Ukraine defense budget dwarfed by Russia’s but could hold up with guerrilla tactics: expert

 Ukraine defense budget dwarfed by Russia’s but could hold up with guerrilla tactics: expert


Ukraine’s defense budget isn’t enough to go “toe-to-toe with the Russians,” but it’s more than enough to wage a guerrilla campaign, Daniel Hoffman, a former Moscow station chief for the CIA, told FOX Business.

Ukraine’s $ 6 billion defense budget is about one-tenth of Russia’s, according to recent data from Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

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Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced Saturday that the US will further bolster Ukraine’s defense with $ 350 million more in aid.

War in Kiev

Ukrainian servicemen walk by fragments of a downed aircraft in Kyiv, Ukraine, Feb. 25, 2022. (AP Photo / Oleksandr Ratushniak / AP Newsroom)

Hoffman applauded the extra support but said these funds should have been provided earlier to deter Russia, saying that “timing matters.”

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“They [both military budgets] were never going to stack up in such a way that Ukraine could actually win the war “on its defense budget alone,” Hoffman said.

However, “where Ukraine is going to be able to fight back” is through its guerrilla tactics, he added.

Ukrainian soldiers take positions in downtown Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, Feb.  25, 2022. Russia pressed its invasion of Ukraine to the outskirts of the capital Friday after unleashing airstrikes on cities and military bases and sending in troops and tanks from three sides in an attack that could rewrite the global post-Cold War security order.  (AP Photo / Emilio Morenatti)

Ukrainian soldiers take positions in downtown Kyiv, Ukraine, Feb. 25, 2022. (AP Photo / Emilio Morenatti / AP Newsroom)

In fact, Hoffman commended Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy for “mobilizing support for his country in the most extraordinary way” and in “the most trying of circumstances.”

“We’ve got these regular folks who aren’t military, and they’re going out and picking up weapons from their local police station to go fight for their county,” he said.

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In a message posted to Twitter early Friday, Ukrainian citizens were being advised to make Molotov cocktails and help “neutralize the occupier” as Russian forces drove deeper into the country.

“We ask citizens to inform about the movement of equipment!” the message posted by the Defense Ministry of Ukraine said.

On top of that, images of Ukrainian soldiers carrying javelin missile launchers have appeared on Twitter.

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“They’ve got the home-field advantage, and they’re going to make it very bloody for Putin,” Hoffman said. “Guerrilla warfare gets real tough.”

Budgets aside, “Putin doesn’t have the troops to subdue Ukraine,” Hoffman suggested.

FOX News’ Dom Calicchio contributed to this report.



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