For the Pentagon, Russian military power remains very important, especially in the submarine field

For many specialists in military matters, the losses suffered by Russian military power in Ukraine, whether of men or material, will have considerably eroded the potential harm and threat that Russia can pose to its neighbours, and in particular on NATO, apart from strategic and nuclear capabilities that everyone agrees to recognize that they remain a major threat.

The fact is, with nearly 200.000 killed, wounded, taken prisoner or missing, and some 10.000 pieces of major equipment, including 2000 tanks, 3 armored fighting vehicles and almost a thousand pieces of artillery of various types destroyed, abandoned or captured, the means available today to the Army, the paratroop forces and the Russian National Guard have indeed been considerably reduced. The country's industrial production, in this area, does not seem to be able to compensate for the monthly losses recorded on the front.

As can be seen in the French, but also British and Italian military programming, the emphasis is of course not placed for the years to come on the recapitalization of the land forces, which have been heavily weakened by three decades of under-investment. This despite the fact that the rebuilding potential of Russian forces, once the conflict with Ukraine is over, appears far superior to the way it seems to be viewed in Europe, or at least in Western Europe.

But if the land forces will take, whatever the case, nearly a decade to reconstitute their potential, the other Russian armies, on the other hand, retain the vast majority of the means at their disposal before the conflict.

This is particularly the case of the air forces, whose actual losses, in terms of fighters and bombers, in Ukraine do not even represent 10% of the fleet. The same is true of the naval forces which, despite the spectacular loss of the cruiser Moskva, still field a very large fleet with increasing performance and capabilities.

Finally, hybrid warfare capabilities, whether cyber, spatial, electronic or psychological, the effectiveness of which can be seen in Africa in particular, are also intact and significant.

Russian military power has been eroded by the war in Ukraine
Russian losses in Ukraine have greatly reduced the country's potential for conventional ground aggression for several years

There is an area, in addition to strategic capabilities, which worries NATO and the American General Staff in particular. Indeed, the Russian submarine fleet, which has known an impressive revival for ten years, would represent today, according to General Christopher Cavoli, commander of American forces in Europe and Africa, a major threat to European countries and to the Atlantic Alliance.

According to the American officer, the Russian submarine forces indeed support a very important activity in the North Atlantic and without common measure with what it was only a few years ago. Comments echoed by the American Under-Secretary for National Security Affairs, Celeste Wallander, for whom there is no question today of underestimating the Russian military potential, the consequences of such an error being simply catastrophic.

Indeed, the Russian submarine forces of 2023 no longer have much to do with what they were in 2009, when the Russian Navy did not even manage to ensure the permanence at sea of ​​its submarine deterrence component.

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  1. Russian demography is characterized by a low birth rate and declining life expectancy, particularly for men.
    Who will operate all this new and impressive hardware?
    The lack of human resources does not concern only the western camp
    In the same way, Chinese demography is devastated
    This inevitably has an impact on the extent of the threat at least in the medium term.

    • Indeed, Russian demography is a real medium-term problem for the country, especially since between the losses recorded in Ukraine and the departure of nearly a million young Russian men to avoid mobilization, it does not help not things.
      The Chinese are a little different, they have 20 million men between the ages of 20 and 40 supernumerary with respect to women.
      Besides, the Russian authorities have launched a kind of Tinder Russian woman / Chinese man. But I doubt that will fix things.
      However, we can clearly see that the Russian political and strategic leadership today has a 5/10 year vision, not beyond. And for the time being, they are not lacking in men.

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