Russian Army Re-Brands Under Putin

In the past five years, Russia has spent hundreds of billions of dollars modernizing its military; this year alone it will spend $57 billion on defense. Much of this has gone towards rearming the Russia’s troops, supplying them with new tanks and armored vehicles.

But the modernization efforts are not limited just to buying new weapons. Russia’s army has been overhauling its training, recruitment and, most recently, its image. Beginning with its logo, the army has been undergoing a re-branding. Uniforms and paint jobs have been redesigned, as have mess halls and rec rooms; Russia’s defense ministry has even launched its own clothing line, modeled after popular European brands. The idea is to make the Russian military more appealing to young Russians.

The exhibition center and expo are part of this trend. Named Park Patriot, the exhibition center will eventually form part of a military-themed amusement park. It has vast car-parks — the government appears to be expecting a lot visitors.

But behind the shiny exteriors of the expo and re-branding, the modernization plans are running into difficulties.

Even with the cuts, Russia still has the fourth largest defense budget in the world, although its spending is dwarfed by that of the United States, which is set to spend well over $500 billion this year.