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Russia claims 280,000 contract soldier enlistments this year in military expansion effort

A former Russian president claims that around 280,000 people have enlisted in Russia’s military as professional service members in the current year. The figure is not confirmed by any independent sources.
Soldiers Russian mobilization
Mobilized Russians. File photo: TASS
Russia claims 280,000 contract soldier enlistments this year in military expansion effort

Around 280,000 people have signed up so far this year for professional service with Russia’s military, the deputy chair of the Russian Security Council, former president Dmitry Medvedev, claimed on 3 September, The Guardia reports.

“According to the ministry of defense, since 1 January, about 280,000 people have been accepted into the ranks of the armed forces on a contract basis,” including reservists, Russia’s state news agency TASS quoted Medvedev as saying.

Last September, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a “partial mobilization” of 300,000 reservists, which prompted hundreds of thousands of Russian men to flee Russia.

Last December, Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced his proposition to increase the strength of the country’s army by more than 30% to 1.5 million servicemen, an ambitious task made harder by Russia’s heavy but undisclosed casualties in its war against Ukraine.

The Guardian notes that some Russian lawmakers suggested Russia needs a professional army of 7 million strong to ensure the country’s security.

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