OK, so I last looked at Russian military kit in detail, in earnest, almost exactly 30 years ago. And guess what? Almost everything we've seen so far from the Russian side of that messy border is of just that vintage, i.e. 35-40 years old (because they hadn't done much innovating after the fall of the Berlin Wall).
We are led to believe they have in fact made some serious strides in, for example, AA equipment, but they ain't showing that.
What do we infer? There might be several hypotheses, not all mutually exclusive by any means:
- Naturally, they do have some modern kit - but maybe not in large quantities
- They reckon they can do the job quite comfortably with the old stuff
- The units they are deploying - at least for the cameras - are not front-line troops: Russian policy has long been to scrap nothing, but to relegate it to equipping reserve formations
- They have no desire either to expose the new stuff to close inspection (recalling how much they *enjoyed* their own ringside seat at NATO's extravaganza in 1991 - see my Kuwait account ad nauseam); or, of course, to see plum bits of new kit embarrassingly captured