Russia’s attack on Ukraine is leading to worldwide discussion of military forces. In today’s article we will see which nations have the largest military as of 1816 to 2021.
Largest Army in the World from 1816 to 2021
Which are the largest armies? Which nation has the largest army to date? In the video below, the 10 largest armies in the world over the last three centuries are shown. But which are the strongest armies today? In first place, the nation with the largest number of active army personnel is China. The Asian nation has 2,185,000 armed forces. In second place, more than 700,000 troops behind India, and in third place is the United States with 1,388,140 military forces. Among the nations in the world with more than 1 million armed forces are North Korea and Russia, which – according to the latest available estimates – had more than 1 million armed forces in 2021.
Among the world’s top 10 nations by number of armed forces are all Asian countries. From Pakistan, which has 654,000 armed forces, to Iran with 610,000. Next in line are South Korea with 599,000 and then Turkey and Vitenam with 482,000. Interestingly, the European Union does not have any country in the top 10 nations with the most armed forces. The last country in the top 10 was France when it had an army of over 531,000 in 1992.
Ukraine vs Russia: military forces compared
The war between Russia and Ukraine has now been going on for 20 days. But what were the military forces on the ground initially?
Before 24 February, the start of the war, the difference between the two armies was clear to everyone. Let us take one of the ‘classic’ parameters as an example. What is Russia’s military expenditure? And what is Ukraine’s military expenditure?
Russia is the third largest nation in the world in terms of its defence budget in dollars. Russia’s spending is $154 billion. Ukraine, on the other hand, has an expenditure of just under $12 billion, according to the latest estimates. While Russia ranks third globally, Ukraine is 20th. Factoring in the sum of the budget, 92% is Russia’s and only the remaining 8% Ukraine’s.
Expenditure figures in the military are definitely in Russia’s favour. And in terms of military means, how does that compare?
Again, the situation seems much more skewed in Russia’s favour. In terms of fighter aircraft, Russia is the world’s third-largest power. It has 772 of them. Ukraine has 69.
In terms of attack helicopters, the situation is also decidedly different. There are 544 attack helicopters in Russia and 34 in Ukraine. Russia is the second largest power in the world while Ukraine is in 18th place. Even in the other parameters – submarines for example – the figure is 70 to 0 for Russia.
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