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Russia has long been shrouded in mystery. From the longstanding Russian Empire to the far-reaching influence of the 20th century Soviet Union to the modern state, still the biggest country in the world, Russia has long been a powerful player in the global order.

Now—with its immense size; rapid economic growth; significant nuclear arsenal; vast oil, gas, and other natural resource supplies; and heavy-handed relationship with neighboring countries and surrounding regions—there is a sense that Russia is returning to its place as a great world power.

Still, despite these advantages, the country faces many challenges that threaten its continued growth and reemergence as a strong global player, especially in light of the strength of its global competitors such as China. Russia will have to tackle widespread poverty, corruption, serious health issues, a rapidly shrinking population, foreign policy conflicts, dismal infrastructure, and even its own reputation if it hopes to stake its place as a leader in the 21st century and beyond.

Please send us your thoughts on the changing global order and the materials offered here. All comments may be reprinted on this Web site and in related materials.

Sources: Russian and Eurasia Program at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (CEIP), The New York Times, BBC, The Christian Science Monitor, Kremlin Web site, The Economist, SOVA Center for Information and Analysis, and others.

This page is part of Rising Powers: The New Global Reality, a project from the Stanley Foundation.

The Stanley Foundation is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

The global order is changing. The 21st Century will be marked by many competing sources of global power. Across politics, economics, culture, military strength and more, a new group of countries have growing influence over the future of the world:



South Africa
European Union

South Korea


Other Countries

Big issues are also playing a cross-cutting role in this changing global order:


Nuclear Nonproliferation
Nonstate Actors

Global/Regional Systems

And this changing global order has implications for the United States.

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