Vladimir Putin has ordered the Russian military to beef up the size of the country’s armed forces by 137,000 amid the ongoing war in Ukraine.
His decree, issued on Thursday, did not explain whether the increase will be achieved by drafting a more conscripts, boosting the number of volunteer soldiers or using a combination of both.
The Kremlin has not revealed any losses since the early weeks of the invasion, now in its seventh month, when it said 1,351 troops had died.
But Western officials put the real number at least 10 times higher than that, while Kyiv claims to have killed or wounded at least 45,000 Russian servicemen since February 24.
A report by the International Institute for Strategic Studies says Russia had 900,000 active personnel at the start of this year, with two million reserves with service within the past five years.
The last time Putin fixed the size of the Russian army was in November 2017, when the number of combat personnel was set at 1.01 million from a total armed forces headcount, including non-combatants, of 1.9 million.