In light of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, Vladimir Putin has directed the Russian military to add 137,000 soldiers to the nation’s armed forces.
His proclamation, which was released on Thursday, did not specify how the increase would be accomplished—whether it would be through increasing the number of conscripts, increasing the number of volunteers, or by a combination of both.
Since the early days of the invasion, which is now in its seventh month, when it reported 1,351 troops had killed, the Kremlin has not disclosed any casualties.
However, according to Western sources, the actual figure is at least ten times higher, while Kiev asserts that since February 24, at least 45,000 Russian personnel have been killed or injured.
According to a survey by the International Institute for Strategic Studies, at the beginning of this year, Russia had 900,000 active personnel and two million reserves who had served during the previous five years.
Putin last established the strength of the Russian army in November 2017, when 1.01 million combatants were to be included in a total of 1.9 million members of the armed forces, including non-combatants.
According to reports, Putin has reportedly tried to increase the number of soldiers participating in the military operation in Ukraine by recruiting additional volunteers, hiring private military contractors, and even granting amnesty to inmates in exchange for a tour of duty.
In Moscow and other major cities, the percentage of males who choose to forgo the draft is unusually high.
Twice a year, in the spring and summer, the Russian military gathers up potential recruits. During the most recent spring draft, Putin authorized the selection of 134,500 conscripts.
In an effort to modernize and enhance the readiness of the army, the Kremlin has prioritized raising the proportion of volunteer contract soldiers.
The Russian military had almost 400,000 contract soldiers, including 147,000 ground troops, before Moscow sent troops into Ukraine.
Observers have remarked that those numbers would not be sufficient to support operations in Ukraine, which has stated an aim of forming a one million-strong army, if the battle carries on.