Since the time President Putin came to power until January 2014, Russian military expenses had amounted to 2.5-3.2% of GDP per year, keeping a steady upward trend. For the first 13 years military spending has risen by 2.6 times and totaled 12.6 trillion rubles ($ 429 billion). On average – about 15% of all expenditures of the federal budget. But after the Kremlin's final decision to attack Ukraine, military expenditures have increased more than twice, Andrey Illarionov writes in his blog, Joinfo.ua reports.
Back then there were planned the operations only on occupation of Crimea, but also on seizure of the so-called Novorossia. In February-April 2014, the Russian military expenditures amounted to $ 31 billion or 6.7% of GDP (27.7% of all budget expenditures).
At the end of April 2014, military operation on seizure of the Novorossia was canceled (delayed), the average monthly military expenses in May and December 2014 were reduced by one third compared to those in February-April 2014.
It should be noted that not only regular military maneuvers, not only the relocation of a significant number of troops to the Russian-Ukrainian border, but even participation of about 10 batallion-tactical groups of regular Russian troops in the fighting on the territory of Ukraine (including under Savur-Mohyla and Ilovaisk) did not require an increase in military spending at that time.
The situation changed dramatically in January-February 2015 – the average military spending in constant prices increased 2.3-fold compared even to the previous (military) period (May-December 2014), 3.3-fold – compared to the last pre-war period (January 2013 – January 2014), 8.8-fold – compared to 2000. During the last two months the military spending totaled more than 1.3 trillion rubles. (More than $ 20 billion, 43.3% of all expenditures of the federal budget, 12.7% of GDP).
Armed hostilities of Russian troops in the Donetsk airport and under Debaltseve have not required such spending, which is evidenced by the relatively moderate level of military expenses during the summer campaign of 2014.
"It seems that the sharp increase in military spending in January-February 2015, along with a number of other factors are indicative of an advance preparation for a military action of much larger scale and much higher intensity than anything we've seen in the last 14 months," Illarionov writes.