Why did the submarine take so long to complete? Soviet collapse, mainly. The USSR, which had channeled much of Russia's resources into building a military to compete with the United States throughout the Cold War, broke apart in the early 1990s, and when the government fell so did its ability to keep up with military production. In 2008, flush with money from the export of natural resources, Russia announced that nuclear submarines were a top priority. Today, with Russia actively reasserting its role in the world (read: invading neighboring Ukraine), Russia now has evidence that its fleet rebuilding efforts are starting to pay off.