Ukrainian Armed Forces vs Russian Armed forces

There is absolutely no appetite within NATO to be involved in this conflict by providing the Ukrainian armed forces with equipment that would alter a balance of power between the two countries, one analyst thinks.


1. In the open full scale military conflict wouldn’t Ukraine armed force probably stand a chance against Russian military, would they? Does Ukraine military has any edge in any area over Russian military?

2. Without being involved too much, as in may opinion the West do not want to be involved in possible military conflict, is it anything NATO, the West, the US can do for Ukraine military to strengthen its position?


Konrad MuzykaEurope and CIS Armed Forces Analyst, IHS Jane’s

Well, Ukraine would not stand a chance. It is inferior in every aspect. This refers to air force, army, and naturally navy. Ukraine possesses fewer combat aircraft, helicopters, vessels, main battle tanks, ect. There is not a capability Ukrainians would be superior to the Russian armed forces. It was reported in March that Ukraine had only 6,000 combat ready troops, hence the establishment of a 60,000-strong National Guard. We currently estimate that Russia has deployed 80k troops that can take part in a military conflict. 40k is close to Ukraine (forward deployed) and further 40k are forward deployable. As such, Russian military propensity is overwhelming.

2. There is absolutely no appetite within NATO to be involved in this conflict by providing the Ukrainian armed forces with equipment that would alter a balance of power between the two countries. That’s why is has only Ukraine with food rations. If the alliance was serious about helping Ukraine it would first and foremost provide Kiev with defensive weapons such as surface-to-air or anti-tank missiles. However, if the conflict escalated that would mean that NATO would be engaged in a proxy war (near its borders) with Russia. Undoubtedly further antagonising to Russia, this is something the Western Europe is not willing to face.

Marcel de HaasSenior Research Associate, Netherlands Institute of International Relations Clingendael

1. No, both in troop strength as in combat readiness the Ukrainian side is much weaker, hence they do not stand any chance against Russia.

2. NATO could preventively deploy NATO Response Force (15,000 military) at Ukrainian’s border with Russia, to avoid a Russian invasion. Putin will not attach NATO forces.

Thomas NicholsProfessor of National Security Affairs, U. S. Naval War College

1. I don’t see how the Ukrainian military can stop Russian operations. This is not a criticism of the Ukrainian military, but rather a realistic estimate of the different size of the two militaries.

2. I think the U.S. is already undertaking measure to help Ukraine be more effective. What more can be done will depend, I think, on how far the Russians decide to press this crisis.

Eugene RumerSenior Associate and Director, Russia and Eurasia Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

1. I would think a lot will depend on the type of military operations and the strategy chosen by them. That said, I think the challenge to the Russian military comes not only from the Ukrainian military, but also from regular citizens who may form self-defense units, arm themselves with Molotov cocktails and small arms, and thus inflict considerable losses on the Russian military especially in urban areas. This could be a real threat especially in the case of a prolonged occupation rather than a quick strike/incursion by the Russian military into Ukraine. And of course we have no idea what the Russian military’s plans are.

2. As to the West’s/NATO’s role here, I don’t think it will get involved militarily, though some US politicians (John McCain) have raised the possibility of supplying weapons to the Ukrainian military and possibly self-defense/citizens units, as well as sharing intelligence. I think in the event of a protracted conflict between Russia and Ukraine (which quite honestly, I find difficult to imagine) we could see the United States and NATO supplying some weapons to Ukraine. But I think this is a far off possibility.




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