Ukrainian Ground Forces

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"Ukrainian Army" redirects here. For historical armies of Ukraine, see Ukrainian Army (disambiguation)
Ukrainian Ground Forces
Сухопутні Війська України
Emblem of the Ukrainian Ground Forces.svg
Emblem of the Ukrainian Ground Forces


12 December 1991–present
Size 57,000 Personnel (+ 6,100 in air-mobile forces) [1]
Headquarters Kiev
Anniversaries Army Day (6 December).[2]
Engagements Kosovo Force (KFOR)
Iraq War
War in Afghanistan (2001–present)
2014 Crimean crisis
War in Donbass
Lieutenant General Anatoliy Pushnyakov[3]
Ground Forces Ensign Ensign of Ukrainian Ground Forces

The Ukrainian Ground Forces (Ukrainian: Сухопутні Війська ЗСУ, Sukhoputni Viys’ka ZSU) are the land force component of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. They were formed from Soviet Ground Forces formations, units, and establishments, including three military districts (the Kiev, Carpathian, and Odessa Military Districts), that were on Ukrainian soil when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1990–92.

Throughout the 1990s, Ukraine retained much Soviet-era army equipment. Since then, however, Ukraine has upgraded its Ground Forces with advanced additions from domestic engineering and modifications. Currently, the Ukrainian Ground Forces buys military equipment only from Russia and other CIS states, as well as locally producing some of their own equipment.


Prior to the October Revolution of 1917, three separate self-governing Ukrainian states existed on what is Ukraine today. Each of these states possessed armed forces. The largest of these, the Ukrainian People's Republic, itself comprised three separate regimes. The Ukrainian People's Army is an example of one of the early national armed forces. Other armed independence movements existed in the wake of both the First World War and the Second World War, and these armies each had distinct organisation and uniforms. These armed forces, and the independent Ukrainian homeland for which they fought, were eventually incorporated into the neighboring states of Poland, Soviet Union, Hungary, Romania and Czechoslovakia.[4]

Collapse of the USSR[edit]

The Armed Forces of Ukraine included approximately 780,000 personnel, 7,000 armored vehicles, 6,500 tanks, and 2,500 tactical nuclear missiles when they were established. However, the problem that Ukraine face was that while it had vast armed forces, it lacked a proper command structure. Therefore, on 24 August 1991, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine ratified the resolution of taking under its control, all military units of former Soviet Armed Forces, situated on the territory of Ukraine; and in turn the establishment of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine.

Following the declaration of Ukrainian independence in 1991, Ukraine inherited the 1st Guards Army, 13th Army, 38th Army, two tank armies (the 6th Guards Tank Army and the 8th Tank Army), and the 32nd Army Corps (32-й Кенигсберский армейский корпус) at Simferopol. In addition, the 28th Guards Motor Rifle Division (MRD) and the 180th MRD were left in Ukraine, having been previously under the 14th Guards Army headquartered at Tiraspol in the Moldovan SSR. The post of commander of ground troops was designated in early 1992. By the end of 1992, the Kiev Military District disbanded, and Ukraine used its structures as the basis for the Ministry of Defence and the General Staff.[5] Between June and August 1993, the first redesignation of armies to army corps appears to have taken place.[6] While the chief of ground forces post had been created in early 1992, it was over two years before the first holder, Colonel General Vasily Sobkov, was appointed on 7 April 1994.[7] The legal framework for the Ground Forces was defined in Article 4 of the law 'On the Armed Forces of Ukraine.' At that time, the Ground Forces had no separate command body, and were directly subordinate to the Ukrainian General Staff.

Armed Forces of Ukraine
Emblem of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.svg
Main branches
Emblem of the Ukrainian Air Force.svg Air Force
Emblem of the Ukrainian Ground Forces.svg Ground Forces
Emblem of the Ukrainian Navy.svg Navy
Other Corps
Ukr marines.jpg Naval Infantry
Ukr mechanized.jpg Mechanized Forces
Ukr airborne.jpg Airmobile Forces
Related Services
MoD symbol.jpg Ministry of Defence
General Staff UA.jpg General Staff
Эмблема МВД Украины.svg Ministry of Internal Affairs
NSAU Logo1.svg National Space Agency
Security Service of Ukraine.gif Security Service
SZRU logo.jpg Foreign Intelligence Service
Gerb gur ukraine.jpg Military Intelligence Service
History of the Ukrainian Military
History of Ukraine
History of Ukraine during WWII
History of Ukraine during WWI

The creation of the Ground Forces as a separate armed service was legally only put in train by Presidential Decree 368/96 of 23 May 1996, 'On the Ground Forces of Ukraine.'[8] That year both the Ground Forces Command was formed and the 1st Army Corps was reorganised as the Northern Territorial Operational Command (which became the Northern Operational Command in 1998). In 1997 the Carpathian Military District was reorganised as the Western Operational Command.

President Leonid Kuchma revealed in a December 1996 speech that as many as 191 mechanised infantry and tank battalions were rated not ready, adding,“This is especially dangerous in the forward-based units securing the nation’s borders.”[9]

From 1992 to 1997, the forces of the Kiev MD were transferred to the Odessa MD, and the Odessa MD's headquarters moved to Donetsk.[10] A new 2nd Army Corps was formed in the Odessa MD. Armies were converted to army corps, and motor rifle divisions converted into mechanised divisions or brigades. Pairs of attack helicopter regiments were combined to form army aviation brigades.

In 2005–06, the Northern Operational Command was reorganised as Territorial Directorate "North". It was tasked with territorial defence, mobilisation training, and preparation of reserves.[11] It was reported on 27 July 2005 that '..[o]ver 70 per cent of planned work on [the] disbandment of the Ukrainian armed forces' Northern Operational Command has been completed,' according to the Defence Ministry's press service.[12]


The Ground Forces are implementing a plan, promulgated in 2000, that includes a reduction in the number of troops from the then 300,000 to 240,000 by 2015, and an ultimate change from a partial conscript-based force to a fully professional military.[13] Even though the Armed Forces received little more than half of the Hr 68 million it was promised for reform in 2001, officials were able to disband nine regiments and close 21 local military bases.

According to the State Program of the Ukrainian Armed Forces reform and development to 2005, the ground forces were to have the biggest ratio of personnel of all services (up to 54%). This ratio was to be based on the missions assigned to the armed forces, and also on the fact that current economy of Ukraine cannot support any larger troop numbers. However, the ground forces still have priority in the number of personnel, weapons, military equipment development priorities and the development of their future systems, which will correspond to modern warfare requirements. The ground forces will closely coordinate their assignments with other army branches, engaging appropriate military arts and equipment. They will also be involved in law enforcement activities during emergencies, dealing with consequences of technological and natural disasters, providing military assistance to other countries, engaging in international military cooperation activities (UN), and participating in international peacekeeping operations according to international agreements.


Ukrainian paratroopers during a joint exercise with the 82nd Airborne Division (United States).

Training in 2006 was aimed at developing mobility and combat readiness of the forces.[14] Training was directed primarily into Joint Rapid Reaction Forces (JRRF) exercises. Measures were also taken to maintain the high level of combat efficiency of the Main Defence Forces units, performing of missions by the units, securing and practicing joint actions with other formations. The Ukrainian armed forces took advantage of the opportunities provided by multinational exercises to raise the level of their combat efficiency.[14]

2006 also saw the first ever large-scale Ukrainian tactical special exercise with practical deployment of a military mobile hospital of the Air Force's Military Medical Centre. It involved several ambulance aircraft and armored equipment (APC). During the practical phase the possibilities of use of the medical evacuation aircraft, medical evacuation helicopters and automobiles were also tested. The training framework included an international research conference on the “Methodological basis of medical support organisation of the Armed Forces”, in which representatives of the armed forces of Ukraine, NATO nations and other partners participated.[15]

In 2007 the system of exercise/training ranges was optimized, decreasing their number and providing a specialized role.[16]

Training Ranges of the Ground Forces:

  • Zhitomir Combined Arms Training Range

(See also below in formations list)

Branches of the Ground Forces[edit]

Armoured and mechanised forces[edit]

T-64BM Bulat on parade, a Ukrainian Ground Forces upgrade of the T-64, produced by the KMDB

Mechanised Infantry and armoured forces are the primary components of the Ukrainian Ground Forces. Their primary objectives in case of war are capturing and holding targets, maintaining positions, defending against attack, penetrating enemy lines and defeating enemy forces.

The mechanised and armoured forces are equipped with T-64[17] and T-64BM "Bulat"[18] main battle tanks; BTR-4, BTR-60, BTR-70 and BTR-80, wheeled armored personnel carriers and BMP-1, BMP-2 and BMD-2 infantry combat vehicles.

Since the fall of the Soviet Union, a large number of the previous Soviet mechanised formations on Ukrainian soil have been disbanded – the IISS says totals have dropped from 14 divisions, in 1992, to two divisions, six brigades, and one independent regiment in 2008.[19] Today, all mechanised and armoured formations are called brigades. However, some former divisions remain near division strength.

Current armoured formations include:

Disbanded armoured formations include:

Airmobile Forces and Army Aviation[edit]

Soldiers from the Ukrainian Armed Forces 95th Airborne Brigade
New uniform

Army Aviation, having to cover troop movements, is by far the most maneuverable branch of the army, intended to conduct the operations under all sorts conditions of combat arms procedures. Among the priorities of the Ukrainian army aviation's units is to provide reconnaissance, attack enemy weapon systems, provide equipment and human resources, give tactical fire support during an offensive or counterattack, land airmobile troops, and to deliver combat weapons and personnel at the specified areas and execute other main tasks. There are two units: the 3rd Army Aviation Regiment and 7th Army Aviation Regiment. They are equipped with Mil Mi-8 and Mi-24 helicopters, and their variants.[24]

The Ukrainian Airmobile Forces serve as the quick response units of the army. Airmobile forces' structure consists of formations and elements of the army and the army aviation. These units are well trained for offensive activities behind enemy lines. The airmobile forces are in constant combat readiness and base their battle plan on high mobility. The airmobile forces consist of two airmobile brigades, an airborne brigade, and one airmobile regiment.[25] Some of the airmobile formations were previously grouped into the 1st Airmobile Division but this has now been disbanded.

Rocket and Artillery Troops[edit]

Ukrainian BM-30 Smerch heavy multiple rocket launchers on parade in Kiev

Rocket Forces and Artillery troops of the army consist of formations of operational-tactical and tactical missiles, self-propelled artillery, howitzers, jet-propelled and anti-tank artillery, artillery reconnaissance units, of mortar units and of units of anti-tank missiles. These forces operate as support for other army formations, and are therefore obliged to destroy enemy human resources, tanks, artillery, anti-tanks weapons, aircraft, air defence equipment, and other important objects during the combat arms operations. Rocket and artillery troops are equipped with: missile complexes of operational-tactical and tactical missiles; Multiple rocket launcher rocket systems, such as the Smerch, Uragan, Grad; also, Giatsint, Pion, Akatsiya, Gvozdika howitzers; and, Konkurs, T-12 antitank gun anti-tank weapons.

Previously the 1st Rocket Division was active at Хмельницкий, formed on the basis of the former Soviet 43rd Rocket Army. It had two to three rocket brigades (19-Хмельницкий, 46 или 199- Gchovka, 107-Кременчуг) with 54–56 Скад/Scud. It was active in 2003,[26] but disbanded in 2004.[27] In addition, previously the 461st Rocket Brigade (рбр) Славута, 13 АК ЗОК, the 459th Rocket Brigade (рбр) at Белая Церковь-8 АК,СОК- Точка- расформирована в 2004, 123 рбр- Контоп-СОК, Точка, 107 рбр (Kremenchug) (Tochka), and the 159th Rocket Brigade (рбр) (Кіровоград) were active.[27]

Army Air Defence[edit]

The Army Air Defence units are responsible for covering troops against enemy air attacks anywhere on the battlefield, and while in combat. The Ukrainian Ground Forces army air defence branch is equipped with a variety of effective surface-to-air missile systems of division level and anti-aircraft missile and artillery complexes of regiment level. Regiment level units are characterized by their high rate of fire, vitality, maneuverability, and capability of action under all conditions of modern combat arms operations. Surface-to-air missile systems and complexes of division level are characterized by their long range and firepower and are equipped with surface-to-air missile complexes;S-300V,Osa, Buk, Buk-M1 and Tor. While anti-aircraft missile and artillery complexes that are of regiment level are equipped with the Tunguska-M1, Igla MANPADS system, Strela, and Shilka anti-aircraft missile systems.[28] While the army's only separate radar system, meaning it isn't a part of any anti-aircraft system, is the Ukrainian Kolchuga-M. It was designed sometime between the years 1993–1997, the system is said to be one of the most (if not the most) advanced passive sensors in the world, as it was claimed to be able to detect stealth aircraft.[29]

Deployment outside of Ukraine[edit]


Henadii Lachkov, commander of the Ukrainian contingent in Iraq, kisses his country’s flag

Ukraine deployed a sizable contingent of troops to the Iraq War, these were stationed near Kut. Ukraine's troop deployment was the second largest of all former Soviet states besides Georgia and they deployed more soldiers to the nation then many members of NATO such as Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. Ukraine also suffered the fifth highest casualty toll during the war, with only Polish, Italian, UK, and US forces suffering heavier losses.[30]

From 2003-2005 over 1,700 Ukrainian soldiers were deployed to Iraq, the third largest contingent at the time, they were designated to the 5th Mechanized Brigade (Ukraine), as in Ukraine's mission to Kosovo the troops deployed were contract soldiers and not conscripts. Ukraine began to severely draw down its troop levels in Iraq in 2005 due to mounting casualties and the political toxicity of the conflict. By 2005 only 876 soldiers, roughly half of the original contingent were deployed, by years end troop levels dropped to below 100. In 2008, one year before the official end of the US military mission President Viktor Yushchenko ordered all remaining troops deployed to Iraq returned home and Ukraine's mission to the nation officially over.[31]


Since 2001 Ukraine allowed United States military cargo planes to fly over and refuel on Ukrainian soil on their way to Afghanistan. In 2007 Ukraine deployed a detachment of the 143rd De-mining Center of the Armed Forces of Ukraine to Afghanistan. Ukraine has kept a team of soldiers deployed to Afghanistan as part of ISAF since 2007, these mostly consisted of pilots, medical officers, and bomb disposal experts. Ukrainian pilots were responsible for training the pilots of the Afghan Air Force on the operation of several air craft as Afghanistan's forces consisted of many Soviet designed aircraft such as the Mi-17 with which Ukrainian troops were very familiar with. In 2013 the contingent of troops in Afghanistan totaled 26 troops. As of 2014 the Ukrainian contingent was further drawn down and the team included 8 bomb disposal experts and several medical officers.[32]


Ukrainian peacekeepers on training before deployment to Kosovo as part of NATO's Kosovo Force, KFOR.

Ukrainian forces have also been deployed to Kosovo since 2000 as part of the 600 man Polish–Ukrainian Peace Force Battalion. In August 2014 Ukraine ended its mission to Kosovo due to the 2014 Russian invasion of Ukraine.[33]


Ukrainian peacekeeping forces have been deployed to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Sudan and South Sudan and Cote d'Ivoire. Ukrainian forces have also been requested to take a more active role in the Northern Mali Conflict of 2012 in battling Islamic forces. One of the largest deployments is the 18th Separate Helicopter Unit of the Armed Forces of Ukraine which consisted of 160 servicemen and four Mi-24P helicopters and was deployed to the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2011.[34]

Structure 2012[edit]

Structure of Ukrainian Ground Forces at the end of 2011 was:[35]

Incomplete structure of the Ukrainian Ground Forces (some units show their pre-2004 structure)

Location of Ukraine Ground Forces brigades

Red – infantry, Green – mechanised
Gold – armoured, Brown – artillery, Pink – rocket

Strength (2012)[edit]

  • 57,000 Personnel (+ 6,100 in air-mobile forces) [1]
  • 686 Tanks (+ 41 in Navy)[1]
  • 2,065 (+ 310 in air-mobile forces and 160 in Navy) Armoured Combat Vehicles[1]
  • 72 Combat Helicopters[1]
  • 716 (+ 47 in Navy) Artillery Systems[1]

Military Equipment[edit]

Small Arms[edit]

Model Image Origin Type Caliber Details
Makarov PM 9-мм пистолет Макарова с патронами.jpg  Soviet Union Handgun 9x18mm Standard handgun of the Ukrainian Army.
PB PB pistol.jpg  Soviet Union Handgun 9x18mm Used only by special forces.
Submachine Gun
MP-5 MP5.jpg  Germany Submachine Gun 9×19mm NATO Used only by special forces[citation needed].
AKS-74U Ukrainian Marine with AKS-74U.JPEG  Soviet Union Carbine 5.45×39mm Standard carbine of the Ukrainian Army.
AKMS Akms soviet made.jpg  Soviet Union Carbine 7.62×39mm Very large stockpile that is stored as a reserve.
SKS SKS - Ryssland - AM.045810.jpg  Soviet Union Carbine 7.62×39mm Limited stockpile, all are stored.
Assault Rifle
AK-74 Ak74l.jpg  Soviet Union Assault Rifle 5.45×39mm Standard Issue Rifle for the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
IMI Tavor TAR-21 IWI-Tavor-TAR-21w1.jpg  Israel
Assault Rifle 5.45×39mm *Used by Special Forces (1st Spetsnaz - Kiev, 3rd Spetsnaz - Kirovgrad, 8th Spetsnaz - Vinnitsa)
* 5.45mm variant manufactured in Ukraine under designation "Fort-221".
AKM Akm rifle fullstock.jpg  Soviet Union Assault Rifle 7.62×39mm Some are used in training, but most are stockpiled.
Fort-500  Ukraine Shotgun .12 gauge Small quantity probably only with special forces[citation needed].
Sniper Rifle
Fort-301 Fort-301 InterpolitexPart540.jpg  Israel
Sniper Rifle 5.56×45mm NATO Used by special forces. Highly modified Israeli IMI Galil.
SVD Svd 1 russian.jpg  Soviet Union Sniper Rifle 7.62×54mmR Standard Issue Rifle for the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
VPR-308  Ukraine Sniper Rifle 7.62×51mm NATO Used in small numbers. Ukrainian-made sniper rifle.
Machine Guns
Fort-401 IMI-Negev006a.jpg  Israel
Light Machine Gun 5.56×45mm NATO Used by the special forces. Highly modified Israeli IMI Negev.
RPK-74 Soviet RPK-74.JPEG  Soviet Union Light Machine Gun 5.45×39mm Standard Issue Light Machine Gun.
PK machine gun 7,62 KK PKM Helsinki 2012.JPG  Soviet Union General Machine Gun 7.62×54mmR Standard Issue General Machine Gun.
RPK Machine Gun RPK.jpg  Soviet Union General Machine Gun 7.62×39mm Most stored in reserve except those used in the boot camp.
DShK Doushka desert.jpg  Soviet Union Heavy Machine Gun 12.7×108mm
NSV 12,7 NSV Turku 3.JPG  Soviet Union Heavy Machine Gun 12.7×108mm
RGD-5 Rgd 5 hand grenade.jpeg  Soviet Union Hand Grenade Most widely used grenade.
F1 F1 grenade DoD.jpg  Soviet Union Hand Grenade Most are stored.
RDG-2 РДГ-2Б.png  Soviet Union Smoke Grenade Most widely used smoke grenade.
RGN RGN offensive hand grenade Navy.jpg  Soviet Union Offensive Hand Grenade Used by special forces only.
RGO RGO defensive grenade Navy.jpg  Soviet Union Defensive Hand Grenade Used by special forces only.
RKG-3 RKG-3 hand grenade Navy.jpg  Soviet Union Anti Tank Hand Grenade
Grenade Launchers
AGS-17 30-мм автоматический гранатомет АГС-17 Пламя.jpg  Soviet Union Automatic Grenade Launcher 30×29mm
GP-25 GP-30 grenade launcher.jpg  Soviet Union Grenade Launcher 40 mm caseless grenade
Anti-tank warfare
RPG-29 RPG-29 USGov.JPG  Soviet Union Rocket Propelled Grenade 105mm In limited quantity.
RPG-26 Grenade launchers RPG-26.jpg  Soviet Union Rocket Propelled Grenade 72.5mm Moderate quantity.
RPG-22 RPG-22 rocket launcher.jpg  Soviet Union Rocket Propelled Grenade 72.5mm Widely available weapon.
RPG-18 RPG-18-cutaway.JPG  Soviet Union Rocket Propelled Grenade 64mm Widely available weapon.
RPG-16 Rpg-16-grom (1).gif  Soviet Union Rocket Propelled Grenade 58.3mm Widely available weapon.
RPG-7 Batalionul 191 infanterie 62.jpg  Soviet Union Rocket Propelled Grenade 40mm Used only at boot camp as a teaching tool[citation needed].
Corsar[36]  Ukraine AT Missile 105mm In testing, designed to replace all tripod mounted AT Missile Systems (9K115-2 Metis-M, 9M113 Konkurs, 9K111 Fagot). Effective range 2,500 meters.
Skif Skif ATGM.jpg  Ukraine AT Missile 152mm In production since mid 2000s, much more heavier and powerful missile than Corsar equivalent being BGM-71 TOW, however its also less sophisticated then Corsar as well. Effective range 5,500 meters.
Barrier BTR3.jpg  Ukraine AT Missile 130mm Vehicle mounted AT Missile designed to replace 9K11 Malyutka, this weapon is attached to BTR-3s, BTR-4s, and BMP-2. Effective range 5,000 meters.
KOMBAT Kombat ATGM.JPG  Ukraine AT Missile 125mm Produced to replace 9K112 Kobra for use in T-84 and T-64 "Bulat". Effective range 5,000 meters.
Stugna-P [37]  Ukraine AT Missile 100mm Produced since May 2013,[38] AT round used by T-12 gun. Effective range 4,000 meters.
9K115-2 Metis-M Antitank missile system Metis-M1.jpg  Russia AT Missile 130mm Small quantity delivered in the early 1990s. Effective range 2,000 meters.
9K112 Kobra 9М112.jpg  Soviet Union AT Missile 125mm Used by T-80 and T-64 tanks, all however stored in reserve. Effective range 4,000 meters.
9M113 Konkurs Flickr - Israel Defense Forces - Russian-Made Missile Found in Hezbollah Hands.jpg  Soviet Union AT Missile 135mm Most widely used AT Missile. Effective range 4,000 meters.
9K111 Fagot[39] 9M111 AT-4 Spigot.jpg  Soviet Union AT Missile 120mm Known to have had 800 units. Effective range 2,500 meters.
9K11 Malyutka Malyutka.JPG  Soviet Union AT Missile 125mm Used only on BMP-1, all in reserve. Effective range 3,000 meters.
RPO-A RPO-A missile and launcher.jpg  Soviet Union Flamethrower 93mm
Man-portable air-defense systems
Igla-2 IGLA-S MANPADS at IDELF-2008.jpg  Soviet Union MANPADS 72mm
Igla-1 9K38 Igla-Slovenia.jpg  Soviet Union MANPADS 72mm
Strela-3 SA-14 missile and launch tube.jpg  Soviet Union MANPADS 72mm
Strela-2 SA-7.jpg  Soviet Union MANPADS 72mm
2B14 Podnos 2B14 Podnos at "Engineering Technologies 2010" forum.jpg  Soviet Union Mortar 82mm Standard issue 82mm mortar.
2B9 Vasilek 2B9 Vasilek mortar-4058.JPG  Soviet Union Mortar 82mm Available for airborne forces, however all appear to be in storage with 2B14 Podnos actively used instead.
82-BM-37 Zagan 82 mm moździerz wz 37.jpg  Soviet Union Mortar 82mm All in storage.
2S12 Sani 2S12 Sani (heavy mortar system).jpg  Soviet Union Heavy Mortar 120mm Standard issue heavy mortar. Improved version of the Soviet 2B11 Sani.
120-PM-43 120-millimetre calibre mortar 002.jpg  Soviet Union Heavy Mortar 120mm All in storage.
TM-62M Winz7.jpg  Soviet Union Anti-tank mine
MON-50 MON-50.jpg  Soviet Union Anti-personnel mine


Model Image Origin Type Variant Number Details
T-84 T-84 Oplat guided onto a tank transporter.jpg  Ukraine Main Battle Tank Oplot-M 10
T-80 T-80U - TankBiathlon2013-14.jpg  Ukrainian SSR Main Battle Tank T-80UD 167 Not used, stored as reserve
T-64 T-64 tanks of the Ukrainian Army.jpg  Ukrainian SSR
Main Battle Tank T-64BM "Bulat"

Only T-64BV and T-64BM are in use with T-64B stored as reserve. 12-14 vehicles upgraded to Bulat standard annually since 2007 with total now being around 180~ upgraded tanks, Cost of upgrade is around $600,000 per vehicle. Up to a hundred T-64BV were destroyed or captured since the beginning of the Donbass War. A small number of T-64 were sold to third countries in the period 1992-2014.
T-72 T-72 Tank memorial Stepanakert.jpg  Russian SFSR Main Battle Tank 1,302 All units are stored as they were produced in Russia and thus there is no access to parts to maintain them. Around 700-800 T-72 was sold to third countries in the period 1992-2014
Infantry fighting vehicle
BMP-3 2008 Moscow May Parade Rehearsal - BMP-3.JPG  Russian SFSR Infantry fighting vehicle 4 Not used, as they were manufactured in Russia and parts are not available, also there are too few machines to create a meaningful unit.
BMP-2 BMP-2 military parade rehearsal.jpg  Russian SFSR Infantry fighting vehicle 1,434 Well over a hundred vehicles destroyed since the beginning of the Donbass War.
BMP-1 Bmp-1-DMSC9112086 JPG.jpg  Russian SFSR
Infantry fighting vehicle 1,008[41] Most vehicles are stored with their successor - BMP-2 - being used actively instead. Some machines, however, received new Shkval turrets identical to those on BTR-3, but the exact number is unknown.
Armored Personnel Carrier
BTR-4 BTR-4 shkval silhouette.jpg
BSEM-4K silhouette.jpg
 Ukraine Armored Personnel Carrier BTR-4E "Butsefal"

40~[42] Used extensively in the Siege of Sloviansk
BTR-3 BTR3.jpg  Ukraine Armored Personnel Carrier BTR-3e1 17+ Small quantity exist, but on June 23, 2014 they were filmed with the Donbass National Guard unit suggesting they may have been transferred to the Ministry of the Interior. Further 22 have been placed on order.[43]
BTR-80 Ex STEADFAST JAZZ (10710133174).jpg  Soviet Union Armored Personnel Carrier BTR-80 456[41] Up to a hundred were destroyed or captured since the beginning of the Donbass War.
BTR-70 BTR70 002.jpg  Soviet Union Armored Personnel Carrier BTR-70
1,026[41] Several captured and over a dozen destroyed as a result of the 2014 Donbass War, most however are stored in reserve.
BTR-60 BTR-60PB DA-ST-89-06597.jpg  Soviet Union Armored Personnel Carrier 176[41] Most exist in reserve.
Dozor-B Dozor-B.jpg  Ukraine Armored Personnel Carrier <15 200 ordered in the spring of 2014 with first vehicles only now reaching the units.
Iveco LMV Iveco LMV Lynx photo003.jpg  Italy Armored Personnel Carrier - 90 ordered from Iveco[44]
MT-LB MT-LB US Marines.jpg  Soviet Union
Armored Personnel Carrier 2,315
BMD-2 Ukrainian BMD-2 tank (2).JPG  Soviet Union Airborne Armored Personnel Carrier 78 2 captured in Sloviansk. 1 was destroyed on July 5 at the conclusion of the Siege of Sloviansk while another manage to escape to Donetsk via Gorlovka.
BTR-D Btr-d Belarus.jpg  Soviet Union Airborne Armored Personnel Carrier 44 1 captured in Sloviansk. It was destroyed on July 5 at the conclusion of the Siege of Sloviansk.
BMD-1 Bmd-1 ifv.jpg  Soviet Union Airborne Armored Personnel Carrier 61 2 captured in Sloviansk and both were later destroyed.
BRDM-2 BRDM-2 on a military parade.JPEG  Soviet Union Armored Scout Car 600+ Several captured or destroyed in 2014 pro-Russian unrest in Ukraine.
BRDM-1 PL MWP Brdm1.JPG  Soviet Union Armored Scout Car 458 All are stored as vehicles are obsolete. Various Territorial defense battalion (Ukraine) repaired the obsolete vehicles for their use.
OTR-21 Tochka Tochka-U rep parad Yekat.jpg  Soviet Union tactical ballistic missile Scarab-B 90[45]
9K52 Luna-M 9T29 Luna-M transporter.JPG  Soviet Union tactical ballistic missile 50 All in Storage.
9A52-2 "Smerch" BM-30 Smerch parade.jpg  Soviet Union MRL 300 mm 99[46]
9P140 "Uragan" BM-27 Uragan MLRS.jpg  Soviet Union MRL 220 mm 76[46] Further 63 may still be in storage or have been scraped
BM-21 "Grad" Russian BM-21 Grad in Saint Petersburg.JPG  Soviet Union MRL 122 mm 450[46]
2S19 "Msta-S" 2S19 Msta-S of the Ukrainian Army.jpg  Soviet Union SP howitzer 152mm 40[41][46]
2S3 "Akatsiya" 2S3 Akatsiya -2.jpg  Soviet Union SP howitzer 152mm 501
2S1 "Gvozdika" Ukrainian 2S1 Gvozdika SPG.jpg  Soviet Union SP howitzer 122mm 638[41] Most are in storage.
2S7 "Pion" Armata samobiezna 2S7 Pion.jpg  Soviet Union SP gun 203mm 99 Most are in storage.
2S5 "Giatsint-S" 2S5 Giatsint-S.jpg  Soviet Union SP gun 152mm 24[41]
2S9 "Nona" 2S9 Nona in Saint-Petersburg.jpg  Soviet Union SP mortar 120mm 64 Mostly in storage. Several were captured and filmed operated by DNR.
2A65 2A65 Msta-B.JPG  Soviet Union 152mm howitzer 185
2A36 152-мм пушка Гиацинт-Б (1).jpg  Soviet Union 152mm howitzer 287
D-20 Howitzer D-20.jpg  Soviet Union 152mm howitzer 224
D-30 Хаубица Д-30 122мм.jpg  Soviet Union 122mm howitzer 443 3 pieces were destroyed during clashes on July 2, 2014 around Sloviansk.
2A45 Sprut-A Sprut.gif  Soviet Union
125mm AT gun 30+ Limited quantity available. Ukraine capable of producing its own units at Kharkiv KMDB plant.
T-12 100-мм противотанковая пушка Т-12 Рапира (2).jpg  Soviet Union 100mm AT gun 500+ Most guns are in storage.
S-300V1[47] S-300V - Engineering technologies 2012 (10).jpg  Soviet Union Long Range Air Defense Missile SA-12 Gladiator  ?
S-200 SA-5lncr.gif  Soviet Union Long Range Air Defense Missile SA-5 Gammon  ?
Buk missile system Buk-M1-2 air defence system in 2010.jpg  Soviet Union Medium Range Air Defense SA-17 Grizzly
SA-11 Gadfly

Tor Missile System Tor-M1 SAM (2).jpg  Soviet Union Medium Range Air Defense SA-15 Gauntlet  ?
9K33 Osa Bulgarian SA-8.jpg  Soviet Union Medium Range Air Defense SA-8 Gecko 125
9K35 Strela-10 Strela 10.jpg  Soviet Union Medium Range Air Defense SA-13 150+
9K31 Strela-1 Soviet SA-9 Gaskin.jpg  Soviet Union Medium Range Air Defense SA-9 Gaskin  ? All in storage.
2K12 Kub Sa6 1.jpg  Soviet Union Medium Range Air Defense SA-6 Gainful  ? All in storage.
2K11 Krug Sa-4.jpg  Soviet Union Medium Range Air Defense SA-4 Ganef 100 All in storage.
Tunguska M1 2008 Moscow Victory Day Parade - 9K22 Tunguska.jpg  Soviet Union SPAAG SA-19 Grison 70
ZSU-23-4 "Shilka" ZSU-23-4 Shilka 01.jpg  Soviet Union SPAAG 300 Most in storage.
S-60 S-60-57mm-hatzerim-1.jpg  Soviet Union Towed AA 400 All in storage.
ZU-23-2 Bulgarian truck-mounted AA-gun in 2012.jpg  Soviet Union Towed AA 1,000+
Cargo Vehicles
MAZ MAZ-537G Hun 2010 1.jpg  Soviet Union Truck Tractor Model 537  ?
Kamaz Interpolitex 2011 (402-31).jpg  Soviet Union Very Heavy Truck
(10 tonnes)
Model 6350  ?
KrAZ KrAZ-6322 during the Independence parade in Kiev, 2008.jpg
KrAZ 255.JPG

 Ukrainian SSR
Heavy Truck
(5 tonnes)
Model 6322

Model 255b
15 (2008)

since 2008[48]
Kamaz KAMAZ-5350 military truck of Russia.jpg  Soviet Union Heavy Truck
(5 tonnes)
Model 5350  ?
Ural Engineering Technologies - 2012 (2-35).jpg
Ural375 nva.jpg
 Soviet Union

 Soviet Union
Heavy Truck
(5 tonnes)
Model 4320

Model 375d

ZiL ZIL-131 in Malbork.jpg  Soviet Union Heavy Truck
(5 tonnes)
Model 131  ?
KrAZ Автомобиль пиротехнический КрАЗ-63221.jpg  Ukraine Medium Truck
(2 tonnes)
Model 5233BE  ? since August 2011[49]
Kamaz КАМАЗ-4350.JPG  Soviet Union Medium Truck
(2 tonnes)
Model 4350  ?
GAZ Машина ГАЗ компании ИДК
GAZ 66.jpg
ГАЗ-53 май 2014.JPG
 Soviet Union Medium Truck
(2 tonnes)
Model 3307

Model 66

Model 53

~ 2,000 (2014)[50]

ZiL Green ZiL-130 on Grunwaldzkie roundabout in Kraków.jpg  Soviet Union Medium Truck
(2 tonnes)
Model 130  ?
Utility Vehicles
HMMWV Ukrainian Humvees - Independence Day parade in Kiev.JPG  United States Utility Vehicle М1097А2 ~50 Belongs to 95th Airmobile Brigade. 10 vehicles were donated to the Polish–Ukrainian Peace Force Battalion (POLUKRBAT).[51][52][53][54]
UAZ-469 UAZ-469.jpg  Soviet Union Utility Vehicle  ?
UAZ-452 UAZ 452 front q.jpg  Soviet Union Utility Van UAZ-452
Engineering Vehicles
MR-1  Ukraine VHF band Mobile Radar 0(+?) The newest indigenous Ukrainian design created in February 2014 and to be placed into production in 2015.[55] It is design to replace previous VHF band radar stations (P-80), and because of its recent age it has also not been compromised during the Crimean Crisis.
80K6M  Ukraine 3D Mobile Radar 0(+?) An indigenous Ukrainian design produced in 2013 and was design to replace all PRV-17, PRV-13, PRV-11, P-37, P-30 systems, however under Yanukovych presidency the radar system was never purchase as a result of military budget cuts with all of the units being sold to Azerbaijan instead. This however meant that this system hasn't been compromised during the Crimean Crisis and since then small quantity of orders have been placed by the state.
Trassa-1  Ukraine Mobile Navigation Radar  ? An indigenous Ukrainian design produced in late 2000s by Iskra Design Bureau [56] for battle field navigation, it meant to replace obsolete RSP-10MN1, RSP-7, RSP-6M2. Small quantity was produced but further acquisition was stopped under Yanukovych presidency due to military budget cuts. It is unknown whether this radar system was compromised during the Crimean Crisis.
Kolchuga Kolchuga-passive-sensor maks2009.jpg  Ukraine Passive Sensor Mobile Radar 19 (2009) First indigenous Ukrainian design in production since 2001, however the development for which started in 1987.[57] According to Inter TV one unit stationed near Sevastopol fell into the hands of the Russian military during the Crimean Crisis, thus the system was compromised.
ST-68U Ukrainian radar.JPG  Ukrainian SSR
3D Mobile Radar  ? The last Soviet designed and built radar system, it was produced in Zaporizhia and after the collapse of USSR Ukraine inherited the system and proceeded to improve on it producing the 80K6 and 36D6-M [58]
1L220U  Ukrainian SSR Artillery Locating Mobile Radar  ? Most are stored, and the ones that are active are assign to Air Defense instead of their original purpose - artillery fire location.
PRV-17 PRW17.jpg  Ukrainian SSR 2D Mobile Radar  ? Most are active.
P-80 P-80-2.jpg  Soviet Union 2D VHF Mobile Radar  ? Standard VHF band radar with dozens of units active but more in storage. To be replaced with MR-1 Radar upon availability of funds.
PRV-13 Odd pair.jpg  Ukrainian SSR 2D Mobile Radar  ? Most are stored.
P-37 P-37 in the Technical museum Togliatti.jpg  Soviet Union E/F bands Mobile Radar  ? A sizable quantity still exists as a reserve radar for SA-5 but most are in storage.
PRV-11 PRV-11 01.JPG  Ukrainian SSR 2D Mobile Radar  ? All are stored as the system is considered obsolete.
P-30  Soviet Union 2D E-band Mobile Radar  ? Small quantity in storage as the system is considered obsolete.
RSP-10MN1  Soviet Union Mobile Navigation Radar  ? Most are stored.
RSP-7 Soviet-built RSP-7 radar.JPEG  Soviet Union Mobile Navigation Radar  ? All are stored as the system is considered obsolete.
RSP-6M2  Soviet Union Mobile Navigation Radar  ? Small quantity in storage as the system is considered obsolete.
Mil Mi-2 Krzesiny 106RB.JPG  Soviet Union
Transport helicopter 14 *None can fly without extensive retrofits
*Purchase of more Mi-2 from Poland was discussed in 2011 but no decision was made.
Mil Mi-8 Ukrainian Mi-8 helicopter, Sea Breeze 2011 cropped.jpg  Soviet Union Transport helicopter Mi-8
*It is believed that only 16 were flyable at the start of 2014 pro-Russian unrest in Ukraine
* In conflict in the east of Ukraine military has lost 6 Mi-8 and 2 MI-8 were severely damaged [59]
Mil Mi-26 P1010525x.jpg  Soviet Union Transport helicopter 16 *None can fly without extensive retrofits.
Mil Mi-24 Mi24ukraine.JPG  Soviet Union Attack helicopter 15/42 *It is believed that only 15 were flyable at the start of 2014 pro-Russian unrest in Ukraine
* Since the beginning of the conflict in the east of Ukraine, military has lost 7 MI-24 and 1 MI-24 was badly damaged [60]
Tupolev Tu-143 Tu-143 Reis.jpg  Soviet Union UAV  ? *Limited stockpile out of which only few can fly.

Military Education and training centers[edit]


  • Sahaidachny Land Forces Academy (Lviv)
  • Military Academy (Odessa)
  • National Defence University of Ukraine, named after Ivan Chernyahovsky

Training centers[edit]

  • Rivne Military Training Center
  • Storozhynets Military Training Center
  • Zhytomyr Military Training Center
  • Bolhrad Military Training Center


Ukraine provides combat veterans with various benefits. Ukrainians who have served in WWII, Soviet war in Afghanistan, or as liquidators at the Chernobyl disaster are eligible for benefits such as; a monthly allowance, discount on medical and pharmacy services, free use of public transportation, additional vacation days from work, having priority for retention in case of work layoffs, easier loan access and approval process, preference when applying for security related positions, priority when applying to vocation school or trade school, and electricity, gas, and housing subsidies. Veterans are also eligible to stay at military sanatoriums permitting there is space. Since gaining independence Ukraine has deployed troops to Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan gaining a new generation of veterans separate from those who have served in the Soviet forces. Most recently the government passed a law extending veteran benefits to Ukrainian troops participating in the 2014 Russian invasion of Ukraine. Moreover veterans from other nations who move to or reside in Ukraine may be eligible for some of the listed benefits, this provision was likely made to ensure WWII, Chernobyl, and Afghanistan veterans from other Soviet states who moved to Ukraine received similar benefits, however as Ukraine has participated in numerous NATO led conflicts since its independence it is unclear if NATO veterans would be extended these benefits.[61]

Veteran groups are not as developed as in the United States which has numerous well known national organizations such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars. World War II veterans, and even persons who have lived through the war are generally treated with the highest respect. Other veterans are not as well known. Ukrainian veterans from the Soviet War of Afghanistan are strikingly similar to the Vietnam veterans of the United States. The Soviet Union generally kept the public in the dark through the war, unlike in Vietnam where coverage was very high, Afghanistan is often labeled as a mistake by the Soviet Union and its successor states, the lack of media coverage and censorship through the war also ensured that many still remain unaware of their nations involvement in the conflict.[62] Despite Ukraine having the 3rd largest contingent of troops in Iraq in 2004 few also realize that their nation has many veterans of the Iraq war.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Ukrainian Armed Forces 2012 White Book p.68
  2. ^ Culture Smart! Ukraine by Anna Shevchenko, Kuperard, 2006, ISBN 978-1-85733-327-5
  3. ^ Ukraine Names New Ground Forces Head as Eastern Death Toll Rises , Bloomberg L.P. (6 May 2014)
  4. ^ Abbott, P. & E. Pinak Ukrainian Armies 1914–55 (Osprey Publishing Ltd., 2004), ISBN 1780964013, 9781780964010
  5. ^ ANALYSIS: Ukraine adopts program for military reform, 03/02/1997
  6. ^ See references at 6th Guards Tank Army and 6th Army Corps (Ukraine). On 1 December 1993, 8th Guards Tank Army became 8th Army Corps.
  7. ^ Jane's Sentinel: Ukraine, 1994
  8. ^ Yuriy Yurchnya, 'The Armed Forces of Ukraine,' DCAF, 2010, 89.
  9. ^ Stephen D. Olynyk, Ukraine as a Post-Cold War Military Power, Joint Force Quarterly, Spring 1997, 93.
  10. ^ Andrew Duncan, 'Ukraine's forces find that change is good,' Jane's Intelligence Review, April 1997, 162–3.
  11. ^ Yurchnya, 2010, 91.
  12. ^ Interfax-AVN, 'Ukrainian army's Northern Operational Command being disbanded,' Interfax-AVN military news agency web site, Moscow, in English 1152 gmt 27 Jul 05 via BBC Monitoring.
  13. ^ , page 4 of 136
  14. ^ a b Ukrainian Armed Forces 2006 White Book p.25
  15. ^ Ukrainian Armed Forces 2006 White Book p.26
  16. ^ Ukrainian Armed Forces 2007 White Book p.42
  17. ^ (Ukrainian) Minister of Defence visits 1st Armored Brigade
  18. ^ (Ukrainian) People's Army Magazine
  19. ^ IISS Military Balance 1992/3, p 86, and Military Balance 2008, p 188
  20. ^ (Ukrainian) Brigade in Honcharivske receives new tanks
  21. ^ (Ukrainian) Training in the 17th Armored Brigade
  22. ^ a b c d Lenskiy
  23. ^ a b c d e f g Feskov, p.106
  24. ^ See Ukrainian Army Aviation
  25. ^ Военно-промышленный комплекс | Електронні вісті
  26. ^ Ukrinform (2003-10-25). "London, UK-based Institute for Strategic Studies appraises Ukrainian Armed Forces' personnel as 295,500-strong". Ukrainian Government. Retrieved 21 November 2012. 
  27. ^ a b, accessed November 2012.
  28. ^ Structure of Ukrainian Armed Forces
  29. ^
  30. ^ "Ukraine withdraws last troops from Iraq". Reliefweb. 2005-12-05. 
  31. ^ "Ukrainians complete mission in Iraq". Army Times. 2008-11-08. 
  32. ^ "Українського контингенту Міжнародних сил сприяння безпеці в Афганістані". Ukraine Ministry of Defense. 2014-09-18. 
  33. ^ "Украина возвращает из Косово еще 100 миротворцев". Ukrinform. 2014-08-15. 
  34. ^ "Ukraine and Africa. Ukrainian Peacekeepers in Africa.". Borysfen Intel. 2014-08-15. 
  35. ^ Ukrainian Armed Forces White Book 2011. Retrieved April 10, 2013. 
  36. ^ “Corsar” light portable antitank missile system
  37. ^ [1]
  38. ^ "“Передбачається забезпечення Збройних сил України новими та модернізованими зразками озброєння і військової техніки. За умов належного фінансування планується прийняти на озброєння 19 зразків ОВТ”. Повідомив журналістам сьогодні, 17 травня, заступник Міністра оборони України – керівник апарату Володимир Можаровський під час брифінгу у Клубі Кабінету Міністрів України. Він зазначив, що основними з цих зразків є переносний протитанковий ракетний комплекс “Стугна-П”"
    За умов належного фінансування на озброєння Збройних сил України планується прийняти 19 зразків озброєння та військової техніки / официальный сайт министерства обороны Украины от 17 мая 2013
  39. ^ Одеські курсанти виконали стрільби з ПТРК 9К111 «Фагот» / official website of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, 16 May 2014
  40. ^ (Ukrainian) 29 T-64s to be upgraded to Bulats for 1st Armored Brigade
  41. ^ a b c d e f g "Operation Shining Hope". Global Security. 5 July 2011. Retrieved 11 April 2012. 
  42. ^
  43. ^ "Yatseniuk: Cabinet of Ministers to allocate Hr 100 million to buy 22 BTR-3Es". Kyiv Post. 23 May 2014. Retrieved 29 Jun 2014. 
  44. ^ "Iveco to deliver 90 LMV M65 to Ukrainian Army". Army Recognition. 9 Sep 2014. 
  45. ^ Ground Forces Equipment - Ukraine
  46. ^ a b c d
  47. ^ Armament of Ukrainian Armed Forces
  48. ^ "Кременчугский автозавод "КрАЗ" поставил Министерству обороны Украины первую партию грузовых автомобилей высокой проходимости КрАЗ-6322 "Солдат" в количестве 15 единиц."
    Новости СНГ // "Военно-промышленный курьер" от 12 марта 2008
  49. ^ Вездеход "Спецназ" принят на вооружение армии // УНИАН от 1 сентября 2011
  50. ^ "решение состоит в максимальном использовании техники еще советского производства, которая хранится в «запасниках» вооруженных формирований в огромном количестве. К примеру, автомобилей ГАЗ-66 только в Вооруженных силах - более 2 000 единиц"
  51. ^ Новини Управління Прес-служби МО[dead link]
  52. ^ Новини Управління Прес-служби МО[dead link]
  53. ^ Новини Управління Прес-служби МО
  54. ^ Новини Управління Прес-служби МО
  55. ^ [2]
  56. ^ [3]
  57. ^ Андрій Баєвський. «Вепр» у «Кольчузі»: військова техніка і зброя, якими могла би пишатися українська армія // "Тиждень", 28 серпня 2009
  58. ^ [4]
  59. ^
  60. ^
  61. ^ "Benefits for the servicemen of the ATO". Харькова Тимохов. 2014-09-08. 
  62. ^


Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]