Russia is a proud country with a rich history in entertainment and a deep connection to the Soviet Union. It’s not perfect — the government has too much control, the citizens are conflicted about how their homeland is managed, and many opportunities are going to waste because the political parties haven’t shown interest.
In this SWOT analysis of Russia, you’ll learn more about the above issues, as well as many other strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that the country faces and adheres to.
Want to know even more about Russia? Don’t forget to check out our PESTLE Analysis of Russia too, which examines how six primary factors — including political, economic, and environmental factors — influence how the country operates.
Strengths: The home to one of the world’s most powerful military
Impressive military power.
Next to China and the United States, Russia has intense military power at their disposal. Not only are the air force and navy equipped with the newest missiles and weapons, but Russia also has nuclear weapons too. Should any of these three countries battle, it would have devastating effects on the rest of the world.
Celebrating is in the bones of Russian civilians. They party, they’re not one to turn down a drink and enjoy every second of it. Despite the hardships the citizens mitigate, they find time to celebrate even the smallest successes. Plus, Russia has strong ties to classical arts and music; the country underwent the golden era of literature and music in the 1880s — outstanding prose, poetry, and drama swept through the land and can still be felt today.
Taking advantage of economic streams.
Russia supplies many of the world’s gas, oil, and mineral resources. It’s a strength but also a weakness — the price of these resources is highly susceptible to demand. The demand is also influenced by Russia’s relationship with other countries. Because it’s such a volatile market, the citizens are reaching out to new industries, particularly the IT market. It’s a smart move — most of the world is adopting new technology. New jobs are needed to maintain this technology, and new jobs are what Russians need.
The power to withhold resources.
Although the minerals are susceptible to demand, they can also be held hostage if Russia were to go to war with other countries. Although a benefit for Russia, it would be problematic for the rest of the world — which is exactly what Russia would be counting on.
Weaknesses: A disconnect between the government and Russian civilians
Corruption in the government.
Russia’s government is led by two men — the president, Vladimir Putin and the prime minister, Dmitriy Medvedev. Both men aren’t known for their kindness to Russian citizens, but to their resiliency. They hold the most power in the country not just for making political decisions, but because they desire wealth, which only the top people in the country attain. Those in power benefit the most from the class system. Politicians and friends of politicians make the biggest decisions related to media and social media, as well as remain the most wealthy. It’s a corrupt system that doesn’t benefit the majority of the people.
When the politicians have the most power, with the most influence and corruption at their fingertips, the civilians must be happy. Even if they don’t feel happy. Citizens can’t openly criticize the government — it could have consequences on their lives. Russia is strict in how it views its people; anyone who doesn’t fit this mold is negatively impacted. For instance, people who identify as LGBT in Russia must hide who they are. Some have even been killed if they come out. It can be a dangerous place if you don’t conform to the government’s ideals.
An overzealous regulatory system.
As stated above, the government’s hands are dipped in everything. The media, television channels, and social media are all regulated by the government. It also stands in the way of new developments and industries — the IT market would’ve flourished quicker if the government had more of an interest in growing it. Because if it’s going to grow, they want it to grow the way they want.
Opportunities: New economic streams and job opportunities
Capitalize on the entertainment factor.
Entertainment is one of Russia’s many strengths. It could become another source of income for Russians. Tourism could increase, particularly in the most lively cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg. These two locations have the opportunity to attract attention overseas, becoming a nice vacation spot for foreigners.
Fewer fossil fuels, more technology.
The growing IT market is a point of interest for Russian citizens. You can already find high-tech parks, but that’s only the beginning. Since the hardware needs to be imported, the cost may be too much for most citizens. The Russian government will need to invest in the tech, and no one knows when or if this will really happen. If the government does shift its attention to the tech landscape, it’ll open up new possibilities and job opportunities.
Threats: Big power brings big problems
Other country’s military weapons.
Although Russia has one of the largest military powers — as mentioned in the ‘strengths’ section of this article — it’s not infallible. China and the United States have larger armies, but also nuclear weapons too. In many ways, these two countries have more power than Russia, which puts them at odds. Other countries view Russia as a threat and if they ever made a questionable move, it could be problematic for Russia.
Diminishing birth rates.
Russia’s birth rates are on the low — the lowest they’ve been in over 20 years. In 2016 the birth rate was lower than in the United States but higher than in Japan. Now, there’s barely a difference between Japan and Russia. At the moment, this threat shows zero signs of repairing itself
SWOT Analysis of Russia: Bottom line
Russia has many strengths — military power, the resiliency of the citizens, and access to natural resources and minerals that many parts of the world depend on. However, their weaknesses are intense — the government is vast and corrupt and the people feel like they can’t be honest about their feelings.
Without governmental help, new industries can’t take off, despite Russia being in the perfect opportunity to build out their technology market. The overreliance on the government is only one of the threats — there are the declining birth rate and the rocky relationship with other countries affecting Russia too.
Image by Светлана Красивая