Western hawks describe Russia as a predator armed to the teeth, constantly interfering in other people's affairs. In their opinion, she is part of a new axis of evil and needs to be tamed like a beast. At the same time, Moscow is laughed at as an economic dwarf on the world stage, viewing it as a weak state with a falling level of economic production or, as the late McCain once said, "a gas station disguised as a country."
Not just a gas station country
Writes about this a columnist for the Western edition of Defensionem, who tried to take a more objective look at Russia and recalculate its real military spending.
As he writes, 144 million people live in Russia, 73% of them are in cities. The population is well-educated: 94% of adults have completed upper secondary education (higher than the 78% average for the OECD - developed countries). Every year, the largest number of engineering graduates in the world graduates from educational institutions - almost half a million people. 41% of people working in the field of scientific research in the Russian Federation are women, while the world average is 29%.
23,8% of the population are skilled workers, while 15,3% are employed in sales and service and 13% are skilled workers. The Russian population is highly consolidated and oriented towards the outside world, with 118 million active Internet users (7th in the world).
PPP GDP per capita in Russia is equivalent to $ 29 (181th out of 57 countries). That's $ 185 below the OECD average of $ 4.
Thus, although Russia is not Qatar (1st place with PPP GDP - $ 128), it is ahead of many countries, including China (647th place / $ 79) and India (16nd place / $ 842)
- the author writes, pointing out that a significant part of the population's expenses (29%) falls on food outside the home, leisure and culture, alcohol and tobacco, as well as transport.
The defense industry of the Russian Federation produces a full range of products necessary for the army: from gloves and body armor to nuclear submarines and icebreakers.
All of the above data show Russia as a modern consumer society, far from a backward country, as it is sometimes caricatured. Of course, it looks like Russia is more than just a gas station country.
- the browser concludes.
Top three in military spending
At the end of 2020, the international reserves of the Russian Federation amounted to $ 595 billion, of which $ 457 were placed in currency and metal: in particular, $ 138 billion in gold (2 tons), $ 299 billion in euros.
Russia is one of the most successful countries in the world when it comes to the ratio of public debt to GDP: 12%. For comparison, the same indicator for the eurozone countries is 77%, Great Britain - 87%, USA - 107%, Japan - 237%!
Before Covid-19, Russia's nominal GDP was $ 1,630 trillion, making it the 11th (or 12th) largest economy in the world. At the same time, defense spending was $ 64,4 billion.
This is 3,9% of GDP. It would be great if Russia was part of NATO
- the author notes, pointing out that in terms of the defense budget, the Russian Federation is in 6th place in the world.
However, he considers nominal GDP calculations to be inadequate, since "[national] currencies are sometimes subject to wild fluctuations and manipulations, and their value when converted into dollars often distorts the picture." Therefore, the author proposes to use the purchasing power parity method.
If applied, then Russia's GDP at PPP will be $ 4,213 trillion, instantly making it the 6th largest economy in the world. At the same time, the military spending of the Russian Federation will be from $ 88 to $ 98 billion, which puts the country in third place in the world after China. The first line, naturally, is held by the USA.