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Russia and Ukraine Military Comparison

  • Russian military vastly outnumbers Ukraine military in all aspects including defense budget, active military personnel on duty, fleet size, and other military hardware
  • Russia has more than 900,000 active military personnel on duty, whereas Ukraine has only 361,000 active military personnel
  • Russia's military spending in 2020, at $61.7 billion, was ten times more than that of Ukraine's $5.9 billion, as per Stockholm International Peace Research Institute

Fleet Size Comparison

Fleet Analysis by Leading Segments

Russia and Ukraine Conflict Overview

After months of building up its forces, Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24th, 2022. The invasion was referred to by Russian President Vladimir Putin as a ‘Special Military Operation’ to respond to what he called a serious threat, and stated that his aim was to ‘demilitarize’ and undertake the ‘denazification’ of its southern neighbor. Since the invasion, which has been termed as an act of aggression by the members of NATO, Russia has been facing isolation in all spheres due to its actions in Ukraine.

Russia Defense Market:

  • Russia is the world’s second-largest arms exporter, behind the United States. Russia exports arms to over 45 countries and has accounted for around 20% of global arms sales since 2016
  • Armor has always been a strong element of the Russian military. They had the largest number of Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) than any other military. The sheer number of armored vehicles at Russia’s disposal led many western analysts to predict the worst for Ukraine at the start of the invasion
  • Russia has lost 3,675 vehicles since the invasion began. Out of all the vehicles that have been lost, armored fighting vehicles make up the largest proportion with 1,865 vehicles lost
  • Russian military doctrine relies on a strong use of artillery systems to support its forward-deployed forces. This resource-heavy approach relies on a smaller logistical force compared to the US
  • Russia was thought to have possessed a strong electronic warfare capability, but the evidence so fat in the conflict shows that it is a force that may have the equipment but not the training and the support to use it

Ukraine Defense Market:

  • The Ukrainian defense industry was well-developed. During the Soviet Union era, the country was a center of arms production
  • The industry continued to decline since the start of the 2014 civil war in the Donbas region, where much of the defense industrial units are based. The Ukrainian defense industry was heavily reliant on relations with Russia, with many Russians working in the Ukrainian defense industry
  • China was the largest export destination for Ukrainian equipment with 35.5% of the market share
  • With the conflict raging currently and Russia targeting Ukrainian defense manufacturing sites, it is unlikely that the market will recover to previous levels in the near future

Russia and Ukraine Military Comparison

Unlike Russia’s defense forces, Ukraine barely has 3,143 fleets in Army, 334 fleets in Airforce, and 34 fleets under its and Navy segments, respectively.

When it comes to ground forces, Ukraine only has around 1,117 infantry fighting vehicles, 368 main battle tanks, and 268 armored personnel carriers, whereas Russia has 17,677 infantry fighting vehicles, and 17,370 main battle tanks, and 14,991 armored personnel carriers.

The Russian Navy boasts 866 fleets, including 20 attack helicopters and 155 multi-role helicopters, while Ukraine has just 28 fleets and no helicopters.



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