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Moscow significantly overestimates size of its army - British intelligence

Moscow significantly overestimates size of its army - British intelligence Dmitriy Medvedev (Getty Images)
Author: Maria Kholina

Moscow is recruiting residents from impoverished and rural regions of Russia for the war against Ukraine, with Kremlin propaganda inflating the numbers, according to the UK Ministry of Defense.

According to the report, on January 11, Russian Deputy Chair of Security Council, Dmitriy Medvedev, stated that 500,000 people had joined the Russian armed forces in 2023. It is highly likely that this figure has been substantially inflated.

British intelligence reveals that to meet recruitment targets, Russian military authorities allowed high school graduates to sign contracts with the Russian army from April 2023 onwards. Recent data from Mediazona and the BBC Russian Service indicate that at least five Russians born in 2005 have died during the war.

"It is highly likely that Russian military recruitment to sustain the war has disproportionately drawn from impoverished and rural regional communities of Russia," notes the UK Ministry of Defense.

Russian army

As per the Defense Intelligence of Ukraine, there are currently 462,000 Russian military personnel on Ukrainian territory. This includes 35,000 members of the Rosgvardiya ensuring the occupation regime in temporarily seized territories.

Starting from January 1, 2024, the conscription age in Russia was raised from 27 to 30 years. The lower limit remains unchanged, allowing Russians to be drafted into urgent service at the age of 18.

As of January 15, 2024, Russian army's losses in Ukraine have reached 370,000 individuals.