Citing the NATO build-up, Moscow has increased the size of its active service to 1.3 million File photo: Russian Army recruits in Novosibirsk Region, 19 October 2023. © Sputnik/Alexander Kryazhev
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday signed an executive order increasing the size of the armed forces by 170,000 members, effective immediately.
The order establishes the size of the armed forces of the Russian Federation at 2,209,130 personnel, of which 1,320,000 would be under arms.
The expansion is related to increased security threats due to the expansion of NATO and the massing of US-led bloc’s troops on the Russian borders, the Kremlin explained. Growing the military will happen in stages and will start with those service members who enlisted into contract service.
Since the start of 2023, over 450,000 people have signed enlistment contracts with the Russian armed forces, according to the deputy chairman of the National Security Council, Dmitry Medvedev.
Contract soldiers are a separate category from professional soldiers and conscripts called up for their mandatory service, who make up the bulk of the Russian military. Moscow also called up about 300,000 reservists last fall, due to the changing nature of the Ukraine conflict.
Putin also noted that the US has announced the intent to replace 200 of its nuclear bombs currently deployed to Europe and Türkiye with new weapons by the end of 2025. Expanding the size of the Russian military is a prudent step with that in mind.
The Russian government was instructed to allocate the funding to the Defense Ministry necessary to carry out the order. It came into effect upon publication, overriding the August 2022 decree on the size of the armed forces. (RT)