This is how I see things as of the current patch:
Allies are stronger than axis at top levels, but the Allies are much more difficult to play. Assuming both players are equal:
Less than intermediate: axis almost always win
Intermediate: slight to significant axis advantage
Advanced: significant allied advantage
Axis = easy to learn, hard to master
Allies = hard to learn, hard to master
The difficulty in balancing (assuming balance means a 50:50 ratio) is making it easier for most players while not skewing the ratio too much. It seems that the vast majority have a problem in the USSR, and once a major line of defense collapses, panzers keep pushing forward and annihilating everything as low morale, underentrenched backline units are devoured. The slightest mistake can cause the collapse of a line, leading to a chain reaction of underentrenched low morale units getting annihilated (a mistake as innocent as moving an army forward to see combat odds, but being unable to undo the move since this revealed the german units stats.)
I agree that the USSR could use a few more starting units, as this will significantly ease the 1941 situation. But I think that even with these additions, new players will still struggle vs axis because they don't know how to use the allied toolkit effectively (engineers, carriers, strategic bombers), because they spread out their research out too thinly as the USSR, and because they don't prepare a second line of defense soon enough. Adding more units will help the last problem, which is probably the most significant.
In sum, I think that giving a few more units to the USSR is a great idea that addresses the biggest problem for most players, but I wouldn't do more for the USSR unless you weaken the allies elsewhere.
< Message edited by HamburgerMeat -- 1/17/2020 8:03:54 PM >