The purpose of the following discussion is to evaluate whether or not the growing military strength of Russia was the key factor in explaining the expansion of Russian territory between 1682 and 1796. Undoubtedly the expansion of Russian territory in that period was impressive and various factors arguably contributed to the rapid growth of the Russian Empire. The Russian governments of that era without doubt funded and sanctioned their country’s growing military strength as the vehicle for Russia’s territorial expansion yet it should not be automatically assumed that military power was the key factor in that expansion. The growing military strength of Russia was indisputable yet other factors were influential, as outlined below. Peter the Great is the person that set about the expansion of Russia and was prepared to do anything to achieve it. Without him what was achieved later would have been much harder to achieve, if at all.