Russia’s army is now 15% bigger than when it invaded Ukraine, says US general

Russia’s army is now 15% bigger than when it invaded Ukraine, says US general
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A Russian soldier launching missiles toward Ukrainian positions in Donetsk.
A Russian soldier launching missiles toward Ukrainian positions in Donetsk.

  • Russia’s army has grown bigger despite sustaining losses when it invaded Ukraine, says a US general.
  • US Army Gen. Christopher Cavoli said the Russian army “is actually now larger — by 15 percent.”
  • “Russia is on track to command the largest military on the continent,” Cavoli said.

Russia’s armed forces have grown larger and not dwindled during its war in Ukraine, a top US general said on Wednesday.

“The army is actually now larger — by 15 percent — than it was when it invaded Ukraine,” US Army Gen. Christopher Cavoli, NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe, told the House Armed Services Committee in a hearing.

“Over the past year, Russia increased its front-line troop strength from 360,000 to 470,000,” Cavoli continued, adding that the bolstered numbers stemmed from Russia raising its conscription age from 27 to 30.

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The increase, Cavoli said, meant that Russia was able to enlarge “the pool of available military conscripts by 2 million for years to come.”

“In sum, Russia is on track to command the largest military on the continent,” Cavoli said in his opening statement to Congress.

“Regardless of the outcome of the war in Ukraine, Russia will be larger, more lethal, and angrier with the West than when it invaded,” he added.

Representatives for Russia’s defense ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider sent outside regular business hours.

Cavoli isn’t the first US official to have highlighted the threat posed by a resurgent Russia.

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Last week, Deputy Secretary of State Kurt Campbell said that Russia has “almost completely” restored its military after sustaining heavy losses in Ukraine.

“Its newfound capabilities pose a longer-term challenge to stability in Europe and threatens NATO allies,” Campbell told attendees at a dialogue hosted by the Center for a New American Security, a Washington-based think tank, on April 3.

Cavoli and Campbell’s warnings of an invigorated Russian army come amid waning US support for the Ukraine war. The GOP has repeatedly blocked attempts by the Biden administration to send aid to Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Sunday that his country “will lose the war” without additional support from the US.

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“If we do not continue to support Ukraine, Ukraine will run out of artillery shells and will run out of air defense interceptors in fairly short order,” Cavoli said on Wednesday.

“Based on my experience in 37-plus years in the U.S. military, if one side can shoot and the other side can’t shoot back, the side that can’t shoot back loses,” he continued.

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