The draft law on raising the age of conscription, which is now before the State Duma indicates that the Kremlin does not have any immediate plans to order total mobilization in the country in the near future, analysts of the American Institute for the Study of War (ISW) reported in its daily summary.

 

The proposed amendments to the law "On Military Duty", that were submitted to the State Duma on Mar. 13, will increase the minimum age of conscription in three increments, from 18 to 21 years, while the upper age limit will be immediately increased from 27 to 30 years.

 

The Russian Minister of Defense, Sergei Shoigu proposed changes during a Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) board meeting on Dec. 21. Since then Russian officials have since offered contradictory statements on whether or not the increase would apply to upcoming conscription cycles in the spring and fall of 2023.

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"The immediate increase in the age limit is probably aimed at expanding the age range of conscription to meet the current needs of the Russian Armed Forces in Ukraine, as well as in reducing the general requirements for conscription in subsequent years," the ISW report says.

 

At the same time, a gradual increase in the minimum age will, in fact, give deferrals to additional future recruits, analysts say.

 

Analysts suggest that, in this way, the Kremlin is trying to protect a new generation of Russians from the demographic and social consequences of the conflict in Ukraine. Also, the scheme of raising the draft age may indicate that the Russian authorities do not expect the war in Ukraine to last longer than the next three years, ISW writes, concluding that the Kremlin fears that the Russian population will not readily accept the prospect of full mobilization.

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