Ukraine’s Army Is Now the Best in the World, Retired General Says


A Ukrainian military member drives while sitting atop an armored vehicle on a dirt road on February 26, 2023, in Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine. On March 23, 2023, retired Australian Army Major General Mick Ryan said that the Ukrainian army is the best in the world right now.YAN DOBRONOSOV/GLOBAL IMAGES UKRAINE/GETTY IMAGES

The Ukrainian army is currently the best in the world amid their ongoing war with Russia, Mick Ryan, a retired major general in the Australian army, said this week.

While speaking with the Kyiv Post on Thursday, Ryan talked about the different aspects of Ukraine’s armed forces and how they’ve used a number of capabilities, like missile defenses, drone defenses and frontline combat troops, in their war against Russia.

“And my view is that the Ukrainians are probably the best army in the world at the moment,” Ryan said. “And it’s not probably, they are. They are the best army in the world. They’re the most experienced at the modern warfare, they’ve demonstrated that over the last 13 months.

“Now they’ve shed a lot of blood and lost a lot of young men and women and older men and women, to be honest, to learn the many lessons they’ve learned, but they are the best army in the world. There is much that we can all learn from them.”

The comments by Ryan come amid the ongoing war that began when Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the “special military operation” in Ukraine on February 24, 2022.

Ryan told the Kyiv Post that there are several “elements” to the Ukrainian army.

“The territorial defense force, you’ve got the professional army which is made of the old soldiers and the newly mobilized soldiers,” he said. “There appears to be a lot of independent units.

“You have foreign troops as well and bringing that all together is a pretty big challenge in an army that has expanded quickly. And even the very best generals would be challenged by that kind of undertaking and to do it during wartime even makes it harder.”

Mark Cancian, a senior adviser with the Center for Strategic & International Studies International Security Program, told Newsweek on Thursday that “Ryan is absolutely right in emphasizing the human elements in warfare, particularly training and leadership. And there’s no doubt that the Ukrainians have more recent combat experience than any other country other than Russia. As Ryan points out several times, the Ukrainians are better than the Russians. However, that does not make them the best army in the world.”

Cancian went on to cite different training that the U.S. military goes through compared to the Ukrainian military, which received only “two or three weeks of training before heading into combat.”

“Every Marine recruit receives 22 weeks of training,” he said. “The Ukrainians are sending two battalions through combat training in Europe. In a typical year, the U.S. Army sends about 60 battalions to similar training [20 brigades to the combat training centers such as NTC and JRTC]. Most Ukrainian commanders have shown themselves to be highly skilled on the battlefield but likely lack the depth of training needed to execute complex joint maneuvers.”

On Thursday, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine provided an update on battles near the Eastern border. According to the update, the Security Service of Ukraine special forces group “canceled” 22 Russian targets: 14 tanks, four BMP armored vehicles, “2 blindages with the opponent infantry,” one mining machine and one warehouse with ammunition.

Another update from the General Staff calculated total Russian losses since the start of the war at more than 3,000 tanks, 6,898 armored vehicles, 305 planes and aircraft, 290 helicopters and 273 “anti-aircraft warfare systems.”

Newsweek reached out to the ministry of foreign affairs in Russia and Ukraine via email for comment.


  1. There might be some reluctance here and there, but, the militaries of this world must all come to this conclusion, sooner or later. Ukraine’s army has been nothing short of amazing! This goes for the generals as well as the common soldier. But, we cannot forget its air force, which managed to stay in the game, despite being massively outnumbered, and the navy, which took Snake Island away from a massively larger opponent!
    I salute the Ukrainian armed forces!

    • Liked 🇺🇦 AFU has purchased their skills with blood, sweat, and tears. They have become an extremely formidable force in many ways. Stand with Ukraine, and keep increasing support for this outstanding nation and it’s wonderful people, help them be victorious.

  2. An Army which has been fighting and winning against any other in real combat is going to be the beast or one of the best at least.

    A.M. Hoping the new Laptop is ready tomorrow evening!

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