Major structural changes in the Russian army and an increase in the number of troops to 1.5 million
Russia intends to establish new command centers near Europe, where it will increase the number of Russian army forces to 1.5 million people, amid exacerbating tensions with the United States and its allies against the background of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told Russian leaders on Tuesday that new structures would be created in the regions around Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Karelia on the border with Finland under the program.
Shoigu added in a statement that the main changes will begin this year and will continue until 2026.
Shoigu said that self-sufficient units would be set up on Ukrainian territory annexed by Russia.
Shoigu added that the expansion would include all branches of the Russian army and would be coordinated with the delivery of new weapons to equip them.
For his part, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the increase in the number of Russian forces was due to the proxy war that he claimed the United States and its allies were waging against Russia in Ukraine.
The Russian President Vladimir Putin last month approved Shoigu’s plan to increase the size of Russia’s military from its current target of 1.15 million, but the Kremlin hasn’t made clear the pace at which this will be done.
For its part, the Russian Ministry of Defense said in a statement that two Russian strategic bombers carried out patrols over the Arctic Ocean on Tuesday.
The Russian Ministry of Defense statement added that the patrols lasted more than ten hours and were over neutral waters.