A constant drumbeat of Russian propaganda and sensationalist international reporting has created the impression that Russia’s naval forces are much more formidable than is actually the case. This has convinced some Western decision-makers that any policy designed to put pressure on Moscow could lead to a dangerous or uncontrollable escalation, over which the West would have little to no leverage. But in reality, the Russia Military-Maritime Fleet (Voyenno-Morskoy Flot—VMF) suffers from continued problems in replacing its aging fleet of surface and sub-surface vessels due to systemic issues plaguing the domestic shipbuilding industry. Old technologies, worn-out shipyards, lack of qualified personnel, limited resources, corruption and, crucially, Western sanctions constraining Russia’s ability to access necessary components like gas-turbine engines, have all interfered with Russian ambitions to build a world-class navy (see Part One in EDM, October 5). As such, the present-day state of recovery of the Russian shipbuilding industry and, relatedly, the VMF’s capabilities diverge sharply from Moscow’s plans.