The Russian Federation is a country in Eastern Europe and Northern Asia, bordering the Arctic Ocean, between Europe and the North Pacific Ocean. It is the largest country in the world in terms of area.
Russia emerged from a feudal breakdown of early medieval as an absolute monarchy, proclaiming itself an Empire in 1721. Social instabilities, World War I and an inept monarch led to a revolution in 1917, which eventually resulted in the Bolshevicks (a more dictatory branch of Communism) seizing power. From 1922 to 1991, the Russian government (known as the RSFSR) was part of the Soviet Union. The latter was mostly responsible for the Allies' victory in World War II. The Cold War existed between the Soviet Union and the West from 1947, although isolated incidents of "accidental" friendly fire began in early 1945, to the "discharge" (разрядка) in late 1980's and the country's collapse in 1991.
Despite the end of the Cold War, political tension between the Western Powers and the Russian Federation remains. In 2000, when the Biliskner, infected by Replicators, crashed on Earth and disabled the Russian submarine Blackbird, the Russians suspected American foul play. (SG1: "Small Victories")
However, the Russians recovered the alpha Stargate (which SG-1 had beamed aboard the Biliskner to escape the Replicators) from the ocean and created their own Stargate program with help of Colonel Harold Maybourne. When the program went disastrously wrong, the United States was asked for help and SG-1 went in to do things right again. (SG1: "Watergate")
In 2002, Dr. Meredith Rodney McKay was reassigned to Russia as possible punishment for him insulting Major Samantha Carter and also believing that her teammate, Teal'c of Chulak could not be retrieved from within the Stargate. McKay spent the four months there, presumably working at either the Kuybyshev Airbase or another unidentified Russian Base before being recalled back to the US by the Pentagon and reassigned albeit temporarily to the SGC who were experiencing problems with their Stargate. (SG1: "48 Hours", "Redemption, Part 1")
They also sent personnel to Atlantis.
Unlike the US, Russians split their military into the following branches:
Branches of service:
- Ground Troops (Сухопутные Войска) - mechanized infantry, tanks, artillery (including tactical ballistic missiles, with all systems capable of using nuclear shells and rockets), air assault units, local air defence and army aviation in the form of helicopters.
- Air Force (Военно-Воздушные Силы) - Maintains all of the fixed-wing aircraft that do not belong to other branches, as well as long-range surface-to-air missiles. No infantry units.
- Navy (Военно-Морской Флот) - split into several large formations (Northern, Baltic Sea, Black Sea, Pacific fleets, and Indian Ocean and Caspian flotillas). Fields a large force of surface craft, including one aircraft carrier, four battlecruisers, and numerous submarines, including ballistic missile submarines. Supplemented by Naval Aviation (anti-submarine, anti-shipping, maritime reconnaissance and search and rescue) and Naval Infantry (marines).
Arms of service:
- VDV (Воздушно-Десантные Войска) - the Airborne Troops. Comes with the attitude of the US Marine Corps, magnified by the use air-deployable armored vehicles.
- RVSN (Ракетные Войска Стратегического Назначения) - Strategic Missile Troops. Those in charge of Russia's arsenal of silo-based and ground-mobile ICBMs.
- Aerospace Defence Troops (Войска воздушно-космической обороны) - a recently formed unit which merged the air defence units of the Air Force, with the former Space Troops service arm. This service monitors all space-based assets, communication satellites and the GLONASS global positioning system, as well as Russia's early-warning systems and anti-ballistic missile systems.
The total is measured at roughly 1,200,000 personnel. This is largely generated through conscription, but this system is being phased out in favor of a "contract" all-volunteer army.
Russia is largely self-sufficient in terms of military hardware since the 1920s. Soviet military industry has made many major achievements in its history, ranging from the production of rugged, cheap equipment like the Kalashnikov AK-47, to creating the world's first Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles. As a minor byproduct of this, the Soviet Union created the first, albeit very basic, spacefaring technology, without non-Tau'ri involvement.