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Red Army

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From 1918 – 1946, the combined military forces of the Soviet Union were collectively called the Red Army, even when specialized high-technology forces entered the mix. In 1946, this changed to Soviet Army. China continues the Red Army tradition, with the People's Liberation Army containing the Chinese navy and air force. Under the Russian Federation, the forces are described separately.

The major elements were:

  1. Land forces
  2. Long-range air force
  3. Strategic missile forces
  4. Air defense (PVO STRANY)
  5. Navy
  6. Tactical air force

In addition, the airborne forces were under central control of the combined General Staff and Ministry of Defense. The highest command body, analogous to the U.S. National Command Authority in being composed of the head of government and selected cabinet-level officials, was called the Defense Council.