Putin orders 170,000 more troops for total of 1.32 million
Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree ordering the Russia military to add 170,000 more forces to its ranks, as Russia’s “special military operation” in Ukraine continues into its 22nd month.
Putin’s executive order, which took force from the date of its signing, was posted by the Kremlin and the Russian defense ministry on their respective websites on Friday.
The Russian leader ordered the increase of the total number of people serving in the Russian Armed Forces to 2,209,130, including 1,320,000 servicemen, meaning that nearly 170,000 more personnel must be added to current ranks.
Under Putin’s previous decree in August last year, which has been in force since January this year, the total number of people serving in the Russian Armed Forces was 2,039,758 people, including 1,150,628 servicemen.
“The increase in the full-time strength of the armed forces is due to the growing threats to our country associated with the special military operation and the ongoing expansion of NATO,” the Russian defense ministry said in a statement.
It stressed that the order did not imply any “significant expansion of conscription,” adding that the increase would happen gradually by recruiting more volunteers.
The ministry also emphasized that the boost was an appropriate response to “the aggressive activities of the NATO bloc.”
Putin’s mobilization decree is open-ended, although he said there was no need to round up more forces. Moreover, the decree allows the Russian military to call up additional reservists when needed, banning volunteer soldiers from ending their contracts.
Separately on Friday, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who currently serves as deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, said that more than 452,000 people were recruited to the Russian military under contract from January to December.