In its latest assessment, the British defense intelligence has said that Russia’s plans to restructure and boost its armed forces signaled that its leadership believed that a conventional military threat will outlast the Ukraine war for many years, but Russia will struggle to pull it off:
“On 17 January 2023, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu announced plans for major changes to the structure of the armed forces, to be implemented between 2023 and 2026.
This included an increase to 1.5 million personnel – an 11% increase on top of the previously announced expansion to 1.35 million.
Shoigu also announced the re-establishment of Moscow and Leningrad military districts, a partial return to the Soviet-era organization of forces in Western Russia. A new army corps is to be established in Karelia, near the Finnish border.
Shoigu’s plans signal that the Russian leadership highly likely assesses that an enhanced conventional military threat will endure for many years beyond the current Ukraine war. However, Russia will highly likely struggle to staff and equip the planned expansion.”