Russia’s planned expansion of its army faces major obstacles, according to British intelligence.
In a Sunday intelligence update, the U.K.’s Ministry of Defence gave an assessment of Russia’s plans after Sergei Shoigu, Russia’s Defense Minister, said on January 17 that he planned to restructure the nation’s armed forces.
The planned implementation between 2023 and 2026 would reportedly see an expansion to 1.5 million troops, an 11 percent increase on top of the previously announced enhancement to 1.35 million.
But British intelligence has questioned the possibility of meeting the target and said it signaled that Moscow believes there will be a threat for several years to come.
The MoD post read: “Shoigu also announced the re-establishment of Moscow and Leningrad military districts, a partial return to the Soviet era organization of forces in Western Russia. A new army corps is to be established in Karelia.
“Shoigu’s plans signal that the Russian leadership highly likely assess that an enhanced conventional military threat will endure for many years beyond the current Ukraine war. However, Russia will likely struggle to staff and equip the planned expansion.”
The announcement comes after the Ukrainian government claimed on Saturday that more than 20,000 Russian troops had been killed in the past month.
Ukrainian figures suggest more than 120,000 Russian troops have been killed since the full-scale invasion was launched on February 24.
If accurate, this would indicate more Russians have died in Ukraine than American soldiers in World War I.
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