Reports say that Russian President Vladimir Putin has increased next year’s national defense budget by more than 40 percent than originally planned, suggesting that the country may be planning to go to a long-term war.
According to Bloomberg on Friday (local time), the Russian government earmarked next year’s national defense budget at 5 trillion Russian rubles (approximately 120 trillion won) in its recently devised three-year financial plan. The figure is about 43 percent higher than its initial budget amount of 3.47 trillion rubles (around 8.5 trillion won) and equivalent to 3.3 percent of Russia’s GDP.
The new national defense budget includes conscription costs for next year at 16 billion rubles (some 390 billion won) and 16.5 billion rubles for 2024-2025 (some 400 billion won). Bloomberg said that major setbacks on the battlefield saw Putin escalate his efforts to regain some momentum this week when he announced a “partial mobilization” to draft as many as 300,000 reservists. The shift reflects a more significant commitment to a war that’s already come at enormous cost in blood and treasure to Ukraine and Russia.”
TASS Russian News Agency and other media outlets reported on Saturday that President Putin fired the deputy defense chief who ran military logistics. “Gen. Dmitry Bulgakov, a deputy defense minister, was removed from his role, and Col. Gen. Mikhail Mizintsev was appointed as deputy defense minister for logistics,” the defense ministry said on Telegram. BBC reported that Gen. Bulgakov had been criticized within the military and Kremlin for logistical failure resulting in ammunition and fuel shortage.