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Putin issues decree to boost Russian troop numbers by 2023

Russian President Vladimir Putin, pictured during a meeting with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in July, issued a decree on Thursday ordering an increase in Russian troop numbers. File Photo by Iranian Presidential Office/UPI
Russian President Vladimir Putin, pictured during a meeting with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in July, issued a decree on Thursday ordering an increase in Russian troop numbers. File Photo by Iranian Presidential Office/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 25 (UPI) -- After six months of a war with Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an expansion of the country's military to more than two million on Thursday.

The decree will boost the Russian Armed Forces' civilian and military staff from 1.9 million to almost 2.04 million. The totals include an increase in soldiers to 1.15 million.

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The decree is expected to go into effect on Jan. 1 but gave no explanation for the increase in troops.

The United States has estimated that 75,000 Russian soldiers have been either killed or injured during the first six months of fighting in Ukraine. Russia has not given an official total on troop losses.

While Russia has been able to capture a large swath of Ukraine's eastern Donbas region and key southern port cities like Mariupol, it failed to enter the capital of Kyiv and has been pushed back from efforts to capture its second largest city in Kharkiv.

Russia's invasion currently appears to be bogged down with incremental progress in the east and south while Ukraine has been able to launch limited counteroffensives.

Russia has started to create volunteer battalions throughout its regions, offering short-term contracts to men aged between 18 and 60. Private military companies, including the Wagner group, are also being used to boost numbers along Russia's frontlines.

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