Could Russia beat the US in a war?

In terms of military strength, the United States has a history of superior equipment though Russia has a history of larger numbers. At the end of World War II, the United States would have had a good chance as the country was still mobilized from the war and Soviet Russia had been weakened by the German invasion. In addition to that there would also have been enthusiastic support from Poland.

At the time of the Cold War, a direct confrontation could have gone either way. As far as the nuclear bombs are concerned, both countries possessed them and still do. Both countries had enough nuclear bombs to annihilate the other countries and permanently targeted at important cities. There would have been enough time for any country launched on to launch a retaliatory strike, most likely resulting in nuclear winter and the end of the world as we know it. That is largely the reason why neither country could risk a direct confrontation.