The only Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov on its way to the Mediterranean to participate in Putin's Syrian campaign to crush anti-Assad rebel forces in Aleppo, Syria in October 2016 (Image: social media)
Last year, the Russian defense ministry has taken eight billion rubles (120 million US dollars) out of its weapons procurement budget to pay for past due bills for housing and communal services, and this year, it has taken 21 billion rubles (350 million US dollars) to do the same thing, according to an RBC investigation.
This debt, according to RBC’s Vyacheslav Kozlov and Dmitry Serkov, was built up during the time of the previous defense minister, has been confirmed by open sources, and is being retired and reduced (by returning some unused housing property to its original owners), so as to minimize its impact on spending plans.
While the impact of such spending on weapons acquisitions is relatively small – Moscow is spending more than 1.4 trillion rubles (23 billion US dollars) on those this year – it is nonetheless significant both that the housing and communal services sectors have this much clout and that the defense ministry is solving its housekeeping problems this way.
- Russian military convoys are the lifeblood of the occupation of Donbas
- Russian military’s spring draft shaped by demography and economics
- Three signs Russian military and its political bosses are in trouble
- The 75 Russian military units at war in Ukraine
- Ten types of Russian weapons didn’t work well in Syria, the Russian defense minister says
- Russian Defense Ministry creating a “Youth Army”
- Ethnic clashes replacing ‘dedovshchina’ abuse in Russian military units, Moscow paper says