Russia: August 25, 2004


Russia is increasing spending for its national police and intelligence agencies. The defense budget is going up about 30 percent, not 40 percent as earlier proposed. Next years defense spending will be $18 billion, up from this year's nearly $14 billion. Getting firm numbers on defense spending is difficult, as the Russians still use a complicated budget system inherited from the Soviet period. This is done to hide actual defense spending. Although spending is going up, much of the additional money is going for the war in Chechnya, long overdue maintenance, and to deal with inflation of up to ten percent a year. To free up more money for new weapons and equipment, the armed forces will cut it's strength next year from 1.2 million to 1.1 million. While still relying on conscription, there are still plans to have an al; volunteer force by 2010.


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