Jul 25, 2023, 4:18pm EDT

Russia keeps expanding age limits for men to be conscripted

REUTERS/Alexey Pavlishak

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Moscow has passed several new laws in recent months that would expand the age limits for military conscription in the country, increasing the pool of men liable to be drafted.

Last year, the Kremlin announced plans to boost its military personnel to 1.5 million — more than 30% of its original figure — an ambitious target for the country in the midst of its war with Ukraine.

We’ve curated news and insights on what the new laws are and how they will make it harder for Russian men to evade conscription.

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Russia’s State Duma voted Tuesday to raise the maximum age that men can be conscripted for a year of mandatory military service from 27 to 30, expanding the pool of young men liable to be drafted. Starting Jan. 1, men between the ages of 18 and 30 will be required to serve out a year of military service, as opposed to the previous age range of 18 and 27. The law also forbids men from leaving Russia on the day they have been called to the conscription office, Reuters reported.

This comes a week after Russia’s parliament pushed back the maximum age at which the highest-ranking officers can be called back into service from 65 to 70 years. The new law also increased the upper age limit by 5 years for other ranks.

In April, another law was passed to allow conscription papers to be served online, and failure to report for duty could lead to blocked real estate transactions or a suspended license.

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  • Expanding the age range for a year of compulsory military service to between 18 to 30 is related to the demographic crisis in Russia, Andrei Kartapolov, co-author of the legislation said. The bill stated that 147,000 men were deployed during this year’s spring conscription. “We are expanding the appropriate boundaries in order to maintain this figure,” Kartapolov said. — Interfax
  • Men in Russia go to great lengths to avoid being conscripted, especially in light of the Ukraine war, but escaping mandatory service will now be harder after the law allowed conscription papers to be served online. It has also facilitated the emergence of a new digital system that can control “civic behavior in Russia” by collecting digital information on every individual and punishing them if they exhibit suspicious behavior, Tatiana Stanovaya, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Russia Eurasia Center, wrote in an April report.