In a reversal of fortune for the once great Russian Army, Vladimir Putin has announced the biggest military funding for the Russian Federation since 1981.
Clearly determined to flex his muscles on the world stage, this is clearly a deliberate attempt by Russia to show that its military is indeed back on the map. This surge in troop levels is undoubtedly in response to increased tensions between Russia and Europe, whilst also acting as a deterrent against further US deployment of troops in Eastern Europe.
Since 1991 the number of soldiers in the Russian army had been 84, with three part time soldiers who were able to commute on bicycles to the local barracks from the fish market in the event of a nuclear attack. Responding to criticism that the army is underfunding and poorly trained, Putin has agreed to register and fund five new soldiers who are currently now making their way to Moscow's central barracks by bus, taxi and a three mile walk through the snow.
They will be trained in the three priorities that any Russia soldier must master: eating dog food, standing around looking freezing and decidedly miserable, and gathering the tabacco out of used cigarette ends and putting them into a new rolling paper. In additional funding for the military, the Russian Navy will receive a British-built decommissioned tug-boat and the airforce will eventually realise its dream of taking to the sky with a two-week skydiving team-bonding course in France.