Ukraine was able to quickly organize an impressive national army, in part because it had always been an important contributor to the Soviet armed forces. In 2002 Ukranian armed forces numbered 302,300 active personnel with some 1,000,000 reserves. Ground forces numbered 150,700 and was organized into three commands and more than 30 specialized brigades and regiments of artillery, special forces, air defense, rocket and missile, and attack helicopter units. It was equipped with 3,905 main battle tanks and over 3,000 armored infantry fighting vehicles. The Air Force and Air Defense Force, with 49,100 personnel, operated 499 combat air craft. The navy numbered 13,500 and was equipped with one submarine, three principal surface combatants and nine patrol and coastal combatants. The naval infantry numbered 3,000.
Of greatest international concern has been the fate of the ICBMs and strategic bombers on Ukrainian soil, which are supposed to return to Russia for dismantling. As of 2000, the number of ICBMs had been reduced from 174 to 44, although the number of bombers had remained nearly steady at 44.
Paramilitary forces included 44,000 internal security troops, 45,000 border guards, coast guards numbering 14,000, and some 9,500 civil defense troops. The Ukraine participated in peacekeeping missions in seven regions. The defense budget for 1999 was $414 million or 1.4% of GDP.