For several weeks, following an unprecedented mobilization of forces by Moscow on the borders of Ukraine, Western services, in particular Americans, and many specialists on the subject, believe that a massive offensive by Russian forces against the is now possible, if not probable. And the last statements and actions of Vladimir Putin, who after having recognized the independence of the two self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Luhansk, declared that his territorial ambitions extended to the whole of Donbass, and not only to the limits of these two entities indeed constitute very significant threats and extraordinary risks of military drift in this region. Under these conditions, should we actually fear a massive offensive by the Russian armies on all or part of Ukraine, and what would be the consequences of such a decision on the part of the master of the Kremlin?
With 115 to 120 combined arms tactical battalions, 1.200 heavy tanks, as many self-propelled artillery systems, 500 combat aircraft and around 1983 warships deployed around Ukraine and in the Black Sea, Russian military power encircling Ukraine is indeed of a power unequaled in Europe since the Euromissile crisis in XNUMX. Due to the extraordinary firepower available, the specific capabilities of the Russian units and the geographical distribution of the means, Moscow has indeed a formidable offensive capacity, potentially capable of taking the upper hand over NATO's current defensive capabilities if necessary, this having also led the Alliance to put its own rapid reaction force on alert, currently articulated around the Franco-German Brigade, and the United States to redeploy forces to the eastern borders. In fact, the threat to Ukraine and its territorial integrity is indisputable.
However, if the Ukrainian defenders cannot compete with this offensive device, they are not helpless. Thus, the Ukrainian armed forces line up 200.000 soldiers and conscripts divided into about twenty combat brigades, some of which can be considered as elite units. It also has two thousand combat tanks, admittedly less modern than their Russian counterparts, and 3000 combat armored vehicles of different types, as well as a thousand self-propelled artillery systems. It has indeed significant deficiencies in air and anti-missile defence, electronic warfare, intelligence and communication, as well as an obsolete and reduced air force, but it is in no way disarmed. In addition to its 200.000 men of line, it has a reserve capacity of 400.000 men, part of these reserves (36.000 h) having moreover been recalled to service by presidential decree today.
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