Russian Funding for War to Skyrocket

Military budget to grow nearly 70%
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 28, 2023 6:55 PM CDT
Russian Funding for War to Skyrocket
Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, left, greets veterans of the special military operation in Ukraine on the sidelines of the Moscow Financial Forum in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Sept. 28, 2023.   (Alexander Astafyev, Sputnik, Government Pool Photo via AP)

Acknowledging that it will hurt, Russia announced on Thursday plans to increase military spending next year by as much as 70% in an effort to win its war against Ukraine. That would surpass the amount Russia spends on social programs. In fact, at 6% of GDP, military spending would add up to about three times the funding of education, environmental protection, and health care combined, USA Today reports. "This is a significant strain on our budget, but this is our absolute priority," Finance Minister Anton Siluanov told an economic forum in Moscow. The allocation is three times the amount budgeted for the military in 2021.

President Vladimir Putin's spokesman said Thursday that Russia has no choice because it's up against a Western alliance and isn't just fighting Ukraine. "It's clear that this increase is necessary," Dmitri Peskov told reporters in Moscow, per the New York Times. The government projects declines in military spending for 2025 and 2026. "Expenditure on this scale leads to the expansion of groups that benefit from war," a Russia analyst wrote in a blog post, such as troops, military officials, and the military-industrial complex in general, while hurting others economically. "Extending the war will result in a gradual decline in living standards in Russia," Boris Grozovski said. Russia's Central Bank has cautioned that economic growth has slowed. (Read more Russia-Ukraine war stories.)

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