Moscow increases troops, citing Ukraine conflict and NATO growth
The Russian Defense Ministry states that the troop increase is a proper reply to NATO's hostility.
Russia is expanding its military personnel, marking the second boost in 15 months due to the ongoing Ukraine conflict and NATO's enlargement.
On Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin commanded the military to raise troop numbers by almost 170,000, attaining a total of 1.3 million amidst the continuing Ukraine war – now after 21 months. Putin's directive, which took immediate effect, raises the total count of Russian military forces to 2.2 million, encompassing the 1.3 million soldiers.
According to a Telegram post by the Russian Defense Ministry, the troop augmentation is due to the Ukraine war and NATO's growth, the latter instigated by Putin's Ukraine invasion. Recently, Finland joined NATO and Sweden reported that Turkey will soon approve its application.
The ministry voiced concerns about NATO increasing its forces close to Russian borders and deploying more air defense and strike systems, noting an enhancement in NATO's tactical nuclear capabilities.
The ministry indicated that boosting military strength is a justified reaction to NATO's aggressive moves.
This is Russia's second troop increase since initiating a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, following a previous augmentation of 137,000 personnel as ordered by Putin in August 2022.