How Does Ukraine’s Military Strength Compare With Russia’s, And How Long Could They Hold Off An Attack?

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Russia had no issues at all getting through Ukraine’s military forces when it plotted a takeover of the Crimean Peninsula in 2014. Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president, even stated that no guns were fired during the operation.

If Putin decides to invade Ukraine again, Russian forces will encounter a significantly more formidable enemy. However, according to analysts, Ukraine’s military is better prepared than it was eight years ago.

“They are not what they were in 2014,” said Jim Townsend, a former U.S. deputy assistant secretary of defense.

Concerns over Russian plans to invade its smaller neighbor have risen dramatically in the past few weeks. On Saturday, the Biden administration warned Putin that the Ukraine invasion would end in “swift and severe costs for Russia.”

Russia vs Ukraine: scenarios in a possible war, according to Western  military experts | South China Morning Post

According to the Atlantic Council, even though Russia has one of the most formidable armed forces and would almost likely dominate, Ukraine’s defense forces might wreak major harm on Russian troops.

Russia’s military boasts over a million active-duty members, more than four times the size of Ukraine’s. In addition, Russia has 378,000 reserve soldiers and 250,000 paramilitary forces at its disposal in the case of a dispute.

Furthermore, Russia has around 12,000 tanks (vs. 2,500 in Ukraine), 30,000 armoured vehicles (vs. 12,000 in Ukraine), and 12,000 self-propelled artillery (Ukraine has a little over 1,000).

Russia also has more than 700 fighter planes (compared to around 70 for Ukraine), 700 attack planes (in contrast to less than 30 for Ukraine), 500 assault helicopters (compared to 34 for Ukraine), and 1,500 helicopters (Ukraine has a little over 100).

Russia dominates the seas with 15 destroyers, 70 submarines, 11 frigates, and approximately 50 mine warfare ships. On the other hand,  Ukraine does not have any warships or submarines, only a frigate, and a mine warfare vessel.

The United States has already made major expenditures in Ukraine’s military defenses. In January, the White House announced that Ukraine would receive an additional $200 million in defensive military weaponry. Anti-armor missiles, ammunition, and other equipment, according to reports.

When Russia attacked and seized Crimea in 2014, Ukraine was not adequately equipped for combat. According to the Atlantic Council, its armed forces were neither equipped nor trained to combat Russian military rage. In addition, Ukraine’s logistic depots were non-existent, except for weaponry and ammunition primarily from the Soviet period.

Russia has 90,000 troops near Ukraine border, Kyiv says | Military News |  Al Jazeera

According to the council, Ukraine has prioritized military modernization during the last seven years, but its military still has significant issues such as lack of combat capabilities. In addition, corruption is prevalent all over. Moreover, the country’s overall economic problems have risen dramatically in the past few years.

But for how long will Ukraine be able to keep Russia at bay? It’s tough to tell. For sure, Russia will attack Ukraine in a myriad of different ways, forcing Ukraine to divide its forces to confront the approaching troops.

Members of Ukraine's volunteer military units  train in a city park in Kyiv on Jan. 22, 2022.

According to Townsend, Russia is also anticipated to unleash cyberattacks against Ukraine’s military and civilian society, which may damage the country’s electrical grid and telecommunications infrastructure right away.

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