New Book Tells How Russia Took Crimea So Easily

August 28, 2014 5:14 PM

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After the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, Ukraine had the second-largest armed forces in Europe (after Russia) and the fourth-largest in the world (after Russia, China and the United States). Twenty-three years later, when the Russian military invaded Ukrainian territory in Crimea this February, the country formidably failed to offer any military resistance.

On March 11, Ukraine's then-defense minister, Igor Tenyukh, reported that at the moment only 6,000 men in the country's ground forces were ready for combat, only 15 percent of military aircraft were able to fly, and only 10 percent of air-defense systems were operational.

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