Putin Gets Ready to Showcase His New Military WeaponsFor the past year Russian President Vladimir Putin has been stressing the need – and his intentions – to strengthen his country’s military might by investing in new and better technology. Next month, at the annual Victory Day parade held in Moscow, the Russian people will get their first glimpse of some of their armed forces’ latest acquisitions. A major event on the public calendar and an opportunity for Moscow to show off its military might, the annual parade takes on added significance this year because of Russia’s 2014 invasion of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula. Russia’s continued support of armed rebels in Ukraine’s eastern territories (where fighting has started to intensify again) also falls into that category. Putin’s administration has been more aggressive in projecting power globally in recent months, with numerous nations in northern Europe, East Asia, and even the U.S. detecting an increase in military air patrols in or near their airspace. Putin’s increasingly muscular stance has unnerved many of his neighbors, but it has made him extremely popular with the Russian people: He enjoys a favorability rating of around 80 percent in most polls. This is why the display of weapons next month will be primarily aimed at the Russian people. The state-owned Sputnik News service offered a preview on Tuesday, indicating the parade would feature the new T-14 main battle tank, among other equipment. The T-14, built on the universal “Armata” tracked vehicle platform, will be one of the most technologically advanced tanks in the world, according to defense analysts. Russian defense contractors are expected to deliver 2,300 T-14s between now and 2020. The first two dozen will be on display in next month’s parade, and they’ll eventually replace an estimated 70 percent of Russia’s current tank force. MORE