· The Russian authorities are likely preparing to facilitate wider military conscription to resource its military requirements. On 13 March 2023, Russian Duma deputies introduced a bill to change the age bracket for conscription to men aged 21-30 years, from the current 18-27. The law is likely to be passed, and would come into force in January 2024.
· Russia has continued to run conscription call-up cycles twice a year since Soviet times. They are distinct from the exceptional ‘partial mobilisation’ of veterans carried out since September 2022. Russia continues to officially bar conscripts from operations in Ukraine, though at least hundreds have probably served through administrative mix ups or after being coerced to sign contracts.
· Many 18-21 year old men currently claim exemption from the draft due to being in higher education. The authorities are highly likely changing the age bracket to bolster troop numbers by ensuring that students are eventually forced to serve. Even if Russia continues to refrain from deploying conscripts in the war, extra conscripts will free up a greater proportion of professional soldiers to fight.
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