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28 January 2009

Russian Military a 'Paper Tiger' Despite Symbolic Comeback, Says IISS

Michael Evans, The Times

Russia may be flexing its military muscle once again, sending warships into international waters and dispatching long-range bombers on reconnaissance trips, but the former superpower remains a paper tiger, according to a respected London think-tank.

The recent naval manoeuvres in the Mediterranean and Latin America were symbolic gestures – the former maritime giant was able to deploy only a small number of ships, while the rest of the fleet was anchored at home without enough money to keep it at sea, the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) says.

Oksana Antonenko, a senior Fellow for Russia and Eurasia at the institute, said: “In military terms it was all very modest. This is not a major military comeback, it was just a symbolic deployment.”

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