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Carrier fire points to weakness behind Moscow's military might

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By Peter Apps

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© Thomson Reuters 2019.

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Thanks largely to Putin's short-sighted policies, Russia has become a third rate military power, without the funds to maintain its cold-war era forces in anything resembling a state of readiness. They can't even fight a fire on their one outdated naval carrier. Their economy relies almost exclusively on the production and export of petroleum. The economic sanctions put in place since Putin's decisions to attack Ukraine militarily have caused a decline in Russia's GDP, until today they have an economy the same size as South Korea's, a country with about one-third as many people.

The fact that Russia is controlled by a dictator means that the sanctions imposed by the rest of the world may make the oligarchs slightly poorer, but are mostly felt by the average citizens. That is the problem with dictatorships, they are not responsive to the needs of the people.

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