They are not even serious about maintaining an operational carrier.
They probably don't have a purpose for it right now... or the next 5 years or so, plus a Russian carrier right now will either operate with corvettes and a couple of frigates or it will be a sitting duck with nothing for it to support.
Fixing the basic problems with it, which right now is propulsion, shouldn't cost that much and when she is ready to sail again there should be a few other vessels that can sail with her too and perhaps she can start spreading the word that there is more than one sheriff in town so you can buy and sell products to Russia as well as the west or the US.... it is a message quite a few countries around the place are looking forward to hearing to be honest.
China now has 2 CVs with a 3rd on the way; they'll keep the USN + their allies busy. It's cheaper to build & operate subs with Poseidons capable of sinking entire CSGs along with coastal bases & cities.
Unless China makes a clear commitment to support Russian operations internationally, the number of chinese carriers is not really important to the Russian navy.
(Should add that the Russian solution to hostile Chinese carriers near its territory would be the same solution it has for US carriers or NATO carriers near its territory... traditionally Tu-22M3 with Kh-22M, and now MiG-31 with Kinzhal and Tu-22M3M with Kinzhal and/or Kh-32 and ship and sub and land launched Onyx).
The funding priority is the nuclear deterrent. Everything else gets sidelined.
And rightly so... which means priority is subs in the navy, but their capacity to carry ship launched cruise missiles gives many of the new ships Russia is making strategic nuclear capacity if they want that too... a useful and relatively cheap way to escalate the number of tactical nuclear weapons on the table for combat in europe or Japan...
IMO, they'll be dedicating substantial resources to non-nuclear precision arms while renewing SSBN & strategic bomber fleets.
Those precision weapons can give a weapon nuclear like potential without crossing the nuclear threshold, but they could just as easily be all armed with nukes too.
Then, CV/Ns r not urgent to have, UDKs will be built 1st, & the Adm. K will sailor on with new CMs for another 2 decades, if not more.
Even if CVNs were thought moderately important they need to finalise the design first and then lay it down and build it... current plans suggest 2023 as the earliest they could lay it down, so we are not talking about carrier in water before 2028 at the very best, so it would not be operational before 2032 even if everything goes to plan...
I'd like to see Granit replacement, improved ASW, new main radar and long/medium range AA but the above program will be adequate and she'll be a useful war-fighter when its all done.
Granit is no longer in production so new tubes will be fitted at the very least and at best the tubes removed and UKSK-Ms put there.
Just the replacement of Kashtan-M with Pantsir-M and the old model TOR missiles with the newer upgraded TOR-M3s would offer an astounding improvement in defensive performance... the new TOR missiles alone offer better range and altitude performance with twice the number of missiles in the same space, with much better accuracy... Pantsir increases range and performance of the missiles too...
Other posts about economy and petty stuff moved to talking bollocks II thread here:http://www.russiadefence.net/t7216p450-talking-bollocks-thread-2