Every year on December 6, the Day of the Armed Forces of Ukraine is celebrated – a professional holiday of Ukrainian defenders.
The Kremlin planned to defeat the Ukrainian army in a few days of a full scale invasion, but it failed. Instead, but the Ukraine’s armed forces are only expanding, replenishing and strengthening. And since August, every week more and more Ukrainian land is being liberated from the Russian invaders.
Structure of the Armed Forces of Ukraine
Branches of Armed Forces: Ground Forces, Air Forces, Naval Forces.
Separate branches of the Armed Forces of Ukraine are Special Operations Forces, Territorial Defense Forces, Logistics Forces, Support Forces, Medical Forces.
Separate subbranches of the Armed Forces of Ukraine: Airborne assault troops, Communications and cyber security forces.
Specialized forces: engineering ; CBRN; communication ; Radio-electronic warfare.
Armed Forces of Ukraine in 2022
Now the Ukrainian military is facing one of the largest armies in the world – the Russians. Ukrainian military had eight years of experience in the war in the East. Ukrainian defenders have good motivation and skills.
The whole world admire their resistance in the war against the Russian army, which, maybe erroneously, called ‘world’s second army’. Ukrainians are backed by Western partners with weapons, financial and humanitarian support.
Ukraine submitted an application to NATO, because the Ukrainian army has already proven that it is worthy of being a member of the military alliance.
Photo: Getty Images
On July 8, at the Forbes conference “Building together”, Defense Minister of Ukraine Oleksiy Reznikov named the number of soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine:
“Up to 700,000 people are mobilized into the Armed Forces, up to 60,000 border guards, up to 90,000 National Guards, and up to 100,000 National Police. Today, we have more than 1 million people in uniform ensuring the security and defense sector”, he emphasized.
Among them are tens of thousands of Ukrainian women. During the sixth Ukrainian Women’s Congress, Reznikov reported that 59,786 women serve in the ranks of the Armed Forces.
Armed Forces of Ukraine in the eyes of the world
Even the most experienced generals of NATO countries are surprised by the military operations of Ukrainian Armed Forces. This is what US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said after two months of full-scale war, when the Ukrainian army managed to liberate Kyiv, Zhytomyr, Chernihiv and Sumy regions, pushing back Russian invading forces.
“Ukrainian hospitals are being bombed. Residents of the country are being executed. Children are wounded. But, despite this, Ukrainians did an extraordinary job defending their sovereignty. Ukrainian valor and skill will become a part of military history,” Austin said.
According to Mr. Austin, the Ukrainian resistance inspires the entire free world. And the opinion of Western partners regarding the skill and professionalism of the Armed Forces has only improved since that time.
The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the United States General Mark Milley believes that the Ukrainian army is defeating the Russians by all indicators. None of the goals that the Russian Federation set at the beginning of the full-scale war were ultimately achieved.
“Every time the Russians were defeated. They lost strategically, they lost operationally, and they lost tactically. Whatever they tried to do, they failed,” Milley said.
Ukrainian army success in the war
Austrian military analyst Tom Cooper names decentralization as one of the main success factors of the Armed Forces. He gives the example of the supply of weapons from the West, which must be hidden so that the Russians do not destroy them on the way to the front.
“This is not an easy task, but apparently the Armed Forces solve the problem quite well through decentralization: they have a lot of “insignificant” ammunition depots behind the front line, and the Russians have huge problems with finding them. In approximately 99% of cases, Russians lose track of cargo shortly after it enters Ukraine. So, internal security in Ukraine functions quite well,” he notes.
In the tenth month of the full-scale war, none of the allies had a doubt about the strength of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. And that is why military aid is not something that remains stable, but is also increasing even more.
“They (Ukrainian forces — ed.) will liberate Crimea by the summer of 2023. On the condition that the USA will continue to support Ukraine and all sanctions against Russia will remain as they are”, — predicts ex-commander of the US Ground Forces in Europe Ben Godges.
The most striking military operations of the Armed Forces of Ukraine
Defense of Kyiv and the Kyiv region
The blitzkrieg planned by the Kremlin in Ukraine failed within days of a full-scale invasion. Having entered the Kyiv region from Belarus, the Russians insidiously hid in the territory of the Chornobyl NPP, from there opening their way to the outskirts of the capital.
The invaders never succeeded in capturing even the outskirts of Kyiv, so they immediately turned to terrorizing the civilian population of the surrounding towns and villages in the Kyiv region. In Bucha, Gostomel, Irpin, Vorzel, Motyzhyn and others war crimes against the civilians were registered.
However, thanks to the brave Ukrainian army that these atrocities were stopped. On March 31, the Armed Forces liberated Bucha and forced the Russians to withdraw from the Chornobyl NPP. On April 1-2, it became known that Ukrainian troops had completely liberated the Kyiv region.
Liberation of Zhytomyr and Chernihiv regions
After the defeat in the Kyiv region, the Russians focused on strengthening their positions in the east and in the north of Ukraine, where they captured towns and villages in the first days of the invasion.
Therefore, within a week, on April 8, the Armed Forces managed to completely liberate Zhytomyr, Chernihiv, and Sumy regions. Authorities and volunteers immediately set about rebuilding the regions’ infrastructure, reconfiguring logistics chains, and relaunching the economy.
Foreign embassies and consulates, which were evacuated at the beginning of the full-scale war, began to return to Ukraine.
Photo: General Staff of the Armed Forces / Facebook
Destroyed Russian warship Moskva
On April 13, the Armed Forces of Ukraine struck twice at the flagship of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation, Moscow. Ukrainian Neptune missiles caused devastating damage to the missile cruiser, causing it to sink during a storm.
Yes, yes, this is exactly the ship which the Ukrainian border guards on Zmiiny Island sent in the right direction back on February 24.
Ukrainians believe that every Russian ship will reach the same destination.
Defense of Mariupol
In total, Ukrainian heroes had defended Mariupol and Azovstal for 82 days, preventing the Russian offensive. In this way, the Mariupol garnison prevented the Russians from transferring a group of about 20,000 soldiers to other directions.
As a result, the Azovians failed the Kremlin’s plan to quickly seize Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia regions, and surround the JFO group.
The Mariupol defenders acquired valuable time for Ukraine to establish defensive lines, build reserves, regroup their forces and receive help from partners.
Liberation of the Zmiinyi Island
On June 30, the Armed Forces of Ukraine liberated the Zmiinyi Island, which was captured by Russians at the beginning of the invasion. This island is a strategically important point that allows you to control and monitor the northwestern part of the Black Sea, coastal settlements and trade sea routes.
Before that, on May 7, Ukrainian forces destroyed a Russian amphibious assault ship, two anti-aircraft missile systems and three enemy boats near the island.
At the end of June, the fire control of the Armed Forces forced the Russians to leave Zmiinyi. Ukraine regained remote control over the island, and already on July 4 planted its flag there.
Photo: General Staff of the Armed Forces / Facebook
Explosions in Crimea
On August 9, the Armed Forces of Ukraine launched missile attacks on the Russian military airfield in the Saky district of Crimea. As a result, the Russian Federation lost several aircraft and some of its personnel.
On August 16, explosions rang out in the Dzhankoy district. Then a large enemy ammunition depot was destroyed and the railway connection between mainland Ukraine and Crimea was cut off.
On August 18 and for several more days, the Armed Forces attacked enemy targets at the Balbek airfield near Sevastopol, in Kerch, Yevpatoria, Bakhchisarai, and Sevastopol. The headquarters of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation was also damaged.
Liberation of the Kharkiv region
After Ukraine’s summer counteroffensive in the Kherson region, as a result of which it was possible to liberate at least 20 settlements, and a successful information campaign on the part of Ukraine, the Russians expected further advancement of the Armed Forces in this direction.
However, the counteroffensive of Ukrainian forces in the Kharkiv region in September came as a surprise to the invaders. The Armed Forces of Ukraine quickly liberated Balaklia, Kupyansk, Izyum, Vovchansk and other towns. Remaining Russian troops fled.
The Russians found themselves under threat of encirclement, which is why they began to flee the region en masse. In general, by the end of September, the Armed Forces of Ukraine successfully advanced in at least two directions east of the Oskil and Siverskyi Donets rivers.
The Armed Forces of Ukraine made pressure on Russians in the Kherson region using long-distance artillery strikes. On November 9, the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation ordered its invading troops to withdraw from Kherson and from the right bank of the Dnipro River.
The retreat was due to the exhaustion of the Russian army due to the impossibility of reinforcements through previously destroyed logistical routes in the region. They were smashed by the Ukrainian artillery.
On November 11, the Armed Forces entered Kherson, after the Russians fled, and in the following days successfully liberated part of the Kherson and Mykolayiv regions.