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Friday, May 9, 2008

2008 Foreign Troops in UA

Nearly 3,000 foreign troops (2,940) will spend more than three months (142 days) on the territory of Ukraine throughout 2008. But Russia will still maintain the largest foreign troop presence in Ukraine, with its Black Sea Fleet based in Crimea.

Back in April, the Rada approved the multinational list of joint military exercises to be held in Ukraine throughout the year. An April issue of the Army’s Narodna Armiya magazine published details of the exercises, including a sample of the modern military hardware Ukrainians will see: 60 light wheeled vehicles, 15 ships, 12 airplanes, 12 helicopters and 2 submarines. This list is far from complete, as details of the armaments and hardware are only provided for 4 of 11 exercises (see second table).

Conspicuously missing from the report are the names, dates and numbers for bilateral air defense exercises with the Rossiyska Federation. So who knows how many Russian airplanes and pilots are in Ukraine at any one time? Not to mention the 25,000 service men of the Russian Black Sea Fleet and its 388 maritime vessels (including 14 submarines).

2008 months Country Exercise # Foreign troops, days
ongoing Russia air defence unspecified
May-July Belgium tactical 300, 20 days
May-Aug. Moldova South-2008 30, 7
unspec. Belarus tactical 50, 7
July US Sea Breeze 1,000, 25
July-Sept. US Combined Effort (aviation) 100, 14
Aug.-Sept. US Rapid Trident (command) 750, 15
Aug.-Sept. Slovakia Slavs for Peace 30, 7
Aug.-Oct. Romania tactical 30, 7
Sept. multi SOFEX 300, 15
Sept.-Nov. Poland, Canada, Lithuania Maple Arch 350, 25

Exercise name Foreign troops (#) Military Hardware
Sea Breeze 1,000

40 vehicles, 15 ships, 2 submarines, 4 airplanes, 4 helicopters

Combined Effort 100 10 vehicles, 4 airplanes, 2 helicopters
Rapid Trident 750 10 vehicles, 2 airplanes, 2 helicopters
Sofex 300 2 airplanes, 4 helicopters

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