from Strategy Page
Despite Russia's huge size (17 million square kilometers, the largest nation in the world) and long borders (20,000 kilometers worth on land, another 37,000 of shoreline), its primary means of national defense is its nuclear weapons. The army is a ramshackle force, smaller than the U.S. Army, and much more poorly equipped. Most of the million troops in the Russian armed forces are paramilitary forces working for the Interior Ministry and other branches of the government (like the FSB, which controls border guards.) These forces get by with assault rifles, machine-guns and low tech land transport, patrol boats and aircraft.