It is very unlikely for the Kremlin to build up a large armed force as Russia's war in Ukraine continues, as it is expensive and time-consuming to build up units, according to the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).
Analysts note that the Kremlin again accused the North Atlantic Alliance of a "military threat" to Russia.
In particular, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said that "NATO’s military expansion near Russian borders, including Finland’s and Sweden’s NATO membership aspirations, necessitates an appropriate Russian response to establish a Russian force group in northwestern Russia".
ISW points out that he then proposed to increase the number of the army. The head of the Russian Defence Ministry informed about increasing the number of the Russian Armed Forces to 1.5 million soldiers, including 695 thousand contract soldiers.
“The Kremlin is very unlikely to form such a large conventional force in a timeline that is relevant for Russia’s war in Ukraine, however. ForRussia was unable to fully staff its existing brigades and regiments before the full-scale invasion and had not fully built out a new division it announced it was forming back in 2020,” analysts believe.
The Institute emphasized that the Russian economy is in recession, and its resources have significantly decreased since the full-scale invasion. Russia’s net training capacity has likely decreased since February 24, in part because the Kremlin deployed training elements to participate in combat in Ukraine.
“Shoigu’s proposals could be an overture to placate the milblogger community who have accused the Kremlin of not conducting the war seriously or taking the measures necessary to win the war. It also sets information conditions for the Kremlin to conduct future mobilization waves under the rubric of staffing these formations or significantly augmenting Russia’s military strength in the long run,” analysts added.