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Putin orders increase to size of Russian armed forces

NBC News 8/25/2022 Yuliya Talmazan
© Provided by NBC News

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree Thursday increasing the size of his country’s armed forces, as the Kremlin’s war in Ukraine passed the six month mark.  

Putin’s decree will increase the number of soldiers in the Russian armed forces by 137,000, or about 10%, up from 1.01 million to 1.15 million.

A copy of the order on a Russian government website says it comes into effect on Jan. 1 next year.  It was published online and reported on by Russian state media, but no reason for the boost in troop numbers was immediately given.

It comes just a day after Putin’s defense chief acknowledged the Russian military campaign in Ukraine has stalled. 

Russian forces failed to capture the capital Kyiv but now control large swaths of Ukraine’s south and east, where Moscow has refocused most of its forces in the industrial Donbas region. But military observers have said the Russian military appears demoralized and understaffed, while recent progress in the east has been incremental. 

Russia has not released any recent estimates of how many of its soldiers have been killed or injured in Ukraine. Kyiv says the number is over 45,000. NBC News has not verified the claim.

Putin has refrained from calling for complete mobilization at home, with the Kremlin insisting on calling the war its “special military operation.” 

This is a developing story, please check back for updates.

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