Despite the country’s economic crisis, Russia has been stepping up its military spending at a dramatic pace.
At the same time, a lot of NATO members have been paring back their budgets.
At the same time, Moscow’s relationship with Washington and Europe is in its worst state since before the collapse of the Berlin Wall.
But how does the modern Russian military stack up against the best that the Western Alliance has to offer?
Take a look.
Russia’s new Armata battle tank is one of the world’s most advanced. More than 2,000 are expected to be in service by 2020, and was showcased in Moscow’s Victory parade this year, with a 125mm cannon capable of firing 10 rounds per minute.
Not all of NATO’s highly advanced equipment is American (though most is) — Germany’s Leopard 2A7 battle tank, which recently came into service, is perhaps the world’s most well-regarded tank.
The 2S35 Koalitsiya-SV is Russia’s new showcase self-propelled artillery piece, which was also showcased at the parade in May.
The United States’ M109A6 Paladin is one of NATO’s nearest equivalent weapons, with a 155mm cannon similar to the Koalitsiya-SV.
These new AK-12 Kalashnikov-built rifles will become standard-issue across the Russian military in the next few years, replacing a variety of previous models. It will take 5.45mm rounds, but can be converted to take 7.62mm rounds, like previous Kalashnikov designs.
Variants of the M16 rifle, which takes 5.56mm NATO rounds, have been standard issue for the US military since 1969. The M16A4, pictured below, is the service rifle of the US Marine Corps.
Russia’s Sukhoi Su-35 is the country’s most advanced fighter jet. After test flights five years ago, the military aims for the Su-35 to enter service this year.
The F35 is NATO’s latest fifth generation fighter, and is coming into service for parts of the US military this year too. It’s slower than the Su-35, and with a shorter range.
The Admiral Kuznetsov, Russia’s leading aircraft carrier, can carry something up to 52 aircraft and is more than 1,000 feet long.
In terms of aircraft carriers, the US and NATO have a clear lead. PCU Gerald R. Ford is the world’s lead aircraft carrier, and can carry 75 aircraft.
The US-built AH-64 Apache is NATO’s premier attack helicopter. It’s got a range of nearly 300 nautical miles, and is armed with Hellfire missiles.
Spc. Harley Jelis/US Army
Russia’s Mi-28 Havoc attack helicopter has a 30mm underslung cannon, and can carry up to four anti-tank missiles.
Russia’s version of the US B1 bomber, the Tupolev Tu-160M is also being modernised this year, with updated weapons and avionics systems. It’s capable of carrying a nuclear weapon.
The B-1 Lancer is one of the US Air Force’s long-serving aircraft. It’s got a range of 11,999km, just short of the Tu-160’s.
Russia’s S-300 dates from the Soviet era, initially deployed in the late 1970s but still in service today. It’s a long-range surface to air missile, capable of hitting targets up to 150km away.
The MIM-104 Patriot missile also dates from a similar period to the S-300 and is still in use, with a shorter range than the S-300.