The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine on Wednesday approved the draft budget for 2023: total security and defense spending will quadruple to 1.136 trillion hryvnia ($30.7 billion). Russia, according to the adopted budget for 2022-2024, will spend more than 3.557 trillion rubles, or almost $60 billion, for these purposes next year. That is only twice as much.
The Ukrainian authorities are going to spend the money (which includes Western assistance) on salaries for the military, maintenance of the army, repairs and purchase of equipment and weapons. Own budget revenues - 1.28 trillion hryvnia, expenses - 2.57 trillion. Defense spending in 2023 is a huge amount of money for the country, it is half of the entire budget. For comparison: before the war, the planned budget revenues of Ukraine in 2022 were to be 1.32 trillion hryvnias, while 267.2 billion hryvnias were provided for defense at that time.
In October 2021, when the draft Russian budget for 2022-2024 was being considered, Andrey Kartapolov, chairman of the State Duma Defense Committee, argued that the "defense budget" was balanced and efficient. In total, 3.51 trillion rubles were allocated for national defense in 2022, 3.557 trillion rubles in 2023 (almost $60 billion at the current exchange rate), and 3.81 trillion rubles in 2024.
The main place in the structure of defense spending is the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, the open part of the budget provided for 1.067 trillion rubles for 2022, 1.11 trillion rubles for 2023 (at today's exchange rate, this is almost 18 billion dollars), for 2024 - 1.143 trillion rubles .
Thus, at the moment, Russia plans to spend on defense in general next year only twice as much as Ukraine. At the same time, the territory of Russia is almost 30 times larger than the territory of Ukraine.
Economist Vladislav Inozemtsev said in a conversation with The Insider that the numbers are still not so comparable - Russia has already spent colossal money on the war.
“[$30.7 billion] is the right number. If we take into account that before the war [Ukraine's] military budget was more than $5 billion, and only American military assistance next year will be at least $15 billion - only in weapons, another $10 billion will be accumulated. Putin has qualitatively secured our western border. The boy does not knit brooms. But in fact, Russia spent about $70 billion on the war in just six months, so the ratio is not as close as it seems.”
The Insider's interlocutor in the military sphere notes that "the numbers do not make sense out of context": "In the case of Ukraine, this is the context of Western assistance, which can be valued in money. In the case of Russia, this is the context of the mobilization potential of the defense industry, which is much more difficult to assess due to secrecy.”
“It is clear that the Western world as a whole has more opportunities, but I would apply an everyday analogy here. You take a bottle and try to fill it with water from a large canister. It is necessary to pour in a thin stream, otherwise it will spill by. You can put a funnel, but you still need to pour so that the funnel does not overflow. Well, the volume of the bottle is limited. The bottle in this case is the Ukrainian military machine, the canister is the capabilities of NATO.”