At the time of its founding, the Ukrainian Army owned 176 nuclear intercontinental ballistic missiles, including 130 SS-19 and 24 SS-24 missiles, along with more than 1,000 warheads.

At the time of its founding, Ukraine was the third largest nuclear power in the world, behind only the US and Russia, ahead of China in quantity and quality. However, due to pressure from the West and Russia, Ukraine decided to destroy and transfer nuclear weapons to Russia. As of 1994, Ukraine was completely non-nuclear.

Under the Soviet Union, Ukraine was home to many heavy industrial plants. After 1991, this country inherited a lot of extremely advanced technology, especially the shipbuilding industry. Particularly, a shipyard located in the Black Sea of ​​Ukraine in the mid-1980s built both aircraft carriers, Admiral Kuznetsov and Varyag, at the same time. And as we all know, only the Admiral Kuznetsov was put into service, the Varyag was only about 60% complete and left unfinished due to the collapse of the Federation.

Huge outdoor tank yard of Ukraine
Huge outdoor tank yard of Ukraine

Because of its limited economic potential, the reception of a huge arsenal of Soviet weapons was a burden on Ukraine. They did not have the funds to maintain, not to mention continuing to build. The Varyag could not be completed and the Chinese quickly took the opportunity to buy it, and do the rest. Varyag is now the famous Liaoning – CV 16, the first aircraft carrier of the Chinese Navy.

The shipbuilding industry is most tragic. Ukraine used to be able to build ships of tens of thousands of tons, but now it can only build small ships. The Ukrainian navy now relies entirely on small Gyurza-M patrol boats, which even are classified as coastal patrol boats.

The most formidable next to the Ukraine’s intercontinental ballistic missile system was the powerful bomber inherited from the Soviet Union. They used to own 43 strategic bombers, including 23 Tu-95s and 20 Tu-160s. There were also 241 tactical bombers, including 90 Tu-16s, 70 Tu-22s and 81 Tu-22Ms. The Tu-160 was one of the most formidable bombers of its time, but due to the lack of funds to maintain it, Ukraine planned to sell them to China. However, American intervention prevented this, and Ukraine had to destroy them all. Currently, the Ukrainian Air Force no longer operates bombers.

The most significant was probably the Tank force of the Ukrainian army. Ukraine inherits a huge number of tanks, from the T-54/55, T-62, T-64 to the T-72, and the modern T-80. This gave the Ukrainian army an undeniable strength, stronger than any other Western European ground force.


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