Regardless of historical, social or political realities that helped lead Russia to being the largest country in the world today, it is inevitably Russia’s sparse population and the emptiness of large regions within the country that led to its massive territorial size. The expansion of Russian territory eastward under Ivan IV started in 1582 with the conquest of the Khanate of Sibir. This continued until the 18th century as a gradual conquering of indigenous groups when the east became Russia’s largest region of Siberia, and this was largely made possible simply due to the lack of resistance met in these regions.
However this has not proven to be a positive result for Russia as there seems to have been a historical trade off between territory and manageability, resulting in the country never becoming as powerful a nation as its territory should imply. Having the largest territory means that it is nearly impossible to police such a large area and Russia is, as a result, a difficult area to exercise control over, and sometimes impossible to enforce law and order. Coupling this with the geographic issues effecting efficiency in Russia has left the country without the economic power or prosperity the landmass occupied would infer, and furthermore Russia's geographic surroundings and lack of warm water ports make its huge landmass less significant as a benefit to the country.