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How do Russian and Ukrainian militaries compare?
Russia’s active military personnel was over four times larger than Ukraine’s as of 2023. Furthermore, Russia’s total aircraft was 13 times, the number of armored vehicles four times, and the naval fleet 16 times larger than that of Ukraine. Russia had the fifth largest military spending in the world in 2021, at nearly 66 billion U.S. dollars. To compare, Ukraine expended almost six billion U.S. dollars. However, Ukraine has received military aid from Western countries, with the largest amount coming from the United States (U.S.)
Western countries, such as European Union (EU) members, Switzerland, the United Kingdom (UK), and the U.S. imposed sanctions on Russia. The restrictions targeted the financial sector, individuals affiliated with the government, and exports of high-tech products to Russia, among others. The EU also banned Russian airlines from its airspace, while Germany halted the certification of the gas pipeline Nord Stream 2. Albania, Australia, Canada, Japan, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan announced further sanctions. Major international companies, such as Apple, H&M, Ikea, Inditex, and McDonald’s, suspended operations in Russia. While China and India took a neutral stance in the conflict, the governments of Belarus, Cuba, Iran, Myanmar, Syria, and Venezuela officially supported Russia.
Following the invasion, the value of the Russian ruble against the U.S. dollar and euro dropped to a historic low. Central Bank interventions and the demand to pay for gas in Russian rubles have strengthened the currency. Following the restrictions on Russian fossil fuel imports into the U.S. and the EU, Russian fossil fuels exports shifted to Asian countries, making China the leading destination. Economies all over the world depended on Russia and Ukraine on the two countries’ major export commodities, such as wheat. Furthermore, Russia exports the sixth largest volume of aluminum and is the leading producer of palladium.