Ukraine war latest: Russia changing conscription age to boost troops

Russia is hoping to boost military conscription by changing the age men will be forced to join the army,  a move that will free up professional soldiers to fight in Ukraine, according to the Ministry of Defence.

A draft law bill was introduced to Russia’s lower house earlier this week that would change the age at which men would be required to do national service from 18-27 to 21-30.

Under the current age bracket, a large number of young people can opt out of the draft on the grounds they are in higher education. The new age bracket would eliminate this excuse.

Conscription is different to the Kremlin’s “partial mobilisation” campaign which has seen more than 300,000 additional personnel drafted to fight in Ukraine. And conscripts are officially barred from serving in Ukraine. However, there will likely be some new conscripts sent there while freeing up professionals to fight, said the MoD.

“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.

“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.

The law is likely to be passed, said the MoD, and would come into force in January 2024.

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