Ukraine vs Russia

There seems to a little noise in the news reports and on twitter about Russian military build-up near the Ukrainian border areas with Russia. Yesterday, President Biden talked to President Zelensky of Ukraine. I do not know how serious this is, but it might be worthwhile for a moment to take a look at how big is Ukraine compared to Russia.

                            Ukraine           Russia        
Population           41.5 M            146.7 M

GDP                      161 B              1,584 B

GDP (PPP)            420 B              4,226 B

Area (sq. km)        603 K            17,098 K    


So, basically Russia has three and 1/2 times the population and ten times the money. 

Note: Ukrainian population excludes Crimea and Sevastopol. It was 48.4 M in 2001. Russian population includes Crimea, which is 2.4 million. 

Armed Forces 

                               Ukraine                Russia

Active                   255 K                    900 K

Reserve               1,000 K                2,000 K

Deployed                  60 K


Budget                     $ 5.4 B               $ 65.1 B

Percent of GDP          3%                    3.9%


So, Russia two and 1/2 to three and 1/2 times the personnel and over ten time the budget.

And let us look at three of the other “players” in the area:

                       Belarus      Germany     United States

Population           9.4 M         83.2 M           328.2 M

GDP                    57 B        3,780 B         20,807 B

GDP (PPP)        186 B       4,454 B         20,807 B

Area                   208 K          357 K           9,833 K


Active                   62 K          184 K         1,386 K

Reserve              345 K            29 K            849 K

Deployed               —              2,697            165 K


Budget                 $ 0.78 B      $ 57 B        $ 738 B

Percent of GDP   1.2%             1.3%            3.4%


These are all just figures grabbed from Wikipedia without any further analysis or cross-checking.

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Christopher A. Lawrence
Christopher A. Lawrence

Christopher A. Lawrence is a professional historian and military analyst. He is the Executive Director and President of The Dupuy Institute, an organization dedicated to scholarly research and objective analysis of historical data related to armed conflict and the resolution of armed conflict. The Dupuy Institute provides independent, historically-based analyses of lessons learned from modern military experience.
Mr. Lawrence was the program manager for the Ardennes Campaign Simulation Data Base, the Kursk Data Base, the Modern Insurgency Spread Sheets and for a number of other smaller combat data bases. He has participated in casualty estimation studies (including estimates for Bosnia and Iraq) and studies of air campaign modeling, enemy prisoner of war capture rates, medium weight armor, urban warfare, situational awareness, counterinsurgency and other subjects for the U.S. Army, the Defense Department, the Joint Staff and the U.S. Air Force. He has also directed a number of studies related to the military impact of banning antipersonnel mines for the Joint Staff, Los Alamos National Laboratories and the Vietnam Veterans of American Foundation.
His published works include papers and monographs for the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment and the Vietnam Veterans of American Foundation, in addition to over 40 articles written for limited-distribution newsletters and over 60 analytical reports prepared for the Defense Department. He is the author of Kursk: The Battle of Prokhorovka (Aberdeen Books, Sheridan, CO., 2015), America’s Modern Wars: Understanding Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam (Casemate Publishers, Philadelphia & Oxford, 2015), War by Numbers: Understanding Conventional Combat (Potomac Books, Lincoln, NE., 2017) , The Battle of Prokhorovka (Stackpole Books, Guilford, CT., 2019), The Battle for Kyiv (Frontline Books, Yorkshire, UK, 2023), Aces at Kursk (Air World, Yorkshire, UK, 2024), Hunting Falcon: The Story of WWI German Ace Hans-Joachim Buddecke (Air World, Yorkshire, UK, 2024) and The Siege of Mariupol (Frontline Books, Yorkshire, UK, 2024).
Mr. Lawrence lives in northern Virginia, near Washington, D.C., with his wife and son.

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