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12 Oct. 2023

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Military potential of Ukraine and russia: Comparison as of 2023

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Military potential of Ukraine and russia: Comparison as of 2023

Russia's war against Ukraine is approaching a new important stage that could significantly affect the course of the conflict. The importance and scale of the issues being addressed by Ukrainian defenders today cannot be underestimated. Learn more about how the military potential of Ukraine and russia has changed as of 2023

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After more than 19 months of full-scale war in Ukraine, the military potential of the participants in the conflict still differs significantly, such data is published by Global Firepower - a ranking of the combined military power of the world's states.

And although such an analysis is difficult to call completely objective, because, firstly, Ukraine and russia carefully hide data about their own losses as a result of military actions, and secondly, information from open russian sources is difficult to consider honest and objective. However, it is quite possible to make a statistical comparison.

Read more about the military potential of Ukraine and russia as of 2023.


The general position of armies in the Global Firepower rating


The year of war in Ukraine and the huge losses that our Armed Forces inflicted on the aggressor did not change the position of the russian army in the overall rating.

In the Global Firepower Index-2023, russia retained its place, albeit with a worse indicator than in 2022, but the russian army still remains the "second army in the world".

At the same time, this year the Armed Forces rose from last year's 22nd place to 15th.


Comparison of the number of personnel of the Ukrainian and russian armies


As of 2023, according to Global Firepower, the Armed Forces of Ukraine number about 500,000 servicemen, of which 200,000 are active military personnel. In addition, 250,000 soldiers are part of the country's reserve forces.

For comparison, russia has about four times more active military personnel (1,330,900 people) and the same number, as in Ukraine, of reservists. In terms of the number of active military personnel, russia ranks fifth in the world - the country has 830,900 active soldiers.

However, the problem of providing human resources for waging war is becoming more and more urgent, especially considering the huge losses of the russian federation. In addition to the fact that the russians are in no hurry to go to war, the country still has a serious problem of a shortage of middle-ranking officers, and the non-commissioned officers mostly lack the necessary experience and authority.

Also, even if the leadership manages to recruit the necessary number of people, the question of provision - accommodation, equipment, weapons - is acute. Most of the mobilized do not have the necessary military experience and quite often receive quick and poor-quality training, so they go to the battlefield without the necessary knowledge.

A sharp increase in the number of the Armed Forces (from 261,000 in 2021 to 700,000 in 2023) occurred at the beginning of the war, and no "peak" mobilizations were observed in Ukraine. Currently, the main task of mobilization in Ukraine is replenishing losses and creating a small reserve. The Ukrainian military-political leadership has repeatedly emphasized "that the Ukrainian army is sufficiently manned, but needs more weapons." Also, a significant advantage of Ukraine is the availability of qualified personnel, because before the war, almost 420,000 Ukrainian servicemen had experience of combat operations.




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The military-technical potential of the russian and Ukrainian armies


At the beginning of the full-scale invasion, russia had a significant advantage in weapons over Ukraine. As of 2023, according to Global Firepower, the military endowment comparison of the two armies remains unchanged – and, unfortunately, very much not in our favor. russia's military capabilities exceed Ukraine's. For example, the number of aircraft at the disposal of the russian army approached 4,200 units, while the ZSU has 312 aircraft. The number of helicopters is also significantly different - 1,531 in russia versus 113 in Ukraine.

The russian Navy is almost 16 times larger than the Ukrainian Navy. There are only 38 warships in Ukraine, but 598 russian ones.

In addition, russia is one of the nine states in the world that possess nuclear weapons. As of the beginning of 2022, russia had the largest stockpile of nuclear warheads in the world (5,977 units).

In terms of the number of armored vehicles, russia also surpasses Ukraine. As of the beginning of 2023, the armed forces of Ukraine had less than 1.9 thousand tanks, which is more than six times less than russia's. To support Ukraine during the russian invasion, several Western countries have committed to supplying Ukraine with tanks, including Leopard 2, Challenger 2 and M1 Abrams. According to analysts, since the beginning of the invasion, Ukraine has received 757 tanks. Combined with a tally of equipment lost or captured, Ukraine's tank fleet has grown since the invasion began last year, while russia's has halved.

In addition, Ukraine received other types of armored vehicles from Western countries, such as M133 armored personnel carriers from the United States and Mastiff (6x6) protected patrol vehicles from Great Britain.

Also, the gap between the russian and Ukrainian armies in terms of the number of artillery and rocket launcher systems has narrowed. russia currently has, according to analysts' estimates, 1,900 heavy artillery pieces and 841 MLRS systems, while the Armed Forces have 1,100 and 427, respectively.


In general, according to various estimates, since the beginning of the full-scale aggression, russia has lost (taking into account weapons removed from storage) 30% of tanks, 27% of armored combat vehicles, 21% of artillery, 23% of airplanes, 32% of helicopters. The military-industrial complex of russia is currently experiencing significant difficulties with the provision of production equipment and the supply of components (especially microcircuits, bearings, materials). Reserves of modern weapons in russia are gradually being depleted, while the potential of the Armed Forces is growing due to the transfer of high-tech weapons from the international coalition.


Undoubtedly, statistical indicators demonstrate a significant advantage of the russian army in terms of the number of servicemen and military support. However, Ukraine will benefit due to the experience, strength and skill of the Armed Forces, as well as the presence of modern military weapons, albeit in small quantities.


We remind you! In October, the US Lend-Lease law for Ukraine officially expired, and NATO warns that the West has almost exhausted its military aid. Read more about whether support for Ukraine will continue and what additional options the Ukrainian authorities have in our previous article.


Want to know more? Read the latest news and useful materials about Ukraine and the world in the News section.




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