The Russian Military, Past and Present

Course #NS3450

Est.imated Completion Time: 3 months


This course examines Russia’s military from the past to the present. It is organized chronologically and is divided into three parts. The introductory section begins with Muscovy and the foundations of Russia’s military to the First World War. The second section explores the rise of the Soviet military-industrial complex and the emergence and decline of the Soviet Union as a military superpower. The final section considers the current state of the Russian military. This course weaves politics, history, and foreign policy into one historical and analytical narrative by focusing on interpretations of Russia’s past wars and analysis of the Russian military today. Throughout the course we will explore such questions as: What has been the role of war in the creation of the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union, and the Russian Federation? What ideas have motivated people to fight? What is the relationship between technological innovation and war? And how do we write about war and the military?

Learning Outcomes

  • Develop subject matter expertise on the state of Russia’s military both past and present.
  • Develop a command of the current posture and capabilities of the Russian armed forces, which requires a knowledge of Russian military history in the 19th and 20th centuries as well as an ability to analyze current developments.
  • Develop skills in both oral and written communication.
  • Produce a publishable piece of original analysis on the Courtesy of the Hoover Institution Archives militaries of Russia, Eastern Europe, or Central Asia.
Offerings database access
Asset Publisher

Application Deadlines

  •  25 Sep 2023

    Winter quarter applications due

  •  08 Jan 2024

    Spring Quarter applications due

  •  01 Apr 2024

    Summer Quarter applications due

Asset Publisher

Academic Calendar

  •  25 Sep 2023

    Fall Quarter instruction begins

  •  09 Oct 2023

    Columbus Day (holiday)

  •  24 Oct 2023

    Shift day: treat as Friday class schedule

See NPS Academic Calendar for more dates.