83,000 Russian Troops?

On Monday, apparently Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s spokeswoman told AFP that Russia now has 41,000 troops on Ukraine’s eastern border and 42,000 soldiers on the Crimean peninsula.

Lets take that at face value for the moment. Ukraine has around 255K troops in active duty. So 83K vs 255K? Not exactly overwhelming force, yet. In response the United States is sending 500 additional troops to Germany. Now, last year we had 36K troops in Germany, but President Trump ordered a draw-down of 12K. I gather the drawdown was never really done and President Biden froze it in February of this year.

So, we are probably not looking at tanks rolling towards Kiev next week, but that does not ,mean there may not be trouble. In addition to Russian troops, there are also the armed militias of the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic.

Related articles and bog posts are here:


Ukraine vs Russia | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org)

Pentagon chief: US sending 500 more troops to Germany (msn.com)


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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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    • Well, I don’t think it will have a big impact. The South China seas issues are naval issues. There is not much for the U.S. Navy to do in Ukraine.

      It was Admiral Phillip Davidson, Indo-Pacific Command, who said last month that “I worry that they’re [China] accelerating their ambitions to supplant the United States and our leadership role in the rules-based international order. They’ve long said they want to do that by 2050, I’m worried about them moving that target closer. Taiwan is clearly one of their ambitions before that, and I think the threat is manifest during this decade. In fact, in the next six years.”

      Now….that probably needs to be the subject of a separate blog post. I have no doubt that there is some legitimate concern here, especially as it takes years to budget and expand forces; but it could also be influenced by the desire to protect budget for the Navy.

      I do find it a little difficult to believe that the Chinese, whose economy is heavily dependent on trade, is going to do something that would seriously disrupt this. Their five major trading partners are the U.S., Japan, S. Korea, EU and Taiwan (!!!). Are they really looking to destroy their trade in the next six years? I am guessing it will have a big impact on their economy.

      Added to that, when economies stagnate or decline, governments often get overthrown.

      Anyhow, I may turn this into a separate blog post at some point.

  1. I would be interested in that blog post.

    I can’t help but say at this point – what if China thinks these trading partners will not actually do anything if it, say, invades Taiwan? What if China is right and, due to the focus on Ukraine the trading partners just bluster and do nothing – or China’s assumes they will do nothing and unintentionally starts a war in the South China Sea.

    Still that is a topic for another blog post.

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