11 Reasons Why Russia Is A Powerful Country

Russia is a country you hear about often. It appears to have major global influence and plays a significant role in world affairs. But why? On-paper Russia is not as wealthy as countries such as America or China or compared to the European Union.

Actually, Russia is a major world power and there are several important reasons why. Let us explain…

1. Russia is a Major Military Power

A first reason why Russia is a powerful country is because of the size of its armed forces.

Russia has the fifth largest military in the world. With over one million active soldiers, two millions reservists, and 13,000 main battle tanks, Russia has an enormous army. Russia also has a powerful air force, with over 1,300 combat jets. The Russian Navy is also large, with more than 350 vessels. Russia’s military is among the strongest in the world and this makes Russia a powerful country.

The strength of a nation’s military is a key factor in how powerful it is. Having a large military, especially with the capabilities to project military power abroad, makes a country powerful. A key reason Russia is seen as a strong country is because it uses its military around the world.

Having a strong military makes a country powerful because it provides them with defence, whilst also allowing them to intervene militarily in other countries if they need. They can also, if needed, conquer smaller and weaker nations. All these aspects apply to Russia and that is why it is a powerful country.

2. Russia Has Nuclear Weapons

A second reason why Russia is a powerful country is because it has nuclear weapons.

Only eight countries in the world that are known to have nuclear weapons. Russia has the second largest nuclear arsenal globally, with an estimated over 6,500 warheads. The size of Russia’s nuclear arsenal is a major reason why it is a powerful country.

Having nuclear weapons is essentially the ultimate sign of strength for a country. It makes a nation almost impossible to invade as the risk to an aggressor of a nuclear strike acts as a major deterrent. Having nuclear weapons also gives a country the possibility of reap incredible destruction on other nations. Having nuclear weapons is seen as a major sign that country is a global power.

The Soviet Union was the second country in the world to develop nuclear weapons. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, much nuclear weapons technology was passed to Russia. This has made Russia a world leader in nuclear weaponry and is a key reason it retains near-superpower status as a nation.

3. Russia’s International Diplomacy

A third reason why Russia is a powerful country is because of its role in international diplomacy.

Russia is one of only five countries to be a permanent UN Security Council member. This also gives Russia the right to veto any resolutions produced by the council. This alone gives Russia significant power globally.

Another factor that ensures Russia’s power around the world is its extensive network of embassies and diplomatic missions. Russia has an embassy in 148 countries, allowing it to build strong relations with many other nations.

Russia plays an active role in international diplomacy, often aggressively standing up for its interests. It’s role in the United Nations, as well as other international bodies such as the Commonwealth of Independent States and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), means that Russia retains significant influence over global affairs.

4. Russia Has a Huge Arms Industry

A fourth reason why Russia is seen as powerful country is because of its domestic arms industry.

Russia is a major arms developer. The country has a large defense sector, worth over 180 billion dollars in the last twenty years. Major defense companies such as a Almaz-Antey and Uralvagonzavod, are Russian. Many powerful nations have major domestic arms sectors. It provides them with advanced military technology as well as reducing their dependency on arms from abroad.

A further reason why Russia’s defence industry makes it a strong country is because it is able to export weapons abroad. Many countries buy weapons for their armed forces from Russia and this gives the country significant global power.

The Soviet Union was a major arms developer and exported huge quantities of weapons to allied countries. Russia has inherited this and arms sales are a major part of both the Russian economy and the country’s foreign policy. The output of Russia’s arms manufactures is a key factor why it is considered a major power in the world.

5. Russia Has A Large Population

Another reason why Russia is a powerful country is because of the size of its population.

Russia has a population of 146  million people. This makes it the ninth largest country in the world. Having a large population makes a country strong because it gives it significant economic, cultural and political weight. Almost all of the major world powers have large populations.

A further reason why Russia is considered a significant force in the world is because there are many leading global cities in Russia. St Petersburg and Moscow both have huge populations – over five and ten million each respectively . They are also key cities for education, the arts, technology and are global transport hubs. Having leading world cities is another key indicator that a country is powerful.

The size of a country’s population is often an important factor in how powerful it is. Russia has an enormous population and this is why it is significant global force.

6. Russia’s Geographical Size

A further reason why Russia is seen as a powerful country is simply because of how big it is.

Russia is the largest country in the world. It’s enormous! At 17 million square kilometers, Russia is almost twice the size of Canada, the second biggest country. Simply, the enormity of Russia is enough to make it a powerful country.

There are 14 countries that border Russia. It is also one of the only countries to span two continents. Russia is both a major European and Asian power. This makes it significant globally.

As well as its main contiguous territory, Russia also holds the strategically important enclave of Kaliningrad. Over 200 miles away from Russia, Kaliningrad is a territory and port on the Baltic Sea. It borders Poland and Lithuania. Kaliningrad is a major naval port and means that Russia has key territory almost in the heart of Europe. This is another important factor in why Russia is considered a powerful country.

7. The Size of the Russian Economy

Russia is a powerful country because it has a large economy.

As the eleventh largest economy in the world, Russia is a major global player. Russia has a GDP per capita of around 10,00 USD, meaning its people are comparatively wealthy by global standards. The size of the Russian economy is significant and it is a major reason why the country is important.

Russia is a huge energy exporter. Oil and natural gas are key parts of the Russian economy. The scale of Russia’s energy exports, and other countries reliance on natural resources from Russia, makes it a powerful country.

As well as huge energy companies, such as Gazprom and Lukoil, Russia also has key global businesses. These include Rostec and VTB. The role Russia plays in the global economy is vital and this is why it is a strong country.

8. Russia’s Place in History

Russia has been a key global player throughout its history. Its historical role is another reason why it is considered a world power.

The Russian Empire was a global superpower, especially during its height in the 18th and 19th centuries. It played a major role in European and world affairs. The Russian Empire ruled over an enormous area, including countries that are now independent today, but have significant historical connections to Russia. These include as Belarus, Ukraine and Kazakhstan.

The Soviet Union was considered the only other superpower in history, alongside the USA. Throughout the 20th Century the Soviet Union, and Russia at its heart, dominated world affairs and had an enormous global influence. The legacy of the Soviet Union is a big reason why Russia is still seen today as a powerful country.

Modern Russian history is also a key reason why Russia is a strong country. Although Russia fell into crisis during the 1990’s, it’s influence on world affairs did not diminish. It’s rise in the last two decades to be a major world power has seen it regain much of the status it had throughout its history.

9. Russia’s International Alliances

Another reason why Russia is a powerful country is because it has a strong network of alliances.

Russia today is seen as a major world power because of its relations with other countries. As well as many countries in Central Asia, Belarus, Syria, Cuba, and Serbia are all considered key Russian allies. Russia often builds alliances with countries hostile to America and the West. This gives Russia significant influence around the world and is one of the reasons it is seen as a key counterbalance to the West.

As well as countries that could be considered highly dependent on Russian allegiance, there are also many states that have close relationships with Russia. These include China, Iran, North Korea and Venezuela. These close relationships give Russia a degree of influence as well as ensuring its position as a major world power.

Russia is the lead country in the CSTO – Collective Security Treaty Organization. Essentially, this is the Russian equivalent of NATO. It is made up of Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. As a lead nation in a major military alliance, Russia is seen a significant power in the world.

10. Russia Is Important Culturally

A further reason why Russia is seen a global power is because of its prominence in culture and it’s sporting successes.

Many famous cultural icons are form Russia. Literature from Russian greats such as Leo Tolstoy and Fyodor Dostoevsky are still seen as hugely important today. Russian ballet is among the best regarded in the world. Classical music composers such as Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev came from Russia and are still seen as having an enormous influence. Painters are revered and the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg is considered among the best collections of art anywhere in the world

In modern times, Russian films, art and music have an international audience.

Russia is seen as a major sporting nation. Often among the top Olympic winners – Russia often dominates athletic and sporting arenas. Russia hosted the Winter Olympics in 2014 and the football World Cup in 2018. Although recent scandals have affected Russian athletes, Russia is still known for its sporting successes and this is another reason why it has significant global influence.

The role Russia plays in culture, and the historical roles Russian’s have played in literature, music and art still allows Russia to be seen as a cultural titan.

11. Russia Is A World Leader In Science And Technology

A final reason why Russia is a powerful country is because of its major role in science and technology.

Russia is among world leaders in scientific discoveries. The first man in space was Russian and the Russian space programme still rivals America’s. Russia is also a key part of the international space station programme. Russian scientists are seen around the world as being some of the best and the enthesis Russia puts on science and innovation is one reason is it seen as a powerful country.

Many new technologies come out of Russia. As well as aerospace and military technology, Russia leads in many area of technological research. Russia also has world leading universities, including Moscow State University and St. Petersburg State University. The role Russia plays in technological advances is a key reason it’s an strong country globally.

In the modern globalized world, technology is key to country’s power. Russia is a world leader in technology development and this is why it is seen as having significant influence around the world.

Global Affairs Explained

Global Affairs Explained is an ongoing project aiming to provide concise guides to world events. Focusing on international relations, history, and geo-politics, Global Affairs Explained uses original research and data to answer questions often not covered by traditional media.

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