Tensions between Russia and Ukraine have risen to unprecedented levels, and Russia has made its intentions very clear: it won’t accept Ukraine to attempt to regain the territories lost to the pro-Russian separatists.
Since 2014, when Ukraine changed its government from a pro-Russian president to a government allied to the US and EU, Russians have been trying to get back their influence in Ukraine – and now, Russia is on the verge of launching an invasion of Ukraine that analysts place as close as early 2022.
The main reasons Russia could defeat Ukraine
1. Russia could defeat Ukraine on the seas
CNO travels to Russia by Defense Imagery Management Operations Center. Public Domain.
In Ukraine, the main military actions would take place on land and in the air because Russia could easily secure control over the seas. Ukrainian Naval Forces are comprised of a fleet of only 11 ships and 6,500 men (it may increase to 43 warships and 9,000 men).
On the other hand, the Russian Navy is comprised by:
- 1 aircraft carrier: Aircraft Carrier Admiral Kuznetsov.
- 2 Kirov-class battle cruiser.
- 15 destroyers and cruisers.
- 100 frigates and corvettes.
- 12 general submarines and almost 60 attack submarines.
- 150,000 men.
2. Russia could achieve air supremacy soon if the US doesn’t support Ukraine
Russian Fighter Intercepts US Aircraft by Charles Larkin Sr. Public Domain.
The Ukrainian Air Force has 175 aircraft according to the World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft.
Many aircraft are obsolete soviet airplanes, and the most modern are MiG-29, SU-24, and SU-25. In addition, the Ukrainian Air Force is inexperienced compared to the combat readiness and unparalleled technical superiority of Russia.
Russia has the world’s 2nd place by active combat aircraft with 4,163 military aircraft and almost 200,000 men in service, which is more than enough to beat Ukraine.
So, the air campaign would be a decisive phase of the invasion, and the achievement of air superiority would be a priority to facilitate the invasion and the advance of armored divisions and artillery infantry.
3. Ukraine is strong in ground operations… But Russia is stronger
Russian Army Bosnia by ALEJANDRO CABELLO. Public Domain.
Probably the strongest branch of the Ukrainian armed forces is the Ukrainian Army. It is composed of 250,000 troops and almost one million reservists.
Although, on the other hand, its army is heterogeneous. It has many pro-Western Ukrainian members in the west and pro-Russian members in the east. So, many experts point to possible mass defections to the Russian side.
Ukraine has a formidable armored fleet of over 1,100 active tanks. Quite impressive numbers until we remember that the bulk of its force is made up of Soviet tanks and armored vehicles now considered outdated.
Russia has 280,000 active army men. But, the most lethal component of its ground offensive will be its self-propelled artillery divisions capable of hitting and destroying targets dozens of miles away with great precision.
So. it is clear that Russia could defeat Ukraine and has a decisive advantage on the sea, air, and land. In fact, Russia has every chance of winning… Unless NATO intervenes.
NATO and the US are the only real defense of Ukraine
Different scenarios could have very different outcomes. A conventional conflict in which Russia would directly fight would involve an escalation of the conflict between Russia and NATO – and NATO has almost 3 million Armed forces personnel.
So, Russia and NATO will measure forces to see who has more influence in Ukraine in the next years. For NATO, the risk of doing nothing would be to let Russia expand its influence over Ukraine. While for Russia, the risk of doing nothing would be to allow NATO to place military bases on its border.
Today, neither side is willing to give in, and they are increasingly arming their forces. In any case, Russia could defeat Ukraine if the US doesn’t provide enough weapons to the Ukrainian military forces.
Featured image credit: Russia Defeat Ukraine by shutterstock.com