Russia had no response to the American announcement that it's defense budget would rise to $379 billion. This is some 40 percent of all defense spending on the planet and more than the defense budgets of the other nine on a global top ten list of defense spending. Russia's defense budget is only $9.5 billion and, despite a growing economy (up five percent last year), it's unlikely Russia will be able to increase military spending. The Soviet Union went broke trying to match US defense spending during the Cold War, and was never able to increase their defense spending to more than half of America's. In Tartarstan, two Russian paratroopers deserted from their unit and went on a rampage that left them, five policemen and four civilians dead before being cornered and killed. The unit the paratroopers came from was being investigated for corruption. 


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