Ukrainian battle Tank T-64B(left), Russian T-72B3 tank (right) CREDIT MOD CROWN 24082021/ ITAR-TASS NEWS AGENCY ALAMY 270122.jpg
A Ukrainian T-64B battle tank (left) and a Russian T-72B3 tank (Pictures: MOD Crown Copyright (left) and Erik Romanenko/TASS/ITAR-TASS News Agency/Alamy (right)).
Russia

In numbers: How does Ukraine's military stack up against Russia?

The 2022 edition of 'The Military Balance' offers an assessment of global military capabilities and defence economics.

Ukrainian battle Tank T-64B(left), Russian T-72B3 tank (right) CREDIT MOD CROWN 24082021/ ITAR-TASS NEWS AGENCY ALAMY 270122.jpg
A Ukrainian T-64B battle tank (left) and a Russian T-72B3 tank (Pictures: MOD Crown Copyright (left) and Erik Romanenko/TASS/ITAR-TASS News Agency/Alamy (right)).

Russia has more than 4.5 times the military size of Ukraine in terms of personnel.

That's according to 'Military Balance 2022', a new report by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), an assessment of all military capabilities and defence economics of 171 countries worldwide.

Russia has been widely condemned for launching an attack on Ukraine, with Russian President Vladimir Putin warning other countries that any attempt to interfere would lead to "consequences you have never seen".

But, how do Russia and Ukraine's militaries compare?

Russia:

Russia supports capable conventional military forces and retains the world's second-largest nuclear arsenal.

Its armed forces can independently deploy and sustain forces on a global scale, although likely only in modest size at extended distances.

The country's air-led intervention in Syria indicated that Russia was able to deploy, sustain and maintain a high operational tempo for a fixed and rotary-wing air component, along with the required force protection package for its main operating base.

Russia continues to modernise its nuclear and conventional weapons.

Russian BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicles and a truck during drills held by the armed forces of the Southern Military District at the Kadamovsky range in the Rostov region, Russia 270122 CREDIT REUTERS ALAMY cover image
Russian BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicles and a truck during drills at the Kadamovsky range in the Rostov region, Russia, in January (Picture: Sergey Pivovarov/Reuters/Alamy).

Russian military in numbers

Russia has a total of 900,000 active military personnel, made up of: 

- Army 280,000

- Navy 150,000

- Air 165,000

- Strategic Rocket Force 50,000

- Airborne 45,000

- Special Operations Forces 1,000

- Railway Forces 29,000

- Command and Support 180,000

Russia also has 554,000 Gendarmerie and Paramilitary and 2,000,000 (all arms) in reserve with service within the last five years, with reserve obligation to age 50.

Watch: NATO activates defence plans after Russian 'act of war' in Ukraine.

Ukraine:

Ukraine continues to aspire to membership in NATO, with an ongoing reform programme intended to align its armed forces with alliance standards.

The armed forces participate in bilateral and multinational exercises. The equipment inventory still consists predominantly of Soviet-era weaponry.

Sustaining and in some cases upgrading these systems is a near-term concern, and equipment replacements will be required over the coming decade.

Alongside an aspiration to re-equip the air force with Western combat aircraft by the mid-2030s, there is a near-term focus on improving its limited naval capability, seen in the acquisition of ex-UK minehunters in 2022 as well as two new-build corvettes on order from Turkey.

The country has a broad defence industrial base, operating in all sectors, although its capability remains shaped, and limited, by its Soviet heritage.

Ukrainian Main Battle Tanks (left)T-84U (right)T-64B taking part in the independence parade in Kiev 24082021 CREDIT MOD CROWN COPY.jpg
Pictured are Ukraine's main battle tanks: a T-84U (left) and a T-64B (right) taking part in last year's independence parade marking the 30th anniversary of Ukraine's independence (Picture: MOD).

Ukraine's military in numbers

Ukraine's active military personnel pales in comparison to Russia's 900,000 with just 196,600, made up of:

- Army 125,600

- Navy 15,000

- Air Force 35,000

- Airborne 20,000

- Special Operations Forces 1,000

In addition, the Gendarmerie and Paramilitary is made up of 102,000.

Ukraine also has a reserve number of 900,000, with military service within five years.