Russia has nearly doubled its defense budget plan after spending more in the first half of 2023 than originally targeted for the entire year, Reuters reported Friday, citing a government document it obtained.
Defense spending has increased every month since President Vladimir Putin sent troops into Ukraine in February last year. In June, Russia stopped the disclosure of detailed data on its budget spending, casting the government’s finances deeper into secrecy.
The 5.59 trillion rubles ($59 billion) spent on defense in January-June this year marks a 12% increase from the originally targeted 4.98 trillion rubles ($54 billion) on defense spending for all of 2023, according to the document cited by Reuters.
Almost 1 trillion rubles went toward military salaries, more than double the amount paid in the first six months of 2022, the publication said.
Russia has nearly doubled its defense spending target to 9.7 trillion rubles ($102 billion) for 2023, according to Reuters.
The extra spending, combined with the effects of Western sanctions and a collapse in energy sales to Europe, have pushed Russia’s budget into a $28 billion deficit in the first half of 2023.
Russia’s national defense budget for 2023 was officially announced at 4.98 trillion rubles.