Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced the troop increase is expected to be complete by 2026, according to Russian state news agency, TASS.
Russia will reorganize seven motorized rifle brigades in the western, central, and eastern military districts, the northern fleet, and include “three motorized rifle divisions as part of the land forces, and two airborne assault divisions as part of the airborne troops.”
Russia will need to spend at least $100,000 per new soldier in weapons and ammo to basically and meaningfully equip 500,000 new troops. This is about $50 billion.
Russia has is currently losing about 80,000 troops each year killed and another 120,000 troops wounded. If the Russian-Ukraine war is ongoing over the next four years then Russia will need to put in 800,000 troops to replace killed and wounded and add another 500,000 troops to grow the military.
Russia will also have to replace thousands of lost military vehicles (tanks, trucks), planes and ships and missiles and ammunition.
Previously, Russia had about $50 billion per year in military budget. However, this was just regular attempts at modernization and the lower intensity Crimea conflict. Russia is going to have to step up to about $100-150 billion per year to grow the military and run the war. This could reach 7-10% of its overall GDP.
Minister Shoigu Prior Proposals
The defense minister had earlier proposed a Russian military comprising 695,000 professional contracted soldiers as opposed to draftees.
He also proposed to raise the age range of mandatory military service to 21-30 from the current 18-27.
It’s unclear whether the two proposals have been included in the latest plan.
Third Expansion Plan
The plan comes after Putin ordered in August recruiting 137,000 soldiers from January 1, increasing military manpower to 1.15 million.
Russia drafted up to 300,000 reservists in September amid Ukraine war losses.
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