Russia expands its army
Islam News – Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday ordered a sharp increase in the size of his armed forces, a reversal of years of efforts by the Kremlin to slim down a bloated military and the latest sign that the Russian president is bracing for a long war in Ukraine.
The decree, signed by Putin and posted on the Kremlin website, raised the target number of active-duty service members by about 137,000, to 1.15 million, as of January of next year. The decree also ordered the Russian government to allocate the money to pay for the increase.
Why now? Experts have been attributing the slowing pace of the Russian offensive in Ukraine to a lack of manpower. Western estimates of Russia’s casualties, including both deaths and injuries, have run as high as 80,000. Russia has been scrambling to recruit volunteers in what some analysts have called a “stealth mobilization.”
Challenges: It will be difficult for Russia to increase its armed forces without major changes, said one Russian military analyst. But a national draft would destroy the veneer of normalcy that the Kremlin has been able to maintain despite economic sanctions and the continuing fighting.
Repercussions: As a long, bloody slog looms, energy traders in Europe are witnessing price increases that are hard to fathom.
Source: The New York Times