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Putin to increase size of Russian armed forces by 137,000

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Russian president Vladimir Putin
President Vladimir Putin of Russia

Vladimir Putin has ordered that 137,000 additional soldiers be added to Russia’s military starting from next year 2023.

The Russian president made the declaration a day after the six-month mark of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

Moscow has not provided any details of casualties since the conflict’s early stages, but Western officials and the Ukrainian government estimate the number to be in the thousands.

On Thursday, the Russian president issued a decree but did not specify how the military would beef up its ranks, including whether additional conscripts would be added, more volunteers would be accepted, or a combination of both.

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The Kremlin denied rumours that it was considering a broad mobilisation, saying that online voluntary contract troops take part in the “special military operation” in Ukraine.

Conscription is prohibited, according to Professor Michael Clarke, unless Russia declares “war” on Ukraine.

Prof Clarke, former director-general of the Royal United Services Institute, said: “Then there is a fair amount of mutiny at the front lines. But that will not stop the offensive in itself.

“Russia is now offering big amounts (three to four times the average monthly salary) for young men to take the military contract and serve for as little as six months, with virtually no training.

“Desperate stuff, but Russia will keep feeding young men into the war. Many of them will die with bulging bank accounts back home.”

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The military will have 1,150,628 people working for them as of January 1 thanks to Mr. Putin’s directive.

In November 2017, Mr. Putin set the size of the fighting force in the Russian army at 1.01 million from a total armed forces headcount, including non-combatants, of 1.9 million.

 

sky

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