Putin orders to expand the Russian army and strengthen the border with Finland

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Vladimir Putin, the president of the Russian Federation, has ordered the country’s army to be expanded to 1.5 million in the next three years, as well as the creation of an army corps and two military districts near the border with Finland.

Source: Russian state news agencies RIA Novosti and RBK, referring to a statement by Sergei Shoigu, the Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation

Quote: “The President of the Russian Federation has decided to increase the number of military personnel in the armed forces to 1.5 million.

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Ensuring the military security of the state, the protection of the new federal subjects and critical facilities of the Russian Federation can only be guaranteed by strengthening the main structural components of the armed forces.”

Details: Shoigu has announced that the increase in the number of troops and “massive changes” in the composition of the Russian armed forces will be implemented in the period 2023-2026.

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Along with the increase in the military, the Russians plan to:

  • establish two new interdepartmental strategic territorial associations: the Moscow and Leningrad Military Districts;

  • form an army corps in Karelia;

  • turn seven brigades into motorized infantry divisions;

  • strengthening the combat component of the Navy, Air Force and Strategic Missile Forces.

Reference: Both the Karelia and Leningrad oblasts of the Russian Federation border Finland, which has applied for NATO membership amid Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

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Background:

  • On December 21, 2022, Sergei Shoigu, Russia’s defense minister, claimed that the Russian army should be expanded to 1.5 million soldiers. He also planned to raise the draft age limit in Russia and increase the number of contracted military personnel.

  • In August 2022, Putin put the workforce of the Russian Armed Forces at 2,039,758 people, of which 1,150,628 were military personnel.

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