Military reforms, starting in late 2008, and a well funded modernization program launched in 2011, have transformed the Russian armed forces. Far from the defunct Soviet mass mobilization army inherited in the 1990s, Moscow has restored the military as a capable instrument of national power. The driving factors in this transformation include Russian military thought on the modern character of war and lessons learned from recent combat operations in Syria and Ukraine. This lecture will explore the evolution of Russia’s armed forces, offering a perspective on the transformation, and outlook on what the future holds for the Russian military.
About the Speaker
Michael Kofman serves as Director of the Russia Studies Program at the Center for Naval Analyses and a Fellow at the Kennan Institute, Woodrow Wilson International Center in Washington, D.C. His research focuses on the Russia and the former Soviet Union, specializing in the Russian armed forces, Russian military thought and strategy. Previously he served at National Defense University as a Program Manager, and subject matter expert, advising senior military and government officials on issues in Russia and Eurasia. Mr. Kofman’s other affiliations include being a Senior Editor at War on the Rocks, where he regularly authors articles on questions of strategy, the Russian military, and foreign policy issues.
Mr. Kofman has published numerous articles on the Russian armed forces, security issues in Russia/Eurasia, along with analyses for the U.S. government. He holds a M.A. in International Security from the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University and a B.A. in Political Science from Northeastern University.