Ukraine's Military Capabilities: Large Army, But Old Equipment

 @David_Kashi
on March 05 2014 5:09 PM

Wondering what a military confrontation between Russia and Ukraine would look like? Here’s a map from the International Institute for Strategic Studies, a leading global security think tank, that sheds some light. 

While Ukraine may be able to put up a fight with its 130,000 troops, most of the country’s weaponry is outdated as the armed forces use mainly Soviet-era equipment.

Ukraine’s defense spending has remained low for years and as a result, “the services have suffered from inadequate financing and defense reforms have been significantly underfunded,” IISS wrote. 

Ukraine, located on the eastern side of the Black Sea region, has a small navy. Several bases are found in its autonomous region of Crimea, which Russian troops now roam.

In fact, about 16,000 Russian troops have surrounded several Ukrainian army bases in Crimea. Russia entered the peninsula because it claims it is protecting the ethnic-Russian majority of its population.

Russia also has its Black Sea fleet, which is based in the Crimean port of Sevastopol, leased from Ukraine.

The map below details the locations and equipment of the Ukrainian Air Force, which has in general better equipment than the rest of the country's armed forces. Its frontline equipment includes Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker and Mig-29 Fulcrum fighters, the height of Soviet warplane technology, which it kept after the 1991 dissolution of the USSR.

While the Su-27 and Mig-29 would defend the Ukrainian airspace against the Russian Air Force, Ukraine also has Sukhoi Su-24 bombers, which could also be used against ships; Su-25 ground attack planes; and Ilyushin Il-76 transports. The Russians would use in any air campaign the same aircraft, but in more recent and technologically updated versions. 

Ukraine-Crimea-2014 map Ukraine: Main land and air force dispositions  International Institute for Strategic Studies

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