After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Ukraine’s army was one of the most powerful in Europe, as it inherited nuclear weapons and relatively modern weapons and military equipment.

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In 1991, Ukraine retained the world’s third largest nuclear arsenal (after the United States and Russia). It was based on five divisions from the Forty-third Missile Army.
Ukrainian missile specialists were armed with strategic complexes stationary in mines (missiles UR-100NU and RT-23UTTKh) and mobile missile systems (Pioner and Pioner-UTTKh).

Kyiv was under intense pressure from Washington and Moscow. Between 1993 and 2001, all Ukrainian intercontinental ballistic missile sites were destroyed by the United States (the last one was in October 2001 near Pervomaisk).
Nuclear warheads for tactical missiles were exported to Russia very quickly – back in 1992.

After the collapse of the USSR, Ukraine received air defense forces.

Ukraine inherited a fairly serious air defense system in the form of 204 anti-aircraft missile divisions:

43 divisions of S-300PT/PS air defense systems,
six S-300V divisions,
35 divisions of S-200 air defense systems,
23 divisions of the Buk missile system,
29 divisions of S-125 air defense systems,
27 divisions of the Krug air defense system,
four divisions of “Kub” air defense systems.

In 1992, the Armed Forces of Ukraine began to be formed, and two separate commands were created: The Air Force and the Air Defense Forces of Ukraine. However, already in January 1993, by a decree of President Leonid Kravchuk, the Air Force and the Air Defense Forces were merged into a single service, the Air Force of Ukraine (Air Defense Forces). A year later, in February 1994, they were again divided into separate branches, the Air Force and the Air Defense Forces.

In April 1995, Leonid Kuchma’s decree re-established a single command, this time of the Air Defense Forces of Ukraine (Air Force and Air Defense Forces). However, in May 1996, a new decree was issued, according to which the IDPs were divided into the Air Force and the Air Defense Forces.

Since June 2004, the current system has been in place, with the Air Force and Air Defense Forces merged into the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

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