Speed Reads

boosting the ranks

Putin signs decree to increase size of Russian military

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday signed a decree increasing the size of his military by 137,000, boosting the active-duty ranks to 1.15 million.

The order was posted on the Kremlin's website, and sets a target date of January for the new service members to be in place. The decree also states the government will need to set aside money to pay for these additions.

The Pentagon estimates that as many as 80,000 Russian troops have been killed and injured in Ukraine since the Russian invasion began on Feb. 24, and many experts see the decree as a sign that Putin is not letting heavy battlefield losses deter him from continuing the war. Putin, who last changed the number of combat personnel five years ago, and Russian officials did not reveal what prompted the order.

"This is not a move that you make when you are anticipating a rapid end to your war," Dara Massicot, a senior policy researcher at the RAND Corporation, told The New York Times. "This is something you do when you are making some kind of plan for a protracted conflict."