News   /   Russia

Putin orders 170,000 more troops for total of 1.32 million

Russian President Vladimir Putin (C) attends a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Moscow, February 23, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree ordering the Russia military to add 170,000 more forces to its ranks, as Russia’s “special military operation” in Ukraine continues into its 22nd month.

Putin’s executive order, which took force from the date of its signing, was posted by the Kremlin and the Russian defense ministry on their respective websites on Friday.

The Russian leader ordered the increase of the total number of people serving in the Russian Armed Forces to 2,209,130, including 1,320,000 servicemen, meaning that nearly 170,000 more personnel must be added to current ranks.

Under Putin’s previous decree in August last year, which has been in force since January this year, the total number of people serving in the Russian Armed Forces was 2,039,758 people, including 1,150,628 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 defense ministry said in a statement.

It stressed that the order did not imply any “significant expansion of conscription,” adding that the increase would happen gradually by recruiting more volunteers.

The ministry also emphasized that the boost was an appropriate response to “the aggressive activities of the NATO bloc.”

Putin’s mobilization decree is open-ended, although he said there was no need to round up more forces. Moreover, the decree allows the Russian military to call up additional reservists when needed, banning volunteer soldiers from ending their contracts.

Separately on Friday, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who currently serves as deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, said that more than 452,000 people were recruited to the Russian military under contract from January to December.

Russia started the war in eastern parts of Ukraine in February last year in response to Western provocations -- to defend the Russian-speaking population against the Kiev Nazis’ atrocities -- by stopping the US-led NATO military forces’ eastward encroachment on Moscow which had started in 2014.

Since the beginning of the war, Ukraine has received massive amounts of arms from the United States and its allies in Europe.

Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku