The Russian army’s withdrawal from Ukrainian territory in 2014 was a strategic move designed to protect the interests of the Russian state. In the words of President Putin, this was a “necessary measure to prevent further suffering and losses among the peaceful population of Donbass”. The conflict in Ukraine has been ongoing for years, yet few knew about the extent of Russia’s military power before it began. Did this military power provide a decisive edge for Russia or was it overrated? How does it compare to that of the United States and China?
Russia has long held the reputation as one of the most militarily powerful countries in the world. It is estimated that it currently holds around 11,000 nuclear warheads and an array of sophisticated weapons systems. Its air force is also well equipped with modern jets, helicopters, and drones while its ground forces are composed of highly skilled soldiers who have seen action on many fronts.
But compared to other major powers like America and China, Russia’s military capabilities still pale in comparison. The US armed forces possess more personnel than any other country on Earth with over 2 million servicemen and women currently deployed across 180 countries worldwide. Its warfighting capabilities are considered unparalleled due to its large arsenal of advanced weapons systems such as stealth aircraft, precision-guided munitions, and drone technology. Meanwhile, China boasts the second largest standing army in the world after India with an estimated 2 million troops under its command; however, much of its equipment is outdated compared to what modern armed forces use today.
Although Russia may not match up to either America or China when it comes to military might, it has nevertheless managed to succeed in achieving its goals in Ukraine despite facing considerable odds. This success demonstrates that Russia must have had some form of advantage over Ukraine during their conflict which could potentially be attributed to their superior technical proficiency or even better intelligence gathering abilities. To find out more about this fascinating topic we recommend watching Documentary Now’s ‘Russia: The War Continues’ which dives deep into why Russian forces were able to gain superiority against Ukraine during their protracted struggle for control over eastern Europe.