How big is the Russian army?

TROOPS have invaded as Russia begins it's attack on Ukraine.

In the early hours of February 24, 2022, bombs and missiles struck areas across Ukraine.

How big is the Russian army?

The Russian military is believed to be one of the most powerful in the world.

Compared to Ukraine's military Russia's is overwhelmingly large, boasting 850,000 active personnel and 250,000 in reserve.

Russia's firepower is second only to the United States.

They do also use conscription, requiring everyone between 18 and 33 to enlist for 12 months.

Their military statistics are as follows, according to Global Firepower:

  • 850,000 active personnel
  • 12,420 tanks
  • 30,122 armoured vehicles
  • 4,173 total aircraft
  • 772 fighter aircraft
  • 544 attack helicopters
  • 605 naval fleet
  • 11 frigates
  • 15 destroyers

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How does it compare to the UK, Nato and Ukraine armies?


The Ukrainian military is much smaller than Russia's.

Their naval capabilities are particularly lacking with only one frigate and no destroyers to their name.

Destroyers are rarer ships that are larger than a frigate and so can carry more and are more powerful overall.

  • 200,000 active personnel
  • 2,596 tanks
  • 12,303 armoured vehicles
  • 318 total aircraft
  • 69 fighter aircraft
  • 34 attack helicopters
  • 38 naval fleet
  • 1 frigate


The military strength of the UK is in the leagues of Russia or the US but still boasts some powerful weapons.

The UK armed forces has reduced over the past few years but as a member of NATO it is unlikely we would enter the fight alone.

  • 194,000 active personnel
  • 227 tanks
  • 5,015 armoured vehicles
  • 693 total aircraft
  • 119 fighter aircraft
  • 24 attack helicopters
  • 75 naval fleet
  • 12 frigates
  • 6 destroyers


The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) is an international alliance.

It means that if one member country is attacked, all of the members will join to defend it if necessary.

It is believed NATO has over 3million active personnel, over one million of which come from the US.

It is hard to estimate the exact number of military assets for the alliance but numbers alone do not determine the outcome.

There are currently 30 members, including the US, UK and Germany but Ukraine is not part of NATO.

All NATO countries are not automatically required to defend Ukraine or Russia as neither are members of the alliance.

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