Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday boasted a new missile warhead that he said Moscow’s troops would be able to use in the war against Ukraine beginning next year.
Speaking during a televised meeting with Russia’s military top brass, Putin said the new Zircon hypersonic cruise missile, which could cover about 1,000 kilometers (625 miles), could be used by the Russian army beginning in January.
“In early January, the Admiral Gorshkov frigate will be equipped with the new Zircon hypersonic missile, which has no equivalent in the world,” Putin was quoted as saying by The Moscow Times. “The armed forces and combat capabilities of our armed forces are increasing constantly and every day. And this process, of course, we will build upon.”
The Russian president added that his country is also planning to “improve the combat readiness of our nuclear triad” and said Moscow has no limitations on military spending for the war to ensure victory.
“The country and government is giving everything that the army asks for — everything,” Putin said during the televised meeting, Bloomberg reported. “I trust that there will be an appropriate response and the results will be achieved.”
Putin’s remarks came on the same day Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said the country would beef up its military forces from a million to 1.5 million and create multiple new units amid the war in Ukraine.
Shoigu added that the country needs about 1.5 million military troops “to guarantee the fulfillment of tasks to ensure Russia’s security.” He said the expanded Russian military will include about 695,000 volunteer contract soldiers. Among those, 512,000 are expected to be in the Russian ranks by the end of next year.
It is unclear when the Russian army would reach 1.5 million troops. It is also unclear whether Russia would impose another mobilization order to reach that size. The most recent mobilization order announced in September aimed to call up at least 300,000 reservists.
As of Wednesday, the Russian army lost about 99,740 military troops, including 510 deaths reported over the past day, as per estimates from the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.