What does the decree issued on Thursday by Russian President Vladimir provide

What does the decree issued on Thursday by Russian President Vladimir provide


The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) in its latest assessment says that Vladimir Putin’s decree on Thursday to increase the size of the Russian military starting in January 2023 is unlikely to generate significant combat power in the near future and indicates that it is unlikely for Putin to order a mass mobilization soon.

Specifically, the decree increases the nominal strength of the Russian armed forces by 137,000 soldiers, from 1,013,628 to 1,150,628, starting on January 1, 2023.

In this regard, the Russian military is probably trying to recoup losses from its invasion of Ukraine and generate forces to support its operation in Ukraine.

But the announcement of a relatively modest (but still likely unattainable) goal of increasing total troops clearly suggests that Putin remains determined to avoid full mobilization.

It is unlikely that the Kremlin will build up enough forces to reach a final strength of more than 1,150,000 troops, as the decree calls for.

Historically, the Russian military has not met its end strength goals.

“Major Obstacles”

In the full military context, in the year 2022, before the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, it had only about 850,000 troops on active duty, well below the nominal target of over one million.

Currently, Russia will likely face major obstacles in rapidly adding large numbers of new soldiers.

Moreover, in addition to the challenges facing Russian recruiters, Russia’s training capacity likely declined after February 24, when the Kremlin deployed training elements to participate in the fighting in Ukraine, and they suffered losses.

Russia could use the fall recruitment cycle in October 2022, which is expected to bring in about 130,000 men, to replenish Russian losses, which are reported to be in the tens of thousands of dead and seriously wounded.

On the other hand, the Kremlin could alternatively use the new nominal forces in the decree to formally incorporate into the Russian military the forces of the so-called Donetsk and Lugansk republics and/or the new non-official Russian volunteer units from the Russian army.

At the moment, the actual addition to Russia’s combat power in any such case would be very small.