That Was Then, This Is Now
Russia’s regional and global aspirations remain strong and rest largely with the military. “The Strategy Of National Security of the Russian Federation” explicitly calls for transformation of Russia into a premier world power, capable of providing for “strategic stability in the multi-polar world.”1 One of the pillars of this transformation is the Russian navy or, to be more precise, the remnants of the Soviet navy—and that is precisely the problem. While the Kremlin still tries to think largely within the framework of Gorshkov’s fleet-operational capabilities, the realities of the current Russian navy, as well as of Russia itself, do not support such an approach. Those capabilities are long gone, and the sooner the Kremlin begins to face up to reality, the better it would play out for the navy in the near future. The events in Ukraine may provide the navy with a raison d’etre.