Global Firepower ranks Russia 2nd (of 126) in the world’s most powerful nations:
A massive modernization and procurement program, as well as military action against neighboring Ukraine, has reinstalled Russian prominence in the region.
The world’s largest country by land area, Russia extends over most of northern Eurasia thus comprising much of eastern Europe and northern Asia. From north to south the East European Plain is clad sequentially in tundra, coniferous forest (taiga), mixed and broadleaf forests, grassland (steppe), and semi-desert (fringing the Caspian Sea), reflective of the climate (Siberia supports a similar sequence but is predominantly taiga).
West to East: the country stretches from the exclave of Kaliningrad (separated by the 1990 secession of Lithuania from the then-Soviet Union) to Ratmanov Island (one of the Diomede Islands) in the Bering Strait.
North to South: the country ranges from the northern tip of the Russian Arctic islands at Franz Josef Land to the southern tip of the Republic of Dagestan on the Caspian Sea, spanning about 4,500 kilometres (2,800 mi) of extremely varied, often inhospitable terrain.
Russia has the world’s longest (58,000 km [35,000 mi]) border, a source of consternation for post-Soviet national security. Along the 20,000-kilometer land frontier, Russia has boundaries with 14 countries: Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland (via the Kaliningrad Oblast), Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, the People’s Republic of China and North Korea.
Two-thirds of the frontier is bound by water. Thirteen seas and parts of three oceans—the Arctic, Atlantic, and Pacific—wash Russian shores. Russia shares a maritime boundary with the United States and with Japan. All of the lengthy northern coast is well above the Arctic Circle — except for the port of Murmansk, which receives currents that are somewhat warmer than would be expected at that latitude thanks to the Gulf Stream—and is locked in ice for much of the year.
Redacted from Geography of Russia, Wikipedia (as at March 11, 2016)
At $53.2B, Russia has the fourth largest defence budget in the world (Telegraph, March 2016), equivalent to 3.14 trillion rubles or 4 % of GDP (GlobalSecurity.org).
70 million of the 142 million population are available manpower, with 47 million fit for service. With just over 750,000 frontline personnel, there are almost 2.5 million active reserves.
- Battle Tanks: 15,000
- IFVs: 31,298
- Rocket Launchers: 3,79
- Fixed-wing: 3,547 (751 fighter/interceptor, 1,438 attack)
- Rotary-wing: 1,715 (478 attack
- Vessels: 352 (1 aircraft carrier)
- Oil production: 10 million barrels per day
- Oil Reserves: 80 trillion barrels
- Major ports/terminals: 7
- Roadway: 982,000
- Railway: 87,157
- Serviceable airports: 1,218
- Global Firepower (as at March 11, 2016)
- Geography of Russia, Wikipedia (as at March 11, 2016)
- What are the biggest defence budgets in the world?, The Telegraph online, March 11, 2016
- Russian Military Budget, Global Security (as at March 11, 2016)
- Russia’s Syria operation reveals significant improvement in military capability
- Russia’s Quiet Military Revolution, And What It Means For Europe
- Imperial Ambitions: Russia’s Military Buildup
- Russia’s state defense order in 2015
- Mistral helicopter carrier
- Strengthening Russia’s Defense Capability in 2014
- New Submarines for Russia’s Black Sea Fleet
- Flagship of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet — missile-carrying cruiser The Moskva
- Black Sea Fleet in Crimea
Featured Image (when shown): Banner of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation (obverse) [Wikimedia Commons]