Reports view: We expect Ukraine to spend USD3.2bn on defence in 2015, a noticeable decline from previous years, despite the ongoing security situation. We expect Ukraine to spend less than USD4bn a year on defence through to 2018, rising to USD4.2bn in 2019.
As a result of Ukraine's political crisis and civil war, in 2014 Kiev decided to spend up to USD697mn on modernising the military. The conflict has exposed failings in the Ukrainian armed forces, including a lack of sophistication of the country's military equipment and the training levels of its troops.
We have given Ukraine an overall security risk index score of 49 out of 100 for 2015. On average, the country has had an overall security risk index of 58 for the period November 2007 up to and including 2015. We believe Ukraine has a high chance of becoming involved in a major interstate conflict, as well as a significant risk of experiencing a major terrorist attack. It remains vulnerable to high levels of crime.
Despite acts of violence continuing after a ceasefire was concluded in September 2014, both Russia and Ukraine appear to want to solve the political crisis between them diplomatically. However, the tensions between the states are tangible, and there is every risk of open conflict between the two countries, or between Ukraine and Russian-backed separatists in Ukraine. For all intents and purposes, as of late 2014 eastern Ukraine remains one of the world's most dangerous potential flashpoints.
Since April 2014, the UN estimates that up to 3,600 people have lost their lives as a result of the civil war and political crisis. As of October 2014 popularity for Ukraine joining NATO had risen considerably. However, Kiev's membership of the organisation would almost certainly trigger an angry reaction from Russia. For this reason, NATO may not choose to accept any application from Kiev to join NATO.