August 7 marks the 10-year anniversary of what would come to be known as the Russo-Georgian War of 2008. The war began with an offensive by Georgian government forces toward the capital of South Ossetia, a separatist territory propped up by Russia since the early 1990’s. Over the next five days, Russia’s military responded, driving the Georgian military away from South Ossetia and Abkhazia (another Russian-backed separatist territory located on coast of the Black Sea), and invading Georgian government controlled territory north of the capital of Tbilisi before a ceasefire agreement was brokered.
To mark the anniversary of that short conflict, Andrey Kots wrote about how the war affected Russia’s military in an article for the state-run RIA Novosti. The basic thesis of Kots’ article –that the war exposed many deficiencies in the Russian armed forces, which would later be addressed in a huge modernization project – is essentially true. However, Kots seems to portray the Russian army as the underdog in the conflict when he writes about its material deficiencies compared to Georgia’s “high-tech” weaponry and NATO-standard training.Read more