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Leonid Bershidsky

Putin Wants Modern Weapons, Not a Modern Russia

The president's key speech was full of unfunded promises and thinly veiled threats.
New toys for the military.

New toys for the military.

Photographer: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday made clear his priorities for his next six-year presidential term: He spent about as much time talking about Russia's new strategic weaponry as about all domestic policies put together.

Revanche and confrontation continue to drive Putin's agenda. In the meantime, he appears to believe that Russia's internal problems will largely fix themselves if he sets ambitious enough goals. That, regardless of the new weaponry, is a disaster in the making.