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The Russian Federation spans the Eurasian landmass with the Ural Mountains accepted as the dividing line between Europe and Asia. The capital of Russia is Moscow. The country’s population, which has been showing a steady decline, in July 2009 was estimated at 140,041,247, the 10th most populous country in the world. Formally considered a federal democracy with a parliamentary-style legislature headed by a prime minister and a president as head of state, in reality the Russian Federation has been in an extended era of uncertain political and economic transition from a Marxist socialist dictatorship toward a democratic market economy without showing signs of imminent success in either the political or economic realms. This entry discusses Russia’s armed forces and military personnel, civil-military relations, and border ...

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