Ukraine tumbles in ‘global firepower’ rankings

Western backing had previously bolstered Kiev’s position

Ukraine has dropped to the 18th place on the Global Firepower (GFP) index, down from the 15th place last summer, before the start of its counteroffensive planned and supplied by the West.

The most recent GFP update showed Ukraine at a rating of 0.2598 (with 0.0 considered optimal). It compared unfavorably to Russia in every category except geography, though GFP did not explain how it evaluated that. 

At the end of May 2023, Kiev ranked at No. 15 with a rating of 0.2516, which GFP said was partly due to the “financial and material backing from the West.” According to Russian Defense Ministry estimates from December, Ukraine had received over $200 billion worth of aid from the US and its allies.

At the time, GFP said that 2023 would prove “a critical year in the direction of the bloody Russo-Ukrainian conflict as the stresses and demands of a prolonged war against a larger neighboring power will eventually come to light.”

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Within days, Kiev launched its grand counteroffensive in Zaporozhye, intended to reach the Azov Sea and cut the Russian “land bridge” to Crimea. The operation was extensively planned by US and UK generals and fought with tanks, armored vehicles and artillery supplied by NATO. 

The Western plan was abandoned after just four days due to heavy losses, according to a recent Washington Post analysis. Kiev’s forces kept fighting for four months, at the cost of 125,000 casualties and 16,000 pieces of heavy equipment, but failed to reach any of their objectives. 

Meanwhile, Russia’s rating went from 0.0714 to 0.0702. However, GFP kept Moscow in second place behind Washington, which was rated at 0.0699 – somehow up from last year’s 0.0712.

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FILE PHOTO. Ukrainian servicemen load a truck with the FGM-148 Javelin, American man-portable anti-tank missile provided by US to Ukraine as part of a military support.
Russia estimates total value of Western aid to Ukraine

GFP has been producing its annual report since 2006, ranking 145 countries around the world by “potential war-making capability across land, sea, and air fought by conventional means.” The in-house formula considers “manpower, equipment, natural resources, finances, and geography represented by 60+ individual factors” to arrive at an index, with zero being the theoretical perfect score. Many of the criteria are based on data from the CIA World Factbook.

Global Firepower’s location, funding and ownership aren’t entirely clear. Per its own disclaimer, the outfit “does not assume responsibility as to the accuracy, correctness, completeness, reliability and ‘up-to-dateness’ of information made available throughout.”

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