Russia may change military service law to increase troops

Russia’s lower house of parliament is considering a bill to adjust the age for military service, to increase the number of young people eligible for military service, according to the British military.

The British Ministry of Defense in its intelligence report on March 18 said that the bill to raise Russia’s military service age has many chances of being approved by the Russian State Duma (Lower House), which is expected to take effect from January 1. /2024. The bill was presented earlier this week by MP Andrei Kartapolov, a retired general and currently chairman of the State Duma Defense Committee.

According to the new bill, the age of military service for young Russians will be increased from the current 18-27 to 21-30. The British Ministry of Defense considers this to be Moscow’s attempt to increase the number of troops, because many men aged 18-21 are being exempted from military service because of university education.

New recruits from the 154th Preobrazhensky Regiment practice moving in formation at a training ground in Moscow in June 2021.  Photo: Russian Defense Ministry.

New recruits from the 154th Preobrazhensky Regiment practice moving in formation at a training ground in Moscow in June 2021. Image: BQP Nga.

The idea of ​​raising the military service age was originally put forward by the Russian Defense Ministry and received support from President Vladimir Putin in December 2022.

Lawmaker Andrey Kartapolov said in January that the plan to raise the age for conscription would help the Russian army achieve its goal of increasing its number by 30 percent. Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has set a goal of increasing the number of troops, both professional and conscripts, from the current 1.15 million people to 1.5 million.

Current Russian law prohibits the dispatch of conscripts on combat missions outside of its territory. However, Russia announced the annexation of the four regions of Donetsk, Lugansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson into its territory at the end of September 2022, so conscripts could theoretically be deployed to these four regions.

“Even if Russia does not deploy conscripts to the war, the plan to increase the number of troops will untie the knot in the rear so that a large number of professional soldiers can be sent to the battlefield,” the British military assessed.

At the end of last year, the Russian Defense Ministry mobilized about 300,000 reservists under orders of partial mobilization to fight in Ukraine. Minister Shoigu once announced that the total mobilization potential of Russia is about 25 million people. This year’s spring conscription is expected to start from April 1.

Name (Theo Reuters, Kyiv Independent)

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