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Russia's Military Revival



Russia's Military Revival

Bettina Renz

ISBN: 978-1-509-51614-8 May 2018 Polity 240 Pages

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Russian annexation of Crimea and the subsequent air campaign over Syria took the world by surprise. The capabilities and efficiency of Moscow’s armed forces during both operations signalled to the world that Russia was back in business as a significant military actor on the international stage.

In this cutting-edge study, Bettina Renz provides an in-depth and comprehensive analysis of Russia’s military revival under Putin’s leadership. Whilst the West must adjust to the reality of a modernised and increasingly powerful Russian military, she argues that the renaissance of Russian military might and its implications for the balance of global power can only be fully understood within a wider historical context. Assessing developments in Russian Great Power thinking, military capabilities, Russian strategic thought and views on the use of force throughout the post-Soviet era, the book shows that, rather than signifying a sudden Russian military resurgence, recent developments are consistent with longstanding trends in Russian military strategy and foreign policy.

  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1: Russian foreign policy and military power
  • Chapter 2: Reforming the military
  • Chapter 3: Russia’s ‘other’ armed forces: the force structures
  • Chapter 4: Russian uses of military power since 1991
  • Chapter 5: Russian military thinking and ‘hybrid warfare’
  • Conclusion
  • Bibliography
"Putin's determination to restore Russian military prowess and his use of force cannot be understood just as a challenge to Western states. Renz's multi-layered scholarly analysis provides the strategic context to soberly assess the changing role and prospects for Russia’s new military forces."
Roy Allison, St. Antony's College, Oxford.

‘This is a rare book whose author seeks to genuinely understand where Russia is coming from as it rebuilds its military power. It should be read by anyone wanting to get beyond the black-and-white picture of the West’s relations with Russia.’
Dmitri Trenin, Carnegie Moscow Center.

"[A] well-written and cogently argued book."
Changing Character of War Centre

“An important book for anyone interested in or concerned with Russia as a military adversary, or indeed as a counterpart. Analysts and journalists will find something new, and for any military officer who might have to deal with Russia on a more adversarial basis, this must be seen as essential reading.”
Frank Ledwidge, The RUSI Journal

‘Renz’s work is readable, useful, and thought-provoking. She has done us a favor by deflating a bit the idea that Russians are ten feet tall again. This book is a solid, practical work on recent Russian military history and well worth the reading.’
The Journal of Military History 

‘an ideal introduction to the modern Russian military, written by an expert in Russian military reform, Bettina Renz… Renz is no apologist for Russia’s behavior, yet she does an admirable job demonstrating the strategic problems Russia seeks to solve and how the Russian military addresses the country’s problems.’
Air University Press 

‘concise but thorough and wide-ranging…it is recommended reading for those coming to terms with Moscow’s role on the international stage.’ 

“well-researched and clearly articulated… The military academies of the West would do well to put this book in their libraries.”
Political Science Quarterly