On December 25, 2014 President Putin approved a new version of the military doctrine. It replaced the document approved by his predecessor in February 2010.

Most of the changes are editorial. The most significant ones emphasize the immediacy of the threat posed by the West - if the 2010 document talked about "weakening of the ideological confrontation," the new version replaced this with a sentence that says that "the global competition is on the rise". In 2010, NATO only aspired to use its military potential to break the international law and move its military infrastructure toward Russian borders; in 2014 NATO is already doing all that.

The Prompt Global Strike-like systems were explicitly added to the list of threats, as was the threat of deploying weapons in space. In a related development, the armed forces now protect Russia from air-space strikes, not just provide air defense of the country.

As it usually happens with this kind of documents in Russia, a threat du jour - Ukraine this time - was included as well. Among the threats to Russia is "establishing in neighboring countries, including by overturning legitimate government, of regimes that conduct policies that threaten Russia's interests" (sorry for the clumsy translation). Interestingly, the document lists the kind of tactics that Russia used in Ukraine - the use of special forces and irregular troops and taking advantage of "the protest potential of the population" among the features of modern military conflicts.

The new doctrine leaves the door open to a "development of join missile defense systems with equal Russian participation." It does say, however, that Russia will counter the attempts of other states to gain strategic superiority by deploying strategic missile defense systems, weapons in space, or "strategic conventional high-precision weapons."

Nuclear weapons remain an important tool of preventing a nuclear or large-scale (or regional) military conflicts. The key paragraph describing the conditions in which Russia could use nuclear weapons remained unchanged:

Russia reserves the right to use nuclear weapons in response to a use of nuclear or other weapons of mass destruction against her and (or) her allies, and in a case of an aggression against her with conventional weapons that would put in danger the very existence of the state.
There is a non-nuclear component to the strategic deterrence - among the main task of the Russian armed forces is "strategic (nuclear and non-nuclear) deterrence" - it was simply "strategic deterrence in 2010. "The deterring" is done by providing a capability to "inflict an unacceptable damage to an aggressor" - it was "pre-determined damage" in 2010. I don't think we are moving toward a minimal deterrence, but it's an interesting change.

There are more changes, of course, but these are probably the most interesting ones. In any event, while it is not without importance, a doctrine never really play a decisive role in Russia. This one is unlikely to be an exception.