From: Near Portland, OR
The Russians have never needed to have great naval designs. They have always been a continental power and the navy's primary role is supporting the army. Their attempts to be a naval power have been less than stellar.
Larger continental powers historically tend to spend some effort on their navies, but it tends to be driven by political whims and fads than any long term commitment to naval power. During the Age of Sail the French tried to compete with Britain, but ultimately lost most of the naval battles because Britain needed a navy for survival and for France it was a luxury.
Germany in WW II built some very good ships, but ultimately they served to sit in port and drive the British nuts rather than compete. Their empire was won and lost on the land, not the sea. I've also read that the Germans screwed up at Dunkirk and didn't wipe out the BEF because for a continental power, having an army boxed in with their backs to the sea is a trap. For a naval power, it's an opportunity. The Germans were thinking like a continental power and the British like a naval one.
Britain, the Netherlands, and Japan all were forced to be continental powers because of geography. They were always dependent on overseas trade to keep their nation strong. The US is the only power in history that became both at once. In the early years a navy was necessary because of the threat from Britain and the early states all along a long coastline with little land defense. Later it became the dominant land power in North America.
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