Russian institutions called "academy" are post-graduate professional military schools for experienced, commissioned officers who have the equivalent of a bachelor's degree. Upon graduation, officers receive the equivalent of a master's degree and, if trained in military leadership are appointed as battalion commanders or higher from Lt. Colonel and up. Graduates with non-command training are appointed to various staff positions equivalent to Major or Lt. Colonel. Commissioned officers can study on the Kandidat Nauk (Russian: кандидат наук) level, equivalent to a Ph.D. degree. This research-oriented degree is required for faculty positions in military schools and defense research institutes. Carefully selected experienced researchers in military academies hold limited-term positions as senior scholars leading to the prestigious post-doctoral Doktor Nauk (Russian: доктор наук) degree, which is roughly the equivalent of a habilitation at Central European universities where it is a prerequisite for full professor positions in institutions of higher learning. There also are a number of "officer commissioning schools" for various services known as Higher Military Schools or Institutes.
As of 2010, a major reorganization of Russian military officer education, spanning the range from General Staff Academy to officer commissioning school, was underway.
Previous names include: Marshal Voroshilov Military Academy of the WPRA General Staff; General Staff of the Armed Forces of the USSR; General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation
In 1936 Leonid Govorov founded the current General Staff Academy in Moscow. It has been the senior Russian professional school for officers in their late 30s. The "best and the brightest" senior commissioned officers of all forces are selected to attend this most prestigious of all Soviet military academies. Students are admitted to the Academy in the ranks of lieutenant colonel, colonel, and Major General (one star). Most are colonels or newly promoted generals.
The precedence and grouping of these academies are drawn from Michael Holm's site.
In 1918 the Frunze Military Academy (Russian: Военная академия им. М. В. Фрунзе) in Moscow was established as the academy of the General Staff, which became the RKKA Military Academy in 1921. It is named after Mikhail Frunze then USSR Minister of Defense in mid-1920s. It is roughly the equivalent of the US army's Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas or the British army's Staff College, Camberley. Officers in their late twenties up to thirty-two years at the rank of Captain or Major enter if they pass the competitive entry examinations.
In the 1930s, higher academic courses were added to the Frunze curriculum as an advanced training program for previous graduates. Later on, this program became the basis for the "Voroshilov General Staff Academy" and the Frunze Academy refocused upon combined arms ground warfare training at the tactical level.