Russia-Ukraine Buildup 2021

Ukraine’s army commander Gen Ruslan Khomchak says Russia has deployed 28 battalion tactical groups near Ukraine’s eastern border and in Crimea. This is 20,000-25,000 troops. Russian officials have not confirmed that, nor given any precise figures. The Russian military has confirmed that an airborne assault brigade – about 4,000 troops – is being redeployed to Crimea from Volgograd in southern Russia this year.

At least four Ukrainian soldiers were killed in clashes with Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine yesterday.

The Russia-Ukraine situation has been in a stalemate after it first erupted in early 2014. Shelling and skirmishes still occur regularly, including an escalation in violence in the spring of 2018. In March 2018, the State Department approved the sale of anti-tank weapons to Ukraine, the first sale of lethal weaponry since the conflict began. In July 2018 the Department of Defense announced an additional $200 million in defensive aid to Ukraine, bringing the total amount of aid provided since 2014 to $1 billion.

In March, the US gave $125 million military aid package for Ukraine, the first of its kind under the Biden administration. The biggest items included are two Mark VI patrol boats produced by SAFE Boats International, bringing Ukraine’s fleet up to eight of the vessels.

The Obama-Biden administration did not send lethal weapons to Ukraine.

The Ukraine 2021 state budget bill passed Dec. 15, 2020 has Hr 267.1 billion ($9.6 billion) for defense, 8% more than in 2020. This would be nearly 6 percent of the country’s estimated gross domestic product. Most NATO countries spend less than 2% of GDP on defense. However, this budget is exaggerated. The Ukraine Defense Ministry in 2021 is going to get only Hr 117.6 billion ($4.2 billion) — at least Hr 127 million less than what was spent on the armed forces in 2020. The funding increase will go to the 300,000-employee Interior Ministry. the Interior Ministry is led by Arsen Avakov, the nation’s top cop. Avakov got a 4% spending bump for 2021. This was money for the police and the National Guard.

Ukraine has been trying to get into NATO.

Ukraine has a population of 43 million vs Russia with 142 million.

Russia has about 12000 tanks while Ukraine has 2000. Both have a lot of old gear from the USSR days. Russia’s economy ($1.7 trillion) is about 11 times bigger than Ukraine ($160 billion).

SOURCES- BBC News, CFR, Defense News, Kyiv Post, Wikipedia
Written By Brian Wang,