Russia is planning to expand its military and strengths it to 1.5 million personnel in the next few years which Ukraine fears may be a plan for an offensive and increased tension between Moscow and the United States and its allies. Currently Russia’s military has around 1 million troops
Russian state news agency, TASS.
reported Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced the troop increase, which is expected to be complete by 2026.
Russia will also create military districts in Moscow and St. Petersburg, and an army corps will be created in the Republic of Karelia along Russia’s border with Finland, The Wall Street Journal reported. In addition, Moscow will set up “self-sufficient” units in Russian-held territories of Ukraine.
“Only by strengthening the key structural components of the Armed Forces is it possible to guarantee the military security of the state and protect new entities and critical facilities of the Russian Federation,” Shoigu said, according to Reuters.
The announcement comes as Moscow faces setbacks on the battlefield in neighboring Ukraine. Since its 2022 invasion, Russia has been bogged down in Ukraine’s east despite some territorial gains.
The Kremlin previously considered the size of its armed forces as sufficient, but that changed after hopes for a quick victory over its neighbor were shattered by a fierce Ukrainian resistance