According to a senior US defence source, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to boost the number of Russia’s armed forces from 1.9 million to 2.04 million is “unlikely to succeed, as Russia has historically not met personnel end strength targets.”

As widely reported by western news outlets, including the Daily Express, the unidentified official  added that “Any additional personnel Russia is able to muster by the end of the year may not in fact increase overall Russian … combat power” due to the measures Russia has taken to increase recruitment, such as “eliminating the upper age limit for new recruits, and also by recruiting prisoners.”

“Many of these new recruits have been observed as older, unfit and ill-trained,” the official said, who reiterated that before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Russia “may have already been 150,000 personnel short of their million personnel goal.”


Russia and Ukraine have both struggled to make substantial progress in a war that is becoming a standstill as it approaches its seventh month.

Russia has been secretive about the number of its troops who have perished in the fight from the beginning of its invasion of Ukraine, only claiming that 1,351 Russian soldiers had been killed.

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