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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warned Russia after launching an attack on the country on Wednesday night that for the sake of their ‘freedom’, their ‘life’ and the ‘lives of their children, we will defend ourselves’ .
But how does Ukraine’s military capabilities compare to Russia’s?
Moscow has both arms and manpower in Kyiv – with at least three times the tanks of Zelenskyy’s Defense Force, according to Reuters. Russia has around 900,000 active duty troops in all branches of the military, compared to less than 200,000 for Ukraine, Britain’s Sky News reported.
Zelenskyy this week called up the country’s reservists, who number around 900,000, according to Sky News, compared to Russia’s 2 million. Ukraine also has volunteer territorial defense units throughout the country.
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Russia has about 280,000 soldiers in its army compared to 125,600 in Ukraine, according to Sky News.
Russia also has 10 times more military aircraft than Ukraine and Kiev’s anti-missile and anti-aircraft defense systems are lacking, experts say, Reuters reported.
That said, Ukraine has anti-aircraft systems and tanks as well as Javelin missiles, Humvees, sniper rifles, small arms and drones supplied by the United States, according to Reuters.
The country is better equipped and more experienced militarily since Russia annexed Crimea eight years ago. The United States has given more than $2.5 billion in military aid to Ukraine since 2014.
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Ukraine also receives military aid and supplies from other NATO countries such as the United Kingdom, Estonia and Turkey.
Russia would still be favored in a full-scale war, but Ukraine is now better prepared and armed to fight, according to Reuters.