OREANDA-NEWS   Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu held a meeting on increasing the size of the Armed Forces to 1.5 million people. At it, the Minister instructed to form an army corps in the Republic of Karelia, three motorized rifle divisions as part of the Ground Forces and two airborne divisions, as well as to strengthen the combat component of the Navy, Aerospace Forces and Strategic Missile Forces. He also instructed to create two military districts — Moscow and Leningrad, the press service of the Ministry of Defense reported. During the meeting, Mr. Shoigu stated the need to create self-sufficient groups of troops in the territories of the new subjects of the Russian Federation, as well as to reorganize seven motorized rifle brigades in the Western, Central, Eastern military districts and the Northern Fleet into motorized rifle divisions. The proposed changes to the composition, strength and structure of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation are planned to be made during 2023-2026, the head of the Defense Ministry said.

On December 21, Sergei Shoigu announced the need to increase the number of servicemen of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation to 1.5 million people, including contractors — up to 695 thousand. The head of the Ministry of Defense also proposed to gradually change the boundaries of military age. He proposed to raise the age of enlistment for military service from 18 to 21 years, and the maximum draft age from 27 to 30 years.