Even with tons of weapons, ammunition and equipment being transferred to Ukraine by Western allies in just the past few weeks, Ukraine’s military is still outmatched by Russia’s larger, more technologically advanced force. launched a multi-scale invasion.
Back in December, the commander of Ukraine’s military intelligence service, General Kyrylo O. Budanov, outlined a scenario in which a Russian invasion would begin with air strikes and missile strikes. aimed at ammunition depots and troops in the trenches – foreshadowing the attack that occurred early Thursday morning.
Very quickly, he said, the Ukrainian army will be incapacitated, its leaders unable to coordinate defense and supply the front. Then, he said, the responsibility would fall on frontline commanders to carry out the fight alone.
“They will hold on as long as they have ammunition,” General Budanov said in an interview. “They will be able to use what they have on hand, but believe me, without the delivery of the reserves, no army in the world can hold out.”
General Budanov spoke at a time when the Russian military deployed about 100,000 troops to the region. At the time of the invasion, according to US officials, Russia had amassed about 190,000 troops in or near Ukraine, including in Crimea and the Russian-backed breakaway regions in the eastern Donbas.
In recent weeks, the Russian military has also deployed advanced S-400 air defense systems that can effectively neutralize Ukraine’s small air force, as well as the capable Iskander-M cruise missile. attack targets anywhere in the territory of Ukraine.
The Russian force consists of 120 to 125 tactical battalions, up from the mid-80s earlier this month, according to two US officials familiar with the US intelligence assessment. Officials said some of the forces were Russian reserves who would form the occupation force after an invasion. The officials requested anonymity to discuss the government’s assessments.
Ukraine has only a few more soldiers and enlisted officers in its entire army, according to the Defense Ministry. The roughly 200 aircraft that comprise the entire Ukrainian air force are fewer than the number of warplanes Russia has deployed to the Ukrainian border.
But the Ukrainian army is not what it used to be. In 2014, Russia’s elite troops were able to capture the entire Crimean Peninsula in southern Ukraine without firing a single shot. When Russian-backed separatists took over parts of the Donbas, Ukraine had to rely on volunteer brigades of armed men with little or no military training.
The Ukrainian army has since found a way back, fighting the separatists to a stalemate and preventing the most serious hostilities. It did so with help from its Western allies.
The United States alone has provided $2.5 billion in military assistance including high-tech communications and surveillance equipment and drones. In November, the United States delivered about 88 tons of ammunition, part of a $60 million military aid package pledged by the Biden administration.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/24/world/europe/ukraine-war-military.html Ukraine’s army is overwhelmed by Russia despite Western support