Source: The National Interest

There have been two general reactions in the West to the first public glimpses of the T-14 Armata tank, the first completely post-Soviet Russian design for a main battle tank. The first is to view its claims—of greater speed, maneuverability, firepower and survivability vis-à-vis anything being produced for Western armies—as being Potemkin in nature. In other words, the new model that will be appearing in the May 9 Victory Parade is good for show and propaganda, but won’t actually be able to deliver in the field. The second is a high degree of incredulity that a country already under Western sanctions and whose economy has entered into a recession would devote an ever-shrinking pool of state resources to building a next-generation battle tank. Indeed, if Vladimir Putin continues to adhere to a military buildup plan that was developed under far different economic conditions, does he risk repeating one of the fundamental mistakes that led to the failure of the Soviet Union—having defense spending eat up more and more of the country’s gross domestic product?

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