On 25 August, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree that the nominal end strength of the Russian army by 137,000 military personnel, from about 1 million to about 1,1,013,628 to 1,150,628, starting on 1 January 2023.
The Washington-based Institute for the Study of War (ISW) believes that in this way, Russia seeks to recover losses from its invasion of Ukraine and “generate forces to sustain its operation in Ukraine.” ISW says that Russia is, however, unlikely to generate significant combat power in the near future:
“The announcement of a relatively modest (yet likely still unattainable) increased end strength target strongly suggests that Putin remains determined to avoid full mobilization. The Kremlin is unlikely to generate sufficient forces to reach an end strength of over 1,150,000 soldiers as the decree stipulates. The Russian military has not historically met its end-strength targets. It had only about 850,000 active-duty military personnel in 2022 before Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, for example, well shy of its nominal end strength target of over one million,” the ISW wrote.