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Russian defense ministry confirms plan to expand army to 1.5 million troops

Kyiv Independent logo Kyiv Independent 1/17/2023 Kyiv Independent

Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the Russian army to increase the number of service members to 1.5 million from 2023 to 2026, according to a briefing of Russia's defense ministry.

Russian defense minister Sergei Shoigu last mentioned the goal of expanding the army from 1 million to 1.5 million, including 695,000 contracted soldiers, during a Dec. 21 meeting with Putin and his defense chiefs.

According to the Russian defense ministry's Telegram channel, there are plans to create additional divisions, corps and military districts, as well as strengthen existing ones.

Russia announced "partial" mobilization of its citizens for the war against Ukraine in late September, officially aiming to conscript 300,000 men for its task. Since then, several sources including the Ukrainian General Staff have reported that mobilization has continued covertly long after it was announced to be closed.

On Dec. 30, Ukrainian defense minister Oleksii Reznikov warned Russian citizens that Moscow would announce a new round of mobilization, along with martial law and border closures, in the near future.

This story originally appeared in The Kyiv Independent


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