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Putin Boosts Russian Troop Numbers As Invasion Of Ukraine Stalls

   DailyWire.com
Russia's President Vladimir Putin attends the main naval parade marking the Russian Navy Day, in St. Petersburg on July 31, 2022.
MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV/Sputnik Host Photo Agency/AFP via Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on Thursday that will add 137,000 combat personnel to the Russian military, six months after the onset of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The increase will boost the number of Russian combat personnel from roughly 1.01 million to 1.15 million, and raise its total personnel count to 2.04 million. According to the Russian government, the decree will take effect at the beginning of next year.

The troop surge comes in the wake of an uncertain number of Russian casualties from the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

Russian officials have not published casualty numbers since the opening weeks of the war in March, where they reportedly lost 1,351 of their soldiers — independent estimates within Russia report at least 5,000 deaths, but the true figure is likely higher.

(Photo by STRINGER/AFP via Getty Images)

Hard data on casualties is hard to come by, as both sides are reluctant to share their own losses and eager to inflate enemy losses. Kyiv claims that its forces have killed or wounded more than 45,000 Russian combatants.

In March, Russian officials estimated that their forces had killed 14,000 Ukrainian troops and incapacitated 16,000 more. As recently as Monday, Ukraine claimed that they had lost 9,000 soldiers over the course of the invasion.

The Russian advance has largely stalled in the last few months, although Russian forces retain control over Crimea, the Donbas region, and much of Ukraine’s Black Sea coastline. Russia has currently occupied roughly one-fifth of Ukraine’s pre-war territory, although Ukrainian saboteurs in the annexed Crimean peninsula have successfully attacked Russian military bases and depots deep behind enemy lines, suggesting that Russian control is far from absolute.

Russian officials have begun to acknowledge the lack of recent progress, although they claim it is the result of a deliberate strategy to limit collateral damage in the ongoing war of attrition.

“Everything is being done to avoid casualties among civilians. Of course, this slows down the pace of the offensive, but we are doing this deliberately,” Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told international colleagues at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization during a recent meeting in Uzbekistan.

The UN has documented nearly 5,600 civilian deaths over the course of the war and believes that the true death toll is much higher. Russia has come under fire as international observers allege that it has deliberately attacked civilian targets.

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