As Russia adjusts its budget to meet the demands of a longer and more expensive war in Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin hopes to spend significantly more on the military over the next two years than originally anticipated.
According to a three-year fiscal plan reviewed by Bloomberg, defence spending would now likely surpass initial budget projections for the next year by more than 43%, while the linked category of national security and law enforcement will increase by more than 40%.
The change signals a stronger commitment to a conflict that has already cost Russia and Ukraine a considerable deal of money and human life. Putin increased his efforts to recapture some momentum this week when he declared a “partial mobilisation” to conscript as many as 300,000 reservists in response to significant setbacks on the battlefield.
The budget plan puts the cost of the call-up at almost 16 billion rubles in 2023 and 16.5 billion rubles annually in 2024-2025. Most other details of military spending remain classified and only overall figures are made public.
According to SIPRI, which monitors the world’s arms sector, Russia was one of the top five defence spenders last year. According to the think tank, the Kremlin increased military spending by 2.9% in 2021 to $65.9 billion, marking the third year in a row of growth after decreases from 2016 to 2019.