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Ukraine’s forces no match for Russia in manpower, gear and experience -Breaking


© Reuters. After Russian President Vladimir Putin authorized a military operation in Ukraine’s Kharkiv Region, Ukraine on February 24, 2022, Ukrainian soldiers are standing next to several launch missile systems. REUTERS/Antonio Bronic

By Mark Trevelyan

(Reuters) – Ukrainian troops are defending against an invading Russian army on three sides. The Russian military is larger, more armed and has recent combat experience with the civil war in Syria.

Ukrainian cities were hit by missiles on Thursday. Ukraine received reports of columns of troops from Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine landing on the Azov Sea Coasts.

Russia’s goal remained vague, but Kyiv was clear as a target. President Vladimir Putin stated that he would “strive to the demilitarisation of Ukraine.”

According to Ben Barry (senior fellow for land warfare, International Institute for Strategic Studies), “The Russian military command is going to want to move very fast, especially to take control of Kyiv and to stop a cohesive Ukrainian defense from being formed and, if possible, disrupt the movement and resources of Ukrainian reserves.”

The Ukrainian president’s adviser claimed that Hostomel Airfield was taken by Russian forces northwest of the capital. Barry suggested this would give them the ability to fly more hardware and light armoured vehicles in an effort to intensify the attack.

According to him, the Russian advances on the Azov Sea Coast and close to Kharkiv in northeast suggest an attempt at encircling Ukrainian forces in eastern Ukraine.

According to the United States, Russia was estimated to have more than 150,000 soldiers positioned around Ukraine’s borders just before the invasion. There were also tens and thousands of Russian-backed fighters operating in the eastern regions.

The authoritative IISS Military Balance Report released last week shows that Ukraine’s active military forces totals 196,000.

Analysts say that while they have a strong desire to defend their country and are now equipped with Turkish anti-tank missiles and U.S. drones, the analysts believe they are very vulnerable to missile and air attack. The Russian Black Sea Fleet’s might means that Ukraine’s Navy is limited to a single major warship, and twelve patrol boats.


Ukraine has had eight years of conflict with separatists in the east. Its history is marked by static World War One-style trench warfare.

Russia’s troops demonstrated, in Syria where they fought alongside President Bashar Al-Assad, they can travel quickly over large distances and construct floating bridges that cross rivers.

The opposition claims that Russia’s air forces carried out thousands of air attacks, inflicting many thousands of civilian casualties. Barry reports that tens to thousands of Russian military personnel saw service in Syria and that senior land, air and special-operations (Spetsnaz), personnel had been through multiple tours.

Russian soldiers were able to share extensive knowledge of urban warfare with Assad’s Hezbollah allies. This could be valuable if major cities in Ukraine are attacked.

Janes is a defense intelligence provider and analyst that claims Russia used the Syrian conflict to test modernised aircraft, ground, and naval equipment, including Su-57 fighter planes and Kalibr cruise rockets.

Barry stated that in order to prevail against Russia the Ukrainian forces must display high standards of tactics, be bold, resolute, and develop a campaign plan superior to Russia’s.

“The Ukrainians only have one advantage: they are fighting for their homeland on their soil. Second, large numbers of civilians have volunteered to join the Armed Forces, which may complicate any Russian attack on urban areas.