Russia is expected to significantly increase the size of its military presence in Ukraine, with an additional 200-300 thousand troops set to join their ranks, according to Ukrainian Defense Minister Rustem Umerov in an interview with Reuters.

The minister added that the current number of Russian forces stationed in Ukraine and along its borders stands at 500 thousand troops.

Umerov emphasized the urgency of mobilizing fresh recruits to facilitate the rotation of military personnel in response to the anticipated surge in Russian troop numbers.

"At this stage, we are focused on training our personnel ... pilots, we are focused on infrastructure, we are focused on bringing operational and maintenance teams and we are working on modernisation or bringing on more platforms."

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He said that 1.2 million men of conscription age have already updated their data online, demonstrating a proactive approach to bolstering Ukraine's defence capabilities.

Ukraine has been facing recruitment challenges recently, struggling to replenish and rotate exhausted soldiers who have been engaged in combat since February 2022.

A new mobilization law, enacted on Mat 18, aims to address these concerns and bolster Ukraine's defense capabilities in the face of escalating threats.

Russia launched a major new ground assault on the northeastern Kharkiv region two weeks ago, though the latest claim of captured territory is in a part of the front line further east, where fighting has been raging for months. 

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The deal will see the US provide Ukraine with a range of military aid and training over the next decade, while Zelensky said it would act as a bridge for his country to membership in NATO.

Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Oleksandr Syrsky, further revealed the expansion of the zone of active hostilities by Russian forces by 70 kilometres.

Despite these challenges, Ukrainian forces have rushed reinforcements to the area and managed to halt Russian advancements in the Kharkiv direction, with ongoing counter-offensive operations.

At the same time, Volodymyr Zelensky has warned that it could be the first wave of a Russian summer offensive

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Moscow is looking to press its advantage on the battlefield while long-awaited US weapons are making their way to Ukrainian troops on the front lines. 

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