Some reports about Russian arms industries are quite dismissive, and indeed, the ambitions of the political leadership appear to go beyond the competences shown by the Russian arms industry so far.
They may still lag in a couple of areas, have a reliability problem in systems such as the Bulava missile and are generally selling what mostly looks like refurbished versions of 1980's equipment.
Still, they have a couple specific strengths, and these should be respected.
The Western arms industries aren't exactly exemplary either with their excessive gold plating and living off "cost plus" development contracts more than off actual production, much less production for export.
One of the strengths of the Russian, Ukrainian and coincidentally also the Finnish arms industries is that they develop their stuff for cold temperatures, too.
Germany discovered the significance of this in 1941/42, when lubricants in German machineguns froze them into repeating rifles, tank gearboxes became inoperative and many other kinds of technical problems appeared at -20°C to -40°C.
The new and quite interesting (and cheap) Ukrainian anti-tank missile system "Korsar" or "Corsar" (105 mm calibre, laser beam rider, impressive "behind ERA" penetration claims) is an example for a system developed for low temperatures:
|"Korsar" ATGM: laser beam rider, 105 mm tandem HEAT, man-portable|
The missile can be launched at temperatures ranging from minus 40 to plus 60 degrees Celsius, whereas U.S. and Israeli systems are not designed to operate at temperatures lower than minus 20 degrees Celsius. (...) The anti-tank missile system costs only about $130,000, and missiles - $20,000, which is three or four times cheaper than their foreign analogues.
Civilian hardware has similar problems. Stories about Lada Niva 4x4 cars driving through snow in Arctic temperatures when import cars are dead already are widespread.
This chart shows the problem with mobile phones:
|click on it for larger size, source|
You don't learn about this relative problem during great power games in the Mid East.
Russian-equipped military forces could - if this low temperature issue is widespread enough - easily shatter Western military forces during winter time, which is an unacceptable scenario for the national security of the Easternmost NATO members.
But our attention is on great power games in the Mid East, of course. And of course the Russian arms industries are crumbling, produce obsolete products which are to be judged by the quality of exported monkey models and their missiles fly in circles anyway.
Edit: Another example - look at this Finnish machinegun's trigger guard. Looks funny and crude, doesn't it?
It's meant to allow use of the weapon with thick mittens.