Don't blame me - I didn't cook it.
- May 29, 2009
- Flitwick, Bedfordshire, 1874
People either forget, or ignore, the fact that Russia has an extremely low 'population density' of 23 people per square mile.Russia was a military steamroller
(The UK is 700 people per s.m.!)
A population of 'only' 143 million, large areas of uninhabitable land, huge, long borders to defend, a struggling economy despite the huge amounts of oil & gas sales, and their military forces using dated (and in some cases antiquated) equipment, means that the view of Russia being that sort of powerful military force is very much 'out of date', so using the word 'was' is correct. Oh, except that they do have a large number of nukes which keeps them scary.