Because of the continuing flow of arms and military equipment across the Ukrainian-Russian border onto the territory controlled by pro-Russian rebels, the Ukrainian army must confront enemy firepower. As of April 8th, 2015, the force in service with the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DNR and LNR, respectively) consists of almost 700 tanks, more than 1,100 armored combat vehicles, 600 artillery systems and more than 380 multiple launch rocket systems (MRLS). This data was released by the deputy commander of the Anti-Terrorist Operation, Col. Valentyn Fedychev.
If we compare the statement made by Fedychev on March 15th, 2015, over the course of three and a half weeks the separatists have lost 80 tanks and 40 MLRS, but at the same time their arsenal has been replenished with 100 artillery systems and 70 combat armored vehicles.
It is worth noting that the military power of the DNR and LNR mercenaries is the envy of many European NATO members. So, the armies of the Baltic countries consist of only three tanks (Estonia and Lithuania have none at all). In addition, in the arsenal of the ground forces of the same Baltic countries, Spain and the Czech Republic there is no MRLS, and Poland gives the separatists a numerical advantage of 230%.
This is indicated by the data of the annual report, The Military Balance 2014, prepared by the British International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) think-tank. The Military Balance 2014 is a kind of reference book containing detailed data on the types and number of troops of the armies of the world as of 2013.
Click here to see web page with graphs (in Russian)
IISS estimates that the tank fleet of the pro-Russian insurgents is comparable with the total number of tanks in service with the armies of Germany, France and the Czech Republic! Poland boasts a more impressive fleet (893 tanks). As for artillery power, the volume of arms of the DNR and LNR surpass all the Baltic countries together, as well as the German, French and Czech armies. The only indication of where the European members of NATO (except for the Czech Republic and the Baltic states) have an advantage over the separatists is in the number of combat armored vehicles. The French army’s fleet of armored vehicles is five times greater than that of the DNR and LNR.
Click here to see graph comparing Ukraine with DNR/LNR (in Russian)
As for Ukraine, in 2013 the arsenal of our ground troops is slightly inferior to the current equipment of the separatists only in the number of MLRS. The number of Ukrainian artillery systems exceeds the reserves of the DNR and LNR 2.5 times, and combat armored vehicles – 2.3 times. In the armored fleet of the armed forces of Ukraine there are more than 2,500 pieces of equipment, 43.6% of which are in a state of full combat readiness. According to this indicator, the opponent lags behind the Ukrainian side more than four times. It is obvious that our country has not only the resources to reflect the rebels’ attacks, but also to overcome their firepower.
The below graphs show the volume of Ukraine’s hardware relative to DNR/LNR (Ukraine is shown in red)