Budget, army, arsenal … Compare the military strength of both countries

This is the story of clay pots and iron pots. While Vladimir Putin launched an attack on Ukraine on Thursday, February 24, and the fighting intensified to Kiev on Friday, Ukrainian troops seemed to be rarely comparable to those of the Russian giant.

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Ukraine began modernizing its army after Moscow annexed the Crimean in 2014, especially thanks to financial and military assistance from the West. A strong neighbor. The French Amfo, which supports the numbers, knows the status of the troops on both sides.

Russia’s military budget 10 times that of Ukraine

Defense budget by Russia and Ukraine.  (PIERRE-ALBERT JOSSERAND / FRANCEINFO)

Ukrainian side. According to the World Bank, the country spends 4.1% of its gross domestic product (GDP) on military spending. This is a very high number, higher than in France or the United States. However, Ukraine’s GDP is relatively low, so this is only $ 5.9 billion. To this budget spent by Ukraine, we must add the assistance provided by the West in terms of equipment and logistics. AFP claims that the United States has provided Ukraine with more than $ 2.5 billion in military aid since 2014.

Russian side Russia’s share of GDP for defense is similar to that of Ukraine (4.3%). But that’s $ 61.7 billion. In other words, the military budget is more than 10 times that of Kiev. According to the Global Firepower benchmark site (English page), Moscow has the second most powerful army in the world after the United States. Ukraine is in 22nd place in this same ranking.

Hundreds of thousands of soldiers on each side

The number of active duty soldiers of the Russian and Ukrainian troops.  (PIERRE-ALBERT JOSSERAND / FRANCEINFO)

Ukrainian side. The days when the Ukrainian army counted only a few thousand soldiers now seem like a long way off. In 2014, when Russia invaded Crimea without shooting a single shot, only 6,000 Ukrainian soldiers were ready for combat, according to a summary of the US Congress in June 2021. Express.. According to the “Military Balance” of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) quoted by AFP, the Ukrainian army today counts nearly 200,000 soldiers. Kiev can also rely on 900,000 bookers. On Thursday, the country proclaimed the latter and the general mobilization of Ukrainian conscription. Currently, men between the ages of 18 and 60 are prohibited from leaving the border.

Russian side. On the contrary, Russia would still be exercising about 900,000 soldiers in its army, according to IISS figures. Of this total, about 150,000 soldiers were stationed on the Russian-Ukraine border before the invasion began on Thursday, according to the number of Washington and Kiev featured by AFP. In addition, Belarus has another 30,000 Russian soldiers deployed. Vladimir Putin can also count on 2 million bookers.

Larger and more modern Russian ground weapons

Ukrainian and Russian military land equipment.  (PIERRE-ALBERT JOSSERAND / FRANCEINFO)

Ukrainian side. Beyond human resources, Ukraine has 1,184 armored vehicles and 858 tanks, one-third that of Russians.detail Parents (English article) Based on IISS data. He further explained that the best Ukrainian fighting vehicle was the T-64, and that Soviet tanks introduced in the 1960s were far less modern than Russian tanks. Forbes February 17th. Countries led by Volodymyr Zelensky can also rely on over 1,800 cannons and heavy weapons that can target long-range enemies.

Russian side. Moscow has more than 5,220 fighting vehicles and more than 2,840 tanks. They can rely on the T-90s, the first combat tank model sold in the 1990s. On the artillery side, the Russian army has a total of more than 4,684 pieces, twice and a half of the enemy. The largest gun is the 2S7, which can attack at a distance of 50km.They are used by two warriors, but recall that the Russians are making their own models faster and more accurately than their neighbors. Forbes.. “”Russian cannons are clearly more advanced in quantity and quality than Ukrainians. “ Summarizes Olivier Schmidt, Principal Investigator of the Institute for Advanced Defense (IHEDN), interviewed by Amfo, France. Russia can also expect fleet support in the Black Sea. This includes several ships carrying Caliber missiles with a range of 2,000 km. point (Article for subscribers)..

There are few planes on the Ukrainian side, and Russians have strong anti-aircraft capabilities.

Russian and Ukrainian aerial military equipment.  (PIERRE-ALBERT JOSSERAND / FRANCEINFO)

Ukrainian side. According to the IISS “Military Balance”, the Ukrainian Air Force has just under 200 military aircraft and 46 helicopters.But according to the magazine Forbes, Only 125 of these aircraft are fighters.Furthermore, according to pointLike helicopters, these devices are all made in Russia.

Russian side. As part of that, Russia can rely on the Air Force ten times as much as Ukraine, with 1,846 military aircraft and 832 helicopters. But the real strength of Moscow is its anti-aircraft capability. The Kremlin, in particular, has an S-400 surface-to-air missile with a range of 1,400 kilometers.Emphasize what to do to prevent flight across Ukraine point.. “Ukrainians are in an impossible military situation and Russians have complete control of the sky.”Fran├žois Eisbourg, Special Advisor to the President of the Strategic Research Foundation (FRS), said, interviewed by AFP.