Skip to content
Subscriber Only

Russian Prowess Questioned as Troops Bogged Down in Ukraine

  • Questions over missing capabilities, from airpower to cyber
  • Poor troop morale, organization echo past weaknesses
Bloomberg business news
WATCH: Children were among those trapped under rubble after a hospital in Mariupol, Ukraine was bombed on Wednesday, March 9. (Credit: Mariupol City Council via Storyful)
Updated on

The Russian army’s unexpected struggles in Ukraine are prompting calls for a fresh look at widely shared assumptions about the effectiveness of President Vladimir Putin’s military machine.

Putin spent well over a decade modernizing a conscript-based military that proved wanting in Chechnya during the 1990s, and Georgia in 2008. Its first test in a large-scale conflict since the end of the Cold War has raised questions about what that boom in spending achieved.