Seeking to replenish its front-line soldiers lost in its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the Russian State Duma’s lower house passed a bill raising the upper age limit for military conscription and banning draftees from leaving the Russian Federation.
If implemented, beginning Jan. 1, 2024, “citizens aged 18 to 30 will be called up for service,” without resorting to another unpopular mobilization.
At a plenary session on Tuesday, July 25, passed the new bill in the lower house.
It still must be approved by the Duma’s upper house and signed by Putin. Under current Russian law, all men aged 18-27 are required to complete a one-year term of compulsory military service, a requirement that has been in place since before the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
This third reading version would go into effect on Jan. 1, 2024. An earlier version would have phased in the new law from 2024 to January 1, 2026 and raised the lower age.
In the second reading version, the rules on raising the lower age limit from 18 to 21 as well as the transitional period were deleted.
"The redaction of the draft law has changed due to the fact that the demographic situation is serious, affects the amount of mobilization resources, and in order to prevent us from fading, such an edition is necessary," said Andrei Kartapolov, head of the Duma defense committee.
He said that 147,000 Russians were called to the spring military conscription of 2023, and the age boundaries expanded “in order that this figure be sustainable and there was someone to select,”
“[The new amendments] are necessary in order for us not to fall behind [in conscripting enough soldiers],” added Kartapolov.
The State Duma also adopted an amendment prohibiting citizens of the Russian Federation from leaving the country if they are sent a summons from the military recruitment office, including at their place of work or study.
Medical and educational organizations are obliged to provide electronically the data on citizens necessary for keeping military records.
The Speaker of the Federation Council Valentina Matvienko said her House will approve the Duma bill with an updated age of recruitment.
The voting of the upper house of the Russian Federation Council and Putin’s signature is planned for Friday.
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