Russia in 2017 reduced military spending by 20%, which became the first decrease in allocations in almost two decades.
After "muscle flexing" in several countries, including Ukraine and Syria, Moscow is forced to reduce military spending, which threatens its future operations. The reasons for the move is a deep economic recession caused by a plunge in oil prices in 2014, as well as the impact of Western sanctions related to Russia's aggression in Ukraine, RFE/RL's Ukrainian bureau wrote, referring to a report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
It is noted that a sharp reduction in Russia's military spending occurred when military expenditure of other major powers, namely the United States, China and Saudi Arabia reached the peak in 2017 after the end of the Cold War. Therefore, Russia slid to the fourth position in the ranking, following Saudi Arabia.
The SIPRI analysts take into account only defense spending that has been declared officially. In the case of Russia, such data may be incorrect, since a large part of the expenditures may be incurred via structures as the so-called Russia's Wagner Private Military Company, which Moscow used in Ukraine and Syria. The Russian military budget has a significant number of "classified" articles, which have not been publicly disclosed.