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Since the beginning of 2023, 325 thousand servicemen have signed a contract with the armed forces in Russia. This was stated by the former president and prime minister, now deputy chairman of the Security Council, Dmitry Medvedev, during a meeting with the military, quoted by “Interfax”.
In mid-September, President Vladimir Putin said that between 1,000 and 1,500 people signed the contract every day, and estimated the total number who had done so since the beginning of the year at 300,000.
Late last year, Putin floated an idea to sharply increase the number of contract recruits as part of a reform of the armed forces.
At the same time, Medvedev made it clear that these were people who acted “in the interests of the united troop group” – a phrase that likely refers to forces associated with the war in Ukraine.
Shoigu proposed a sharp increase in the Russian army and raising the conscription age
These are people contracting on their own with the Department of Defense, not as part of the spring or fall draft call.
Months after the announcement of “partial mobilization” in September 2022, Putin declared the process a success, but never issued a decree to end it after more than 300,000 people were recruited into the army, by various forms of encouraging residents to record “volunteers”.
Russia has never had such a budget – defense spending will jump by almost 70% next year