Russia increases maximum size of armed forces by 170,000 servicemen

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FILE PHOTO: Russian servicemen line up during a rehearsal for the Victory Day parade, which marks the anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two, in Red Square in central Moscow, Russia May 7, 2021. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov/File Photo

(Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree to increase the maximum number of servicemen in the Russian armed forces by 170,000 people, the Kremlin and the Defence Ministry said on Friday.

According to the document, the regular strength of the armed forces is now set at 1,320,000 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 defence ministry said.

The ministry also said that the increase in the number of servicemen is due to the recruitment of contract personnel, and the military has no plans to significantly increase conscription or carry out a new wave of mobilisation.

Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, now deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, said on Friday that more than 452,000 people were recruited to the Russian military under contract from Jan. 1 to Dec. 1 2023.


(Reporting by Maxim Rodionov; Editing by Sandra Maler)