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Ukraine War: Vladimir Putin Orders Russian Army To Be Increased || China & Taiwan: Taiwan Plans Significant Increase In Defense Budget

The Russian armed forces are to be increased to more than two million people from 2023. President Vladimir Putin ordered this by decree.

Six months after invading Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his army to be expanded. From 2023, the total army strength should total more than two million people, according to a decree by Putin. An official reason was not given.

The number of military alone is to be increased by 137,000 to around 1.15 million. This includes both contract soldiers and conscripts. The paper, signed by Putin, did not say whether the military plans to increase the number of conscripts or increase the number of volunteers, or both. The remaining members of the military are civilian personnel, such as administrative employees.

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Russia invaded neighboring Ukraine on February 24. According to the Russian government, everything is going "according to plan" in the war. However, international military experts acknowledge that Russia is making only sluggish progress and assume that Russian troops will suffer high losses. Russia itself has not provided any information on the dead and injured in its own ranks for a long time.

China and Taiwan: Taiwan plans significant increase in defense budget

In view of the tensions with China, Taiwan wants to spend around 19 billion euros more on the military. Among other things, new combat aircraft are to be purchased. Under growing military pressure from China, Taiwan intends to massively increase its defense spending in the coming year. According to the government's draft budget in Taipei, the military budget is to increase by 13.9 percent to 586 billion Taiwan dollars (around 19 billion euros). This corresponds to a new high.

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Accordingly, 3.6 billion euros alone are earmarked for new combat aircraft, among other things. The higher budget fully accounts for the "enemy threat" and corresponds to 2.4 percent of next year's expected gross domestic product, it said. Defense spending in Taiwan has grown by less than 4 percent overall since 2017. The Taiwanese Ministry of Defense justified the increase with the significant expansion of military activities by the Chinese military.

Tensions between the two countries only peaked this month after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan and Chinese troops conducted extensive military maneuvers off the island. It was China's largest show of military power since the Taiwan missile crisis in the mid-1990s.

China's communist leadership refuses official contacts from other countries to Taiwan because it regards the island as part of the People's Republic.

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