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Saturday, February 24, 2024

Russia to push back conscription age

Russia unveiled a plan that would raise the age of conscription from the current 18–27 years to 21–30 years.

Members of Russia’s parliament have introduced an amendment to national laws on military and alternative service, which would gradually raise the conscription age bracket for Russian men by three years.

Currently, men aged 18 to 27 can be enlisted to serve in the Russian armed forces, or in civilian roles, in the case of conscientious objectors and others who refuse military service. The bill sponsored on Monday by a group of lawmakers led by Andrey Kartapolov, chair of the State Duma defense committee, would move the bracket up over several years, reaching 21 to 30 in 2026.

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The change is meant to protect those in their late teens and early 20s from disruptions to their tertiary education, applying to studies at vocational schools and universities, the authors of the bill explained.

Students who have the legal right to postpone their service under Russian law would not have to report to conscription centers to prove their status and undergo medical evaluations, as they currently do. In addition, the Defense Ministry will save money, as it will no longer have to pay medics to examine young students who are, in any case, not conscripted.

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The idea of increasing the conscription age was proposed by Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu in December. During a report to President Vladimir Putin, he also suggested raising the strength of the Russian standing army to 1.5 million, citing the threat posed by NATO in Europe.