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Russian military to reach 1.5 million; Vladimir Putin vows to win in Ukraine


MOSCOW: President of Russia Putin described the war in Ukraine as a “tragedy” but vowed to pursue his campaign there until its goal was achieved, while his defense minister on Wednesday announced plans to increase troops. Russia’s number from 1 million employees to 1.5 million.
Speaking at a meeting Putin Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said the 1.5 million-member army should include 695,000 volunteer contract soldiers. He didn’t say when the increased power would be achieved.
Shoigu also announced plans to create new military units in western Russia to counter the plans of Finland and Sweden to join NATO.
Putin ordered the mobilization of 300,000 reserve troops in September to strengthen Russian forces in Ukraine. He said that 150,000 of them have been deployed to combat zones in the neighboring country, while the rest are being trained.
In his speech on Wednesday, the Russian leader once again accused the West of provocation conflict in Ukraine as part of centuries-old efforts to weaken and ultimately divide Russia. Ukraine and its Western allies have rejected such allegations and described the Russian attack as an act of unprovoked aggression.
“We have always considered Ukrainians as brothers, and I still think so,” Putin announced on Wednesday. “What is happening is certainly a tragedy, but it is not the result of our policy.”
“For centuries, our strategic adversaries have aimed to disintegrate and weaken our country… consider it too big and pose a potential threat.” , said Mr. Putin.
When Putin sent troops into Ukraine in February, he said the move was aimed at “demilitarizing” Ukraine and preventing it from joining Nat0 and becoming a bulwark against Russia.
He also claimed the attack was aimed at “denuclearizing” Ukraine in order to free it from the purported influence of radical nationalist and neo-Nazi groups, accusations that Ukraine and other Allies denied.
Putin vowed that what he called a “special military operation” would continue until its missions were completed.
“I have no doubt that all the goals set will be achieved,” he said.

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