Translated by Ollie Richardson for Fort Russ
20th March, 2016
Russia’s journalists decided to shock their Ukrainian colleagues and homegrown liberals with the truth about the figures and results of the military operations of Russia and the US.
KP.ru decided to get to the truth — 33 billion Rubles spent by Russia on the operation in Syria (which is about the amount that was announced by Vladimir Putin), is an astronomical figure, or vice versa, it’s very modest. How can this be possible? Well, of course, by comparing the cost of Moscow’s operation to the cost of the military operations of other countries.
We’re not going to compare the current war in Syria with the old times – campaigns of Napoleon or Suvorov – as it would be unfair. But the last half a century is quite a suitable period of time.
Naturally, we’ll use one currency for the ease of comparison – our 33 billion Rubles converts to 0.45 billion dollars (at current exchange rates). It is difficult to estimate the cost to the USSR of the war in Afghanistan. We only know that it cost 4-5 billion rubles a year. And then the Soviet ruble was officially worth more than the dollar (70 kopecks for $1)! In the end, we can assume that for 9 years the USSR “invested” about $60 billion in the Afghan campaign.
However, by referring to the table itself, it will immediately become clear that the Russian operation in Syria was not only relatively inexpensive, but also very successful in terms of results that Moscow got with the money. In fact, in Syria, Russia spent 6 times less than the US did on military operations, which is about the same the USSR spent in Afghanistan (in the comparable time period): 6-7 times less.