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Russia expands Armed Forces by nearly 170,000 personnel

According to the decree issued by Russian President Vladimir Putin on 1 December, the established strength of the Armed Forces will be expanded to 2,209,130, including 1,320,000 military personnel.
Russian troops.
Russian troops. Credit: Fars News Agency

On 1 December, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree to expand his country’s Armed Forces personnel by almost 170,000, according to an order published on the Kremlin website.

According to the decree, the established strength of the armed forces is set at 2,209,130 personnel, including 1,320,000 servicemen. In the previous order on the army size, which the new document declared null and void, the figure stood at 2,039,758 personnel, including 1,150,628 servicemen. This now-invalid decree had been in effect since 1 January 2023.

However, Russia’s Defense Ministry has stated that there are no plans for a new mobilization drive to achieve the enlarged troop level. Instead, it will be achieved through the gradual recruitment of contractors rather than conscripts.

“The increase in the number of military personnel is being implemented in stages at the expense of citizens who wish to serve under contract. A significant increase in conscription is not planned,’ Russia’s Defense Ministry stated.

According to the General Staff of Ukraine, as of 1 December, Russian casualties in the 646 days of its full-scale war in Ukraine total 330,040 troops.

Earlier, the UK Defense Ministry reported that Russian military casualties over the last six weeks in its offensive operations in the Avdiivka direction “have likely seen some of the highest Russian casualty rates of the war so far.”

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