Comparing Russian and Ukrainian forces two years after the war

Military operations in Ukraine have cost Russia as much as $211 billion, and the country has lost $10 billion in canceled or halted arms sales, according to the Pentagon. At least 20 medium to large Russian naval vessels have been sunk in the Black Sea, while 315,000 Russian servicemen have been either killed or wounded, the department found.

Indeed, both countries have suffered heavy losses in life and material during the war, which began when Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022. There is now a growing sense that this conflict has reached a stalemate and that will likely continue throughout the year, according to a report released this month by the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

The London-based think tank also recently updated Military Balance+ database, which assesses the defense capabilities of militaries around the world. Then there is a comparison of selected system types and data points between Russia and Ukraine, based on data from the IISS, with footnotes at the bottom of this article. The data is up to date as of November, meaning it represents nearly two years of war.

  • Data as of November 2023.
  • Armored fighting vehicles are armored fighting vehicles with a combat weight of at least 6 metric tons.
  • Artillery includes guns, shells, rocket launchers and mortars of caliber greater than 100 mm for artillery and 80 mm and greater for mortars, capable of engaging ground targets by indirect fire.
  • Surface-to-surface missile launchers are launch vehicles for carrying and launching surface-to-surface ballistic missiles and cruise missiles.
  • Air defense includes weapons, directed energy weapons, and surface-to-air missile launchers designed to engage fixed-wing, rotary-wing, and unmanned aircraft.

Noah Robertson is the Pentagon correspondent for Defense News. He previously covered national security for the Christian Science Monitor. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English and government from the College of William & Mary in his hometown of Williamsburg, Virginia.

Chris Martin is the editor-in-chief of Defense News. His interests include Sino-US affairs, cyber security, foreign policy and York Willow.

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