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Ukraine’s military, recently defeated in its Anti-Terrorist Operation against separatists in the east, must address massive materiel, training, and leadership deficiencies. Having suffered years of budgetary and administrative neglect, its armed forces and defense industrial complex cannot hope to fight Russia in their current state. U.S. security assistance to Ukraine should focus in the short term on supplies to sustain its troops over the winter and in the medium term on support for comprehensive military reform, but providing American weapons would engender a proxy war with Russia without really improving Ukraine’s combat capability.

Weapons Are Not the Answers to Ukraine's Military Woes

About the Author

Michael Kofman

Michael Kofman

Global Fellow;
Director, Russia Studies Program, CNA Corporation
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Kennan Institute

The Kennan Institute is the premier U.S. center for advanced research on Russia and Eurasia and the oldest and largest regional program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. The Kennan Institute is committed to improving American expertise and knowledge of Russia, Ukraine, and the region. Through its residential fellowship programs, public lectures, workshops, and publications, the Institute strives to attract, publicize, and integrate new research into the policy community.  Read more