The independent resource on global security

Ukraine and Black Sea Security

Publisher: SIPRI
December, 2018

The Black Sea region is experiencing a changing military balance. The six littoral states (Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine) intensified their efforts to build up their military potential after Russia’s takeover of Crimea and the start of the internationalized civil war in eastern Ukraine in 2014.

The loss of Crimea and the conflict in the east of the country have dramatically changed Ukraine’s relations with Russia and its position in the Black Sea. The civil war has become by far the most important security issue for Ukraine and Russia has become the main threat to its security. These events have also caused Ukraine to prioritize member­ship of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.


I. Background

II. Defence policy

III. Armed forces structure

IV. Armed forces deployment

V. Military spending

VI. Arms holdings and acquisitions

VII. Conclusions


Siemon T. Wezeman is a Senior Researcher in the SIPRI Arms Transfers Programme.
Alexandra Kuimova Alexandra Kuimova is a Researcher with UNIDIR’s Conventional Arms and Ammunition Programme. She was previously a Researcher with the SIPRI Arms Transfers Programme.