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28 Dec, 2023 13:59

Russia reveals number of military contracts signed

This year alone 288,000 people applied to sign deals with the armed forces, according to defense ministry report cited by media
Russia reveals number of military contracts signed

More than 640,000 people are currently serving on contract in the ranks of the Russian military, documents from Russia’s Defense Ministry, cited by Interfax and RBK outlets, reveal for the first time since fighting erupted in early 2022.

This year alone, some 288,000 individuals applied to sign service agreements, according to an annual report which was made public on Wednesday.

It’s the first time since the outbreak of the Ukrainian conflict in February 2022 that Russia has published the exact number of its contracted service personnel.

The defense ministry views around 36.2 million Russians aged between 18 and 60 as potential candidates to join its ranks of contract troops, according to ‘The Army in Numbers,’ the annual report by the military that was cited by the media.

Last week, Russia’s Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu announced that figures for 2023 show 490,000 people signed agreements with the military or joined volunteer units during the year.

“All recruitment plans for the army and the navy this year have been fulfilled,” he said, adding that the overall size of the Russian armed forces currently stands at 1.15 million service personnel.

The size of the country’s military will increase to 1.5 million in 2024, which would include up to 745,000 contract troops, according to Shoigu.

Earlier in December, Russian president Vladimir Putin said that some 1,500 people voluntarily join the military on a daily basis across the country.

Last week, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky told a media conference that the leadership of the Ukrainian Armed Forces had proposed to him to recruit an additional “450,000 to 500,000 individuals” to continue fighting Russia.

Kiev needs to mobilize that many soldiers to cover casualties and to form new units over the next 12 months, the secretary of Ukraine’s parliamentary national security committee, Roman Kostenko, said on Monday. Eligible Ukrainians won’t be able to escape the call-up, Kostenko warned.

According to Russia’s estimates, some 400,000 Ukrainian troops have been killed or wounded during the conflict, including 125,000 in the course of Kiev’s failed counteroffensive between early June and late November.