Military budget of the Russian Federation

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Soviet and Russian military expenditures in billions of 2015 US dollars

The military budget of Russia is the portion of the overall budget of Russia that is allocated for the funding of the Russian Armed Forces. This military budget finances employee salaries and training costs, the maintenance of equipment and facilities, support of new or ongoing operations, and development and procurement of new weapons, equipment, and vehicles.

In 2014, Russia's military budget of 2.49 trillion rubles (worth approximately US$69.3 billion at 2014 exchange rates) was higher than any other European nation, and approximately 1/7th (14%) of the US military budget.[1] However, a collapse in the value of the Rouble greatly reduced the dollar-value of the planned 2015 Russian military budget to US$52 billion, despite a 33% increase in its Rouble-value to 3.3 trillion.[2] Due to the ongoing crisis the planned 33% increase had to be reduced to 25.6%, meaning the 2015 Russian military budget totalled 3.1 trillion rubles. The originally planned 3.36 trillion budget for 2016 has also been reduced to a planned budget of 3.145 trillion rubles, an increase of only 0.8% over 2015.[3]

Unofficial estimates

Unofficial estimates typically place the total amount of military spending for the Russian Federation higher than the Russian government figures, but these calculations tend to differ between organizations. According to the IISS "By simple observation..[the military budget] would appear to be lower than is suggested by the size of the armed forces or the structure of the military-industrial complex, and thus neither of the figures is particularly useful for comparative analysis".[4]

IHS Inc. estimated the 2013 Russian military budget as being US$68.9 billion, US$78 billion in 2014, and predict a rise to US$98 billion in 2016.[5] IHS described this as a rapid increase in spending which will result in the defence budget increasing from 15.7 percent of federal expenditure in 2013 to 20.6 percent by 2016.[6]

The International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS) estimated the 2013 Russian military budget at US$68.2 billion, a 31% rise since 2008.[7] IISS noted in their 2013 report that this meant that Russia had passed the UK and Saudi Arabia to become the world's third largest military spender, though exchange rates had also been a factor in this.[8]

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) 2017 Military Expenditure Database estimated Russia's military expenditure in 2016 at US$69.2 billion.[9] This estimate is roughly twice that of SIPRI's estimate of the Russian military budget for 2006 (US$34.5 billion).


In 1988 military spending was a single line item in the Soviet state budget, totaling 21 billion rubles (68.8 billion 1988 U.S. dollars). Given the size of the military establishment, however, the actual figure was considered to be far higher. However, in the wake of the breakup of the Soviet Union and the emergence of Russian Federation as an independent state, between 1991 and 1997 Russia's defence spending fell by a factor of eight in real prices.[10] Between 1988 and 1993 weapons production in Russia fell by at least 50% for virtually every major weapons system.

In 1998, when Russian Federation experienced a severe financial crisis, its military expenditure in real terms reached its lowest point— barely one-quarter of the USSR's in 1991, and two-fifths of the level of 1992, the first year of Russia's independent existence. However, since the rise to power of Vladimir Putin and the exposure of the poor state of preparedness amongst Russia's armed forces in the Chechen Wars and the 2008 invasion of Georgian territories (e.g., South Ossetia), Russian military spending has rapidly increased, particularly after the 2008 Russian military reform. According to SIPRI, Russian military spending in real terms in 2012 was the highest it has been since Russian Federation's re-emergence as an independent nation, but is still far lower than the estimated military expenditure of the USSR in 1990 - its final full year of existence (US$291 billion at 2012 prices).[11] The budget expanded from 1998 until 2015, but economic problems including a sharp decline in the oil price mean it will be cut by 5.3% in 2016 despite analysts saying that large increases are required to fund the current equipment plans and accommodate high rates of inflation; the navy may be the most likely victim of cuts.[12]

Comparison with other countries

Absolute expenditures in USD
Country/Region Official budget (latest) SIPRI (2012)[13] IHS Inc. (2013)[14] IISS (2013)[15]
United States $585 billion[16] $682.5 billion $582.4 billion $600.4 billion
United Kingdom $56.9 billion[17] $60.8 billion $58.9 billion $57 billion
Japan $47 billion[18] $59.3 billion $56.8 billion $51 billion
People's Republic of China (PRC) $131 billion[19] $166.1 billion $139.2 billion $112.2 billion
Russian Federation $17.8 billion[20] $90.7 billion $68.9 billion $68.2 billion

See also


  1. ^ Kazak, Sergey. "Russia to Up Nuclear Weapons Spending 50% by 2016". RIA Novosti. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
  2. ^ ISACHENKOV, Vladimir. "Putin Spending Big On Military Modernization Despite Russia's Economic Woes". Associated Press via Huffington Post. Retrieved 8 March 2015.
  3. ^ Gady, Franz-Stefan. "Russia's Military Spending to Increase Modestly in 2016". www.the The Diplomat. Retrieved 14 January 2016.
  4. ^ International Institute for Strategic Studies, The Military Balance 2006, Routledge, p.153
  5. ^ "Russia surpasses UK as third biggest defense spender – report". Russia Today. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
  6. ^ "Global Defence Budgets Overall to Rise for First Time in Five Years - Four of the five fastest growing defence markets in 2013 were in the Middle East; Russia grabs third place from Japan and the UK". IHS inc. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
  7. ^ "Russian military regains its clout". Reuters via Japan Times. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
  8. ^ Marcus, Johnathan. "Military spending: Balance tipping towards China". BBC. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
  9. ^ "SIPRI Military Expenditure Database". Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Archived from the original on 8 February 2014. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
  10. ^ Austin, Greg; Alexey Muraviev (2000). The Armed Forces of Russia in Asia. London, New York: I.B. Tauris. p. 155. ISBN 1-86064-485-6.
  11. ^ Toohey, Nathan. "Russia's defense spending grows to third largest in the world". Moscow Times. Archived from the original on 5 March 2014. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
  12. ^ Hille, Kathrin (15 October 2014). "Russia's defence budget hit by slowdown". Financial Times.
  13. ^ "SIPRI Military Expenditure Database". Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Archived from the original on 8 February 2014. Retrieved 2 March 2014.
  14. ^ "Global Defence Budgets Overall to Rise for First Time in Five Years - Four of the five fastest growing defence markets in 2013 were in the Middle East; Russia grabs third place from Japan and the UK". IHS inc. Retrieved 2 March 2014.
  15. ^ Marcus, Johnathan. "Military spending: Balance tipping towards China". BBC. Missing or empty |url= (help); |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  16. ^
  17. ^ Porter, Henry. "What budget for defence? First let's work out Britain's place in the world". Guardian. Retrieved 2 March 2014.
  18. ^ "Plan for Defense Programs and Budget of Japan Ministry of Defense Overview of FY2014 Budget" (PDF). Japanese Ministry of Defense. Retrieved 2 March 2014.
  19. ^ Branigan, Tania. "China targets 7.5% growth and declares war on pollution". Guardian. Retrieved 5 March 2014.
  20. ^
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