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Military balance overwhelmingly in favour of Russia despite West support to Ukraine

Military balance overwhelmingly in favour of Russia despite West support to Ukraine.(Photo for representation)

Although Ukraine has been getting a lot of arms from the West in recent years, the balance of military power is overwhelmingly in favour of Russia both in terms of its formidable arsenal of military hardware as well as the number of troops.  

According to the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), Russia's armed forces amount to 900,000 troops, plus some two million reserves and more than half a million other forces.

Ukraine's forces meanwhile amount to barely more than the number of troops Russia has amassed on its borders, with a standing army of 145,000, 45,000 in the air force and 11,000 in the navy, according to IISS estimates.

It has some 100,000 other forces and 900,000 reserve soldiers.

Military analysts also point out that the gap is much wider in military hardware, with the Russian army equipped with close to 16,000 armoured fighting vehicles, including tanks, whereas Ukraine has a mere 3,300 such vehicles.

Russia’s missile firepower and artillery guns vastly outmatch Ukraine, while the Ukrainian air force is merely one-tenth the size of Russia’s.

"The military balance of power is totally overwhelming" in favour of Moscow, an AFP report cited Francois Heisbourg, special advisor to the Foundation for Strategic Research (FRS) in Paris as saying.

Ukraine has benefited from substantial Western military aid since the onset of the conflict in its east from 2014, including $2.5 billion worth from the United States, $400 million of that in 2021 alone.

Analysts at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) said in a report earlier this month that Ukraine's air defences were "woefully deficient" both in terms of quality and quantity.

Ukraine also faces the problem of sharing a land border of almost 2,000 kilometres (1,250 miles) with Russia, most of which is exposed to attack, and a 1,000-kilometre border with Moscow's ally Belarus.

"The conventional military balance is stacked firmly against Ukraine," the RUSI analysts said.