Ukraine: Second strongest army in Europe

Dhe largest army in Europe is at war. the Ukraine has to defend itself against superior forces, Russia has – at least on paper – an army about four times larger than the attacked country. If you don't look at the total number of soldiers, but at individual unit types, the Russian advantage is often even clearer. Ukraine has been defending itself for more than six months, even though some saw the end as early as February. How long can the country muster enough soldiers for the grueling battle?

"The strength of the Ukrainian army is often underestimated," says Wolfgang Richter, former colonel. D. of the Bundeswehr, who researches military issues for the Science and Politics Foundation. He reminds that the peacetime strength of the Ukrainian active armed forces 250,000 if you include the National Guard, which, unlike the armed forces, is formally subordinate to Ukraine's Interior Ministry. "Ukraine has the second strongest army in Europe," says Richter.

On top of that, the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy - unlike Vladimir Putin in Russia - ordered general mobilization immediately after the invasion began in February. This means that the Ukrainian armed forces can draw on up to 900,000 reservists, even if they can only be made combat-ready one by one.

Troop strength is not only written on paper (anymore).

Versus Russia volunteers from abroad are also fighting, the number of which cannot be determined specifically. Many civilians from within Germany have also voluntarily made themselves available for the local territorial defense. This, in turn, allows the Army and National Guard to leave posts farther from the front lines and deploy a large proportion of professional soldiers in combat.

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