Monday, March 3, 2014

Ukraine Military Documents Show Weakness

Ukraine's underfunded and outdated military, with Cold War-era technology and salaries to match, would be an anemic deterrent if the Russian invasion of Crimea were to widen into a bigger confrontation, according to a 2012 Ukrainian Ministry of Defense report.

Obsolete tanks and fighter planes, a miniscule navy and a dwindling army whose approximately 100,000 soldiers earn about half the nation’s average salary all bode poorly for the nation of 45 million what declared its independence from Russia in 1991.

“It is absolutely not a combat ready force. It’s sharply underfunded, and they don’t have any real air or surface to air or capacity compared to what Russia can deploy — even though Russia is no paragon of military readiness either,” Anthony Cordesman, of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told

Themes of underfunding and lack of modernization fill the Ukrainian military “White Book,” which reviewed as Russian forces poured into the Black Sea peninsula, surrounding a military base and sending a chill north to Kiev...

The report says that Ukrainian forces have archaic equipment as a result.

“At the end of 2011, most of the technical communications are analog, and the digital communications element accounts for less than 10 percent of the whole communications system,” the report reads.

“This does not meet the needs of the troops,” it adds.

The Ukrainian military report also notes that out of 22 tanks that needed to be modernized between 2006 and 2011, only 10 were finished due to budget constraints. Out of 31 combat aircraft needing modernization, only three were finished. For combat ships it was four out of 22, and for combat helicopters zero out of 38.

Ukraine’s military funding is dramatically below the global average, the report says.

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