The collapse of the former Soviet Union the Russian Federation is, in many ways, only beginning to come to terms with its communist past and has yet to define its future. The process of reconciling its historical legacy with decisions on its future path is a slow and painful process. Facilitating this process of transition and change will be the fact that Russia inherited considerable natural resources, a wide, if outdated, industrial base and a well-educated workforce. The challenges facing Russia can be divided into two broad areas: internal security challenges and external or international security challenges. Although Russia is highly likely to evolve into a peaceful democratic state, a sudden change in direction cannot be totally ruled out. One of the greatest but least recognized, challenges to Russia’s security in the future is the sharp decline in the health and sense of well-being of a substantial number of the Russian people.