Ukraine finds its forces are ill-equipped to take Crimea back from Russia

But the Ukrainian military has only a token force in the autonomous region — a lightly armed brigade of about 3,500 people, equipped with artillery and light weapons but none of the country’s advanced battle tanks, said Igor Sutyagin, a Russian military expert at the Royal United Services Institute in London. The forces also have only one air squadron of SU-27 fighters deployed at the air base near Belbek.

A senior NATO official said that Ukraine’s small naval fleet, which was originally part of the Black Sea Fleet, had been boxed in by Russian warships…

Even so, Ukraine had no realistic contingency plan for a Russian takeover of Crimea, given the size of the Russian forces legitimately based there, said Mr. Sutyagin, the military analyst. But he also said that he doubted that Russian forces would intervene elsewhere in Ukraine, because Russian forces would be too stretched to control much territory and even in the largely pro-Russia east, Ukrainian forces would be expected to fight back, aided by self-defense militias and partisans.