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    Russia has been placed second in a recent rating of countries with the most powerful militaries in the world, but defense analysts told Radio Sputnik that the quantity-based analysis does not represent the true state of affairs. Here's why.

    "Clearly, morale reveals itself on the battlefield. If we take the Syrian conflict, it is evident whose army is more powerful. This is why such ratings do not always reflect the real state of affairs. We should focus on quality rather than quantity. If we compare the armed forces of Russia and the United States based on quality, then I think that the Russian military is on par with the US military," defense analyst Vladimir Evseev said.

    These comments came in response to a list of ten countries with the strongest military, published by Global Conflict, a YouTube channel. Its main criteria include defense spending and the size of the military, as well as the total amount of tanks, aircraft and ships a nation has in its arsenal. The United States, Russia and China toped the rating.

    Evseev, Deputy Director of the Moscow-based Institute of CIS Countries, also warned against considering the most expensive weapons to be the best, citing the ill-fated Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II as a case in point.

    "It is much more efficient to produce less expensive but tested weapons. The most advanced armaments are not necessarily the best. Take the F-35 or the F-22 Raptor for instance. These are extremely expensive aircraft, but their price tag does not correspond with their combat capabilities," he said.

    The Russian Navy's frigate Admiral Grigorovich sails in the Bosphorus on its way to the Mediterranean Sea, in Istanbul, Turkey, November 4, 2016
    © REUTERS / Murad Sezer
    The Russian Navy's frigate Admiral Grigorovich sails in the Bosphorus on its way to the Mediterranean Sea, in Istanbul, Turkey, November 4, 2016

    Evseev further said that the Pentagon has more warships in its arsenal, but some Russian military vessels are of higher quality.

    "Our latest frigate Admiral Grigorovich is a modern ship, in many aspects equal to US-built watercraft. Without question, Americans have the largest underwater and surface fleet, but their ships often turn into 'floats' because their lifespan will run out in a year or a year and a half. This is why comparison is problematic," he explained.

    In conclusion, Evseev mentioned that unlike the United States, Russia does not abandon its allies, which is also "of no small importance."

    Defense analyst Viktor Baranets told Radio Sputnik that no one has come up with a set of criteria which could be used to clearly determine what country has the most powerful military.

    "War is the only criteria [that works]," he said. "All the rest is philosophy. One could compare countries based on different types of weapons systems. Take military budgets, for instance. The United States' defense spending is ten times higher than Russia's. But is it right to assert that the US Armed Forces are ten times more powerful than the Russian military?"

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