UK intelligence explains why Russia changing conscription age bracket

18 March, 03:35 PM
Russian soldiers (Photo:REUTERS/Sergey Pivovarov)

Russian soldiers (Photo:REUTERS/Sergey Pivovarov)

Russia is to change its conscription age from the current 18-27 to 21-30 to free up a greater share of the professional military and ensure men won't be exempted from service because they are in higher education, UK Defence Intelligence said in its latest Twitter update.

Russia officially bars conscripts from being sent to the war in Ukraine, although in fact at least several hundred of them have fought in the country due to administrative errors or after being forced to sign a contract.

Currently, a large part of men aged from 18 to 21 claim to be exempt from the call-up due to studying. Thus, the UK intelligence speculates Russia is changing the conscription age bracket in order to get more soldiers and to ensure that students will be forced to serve after graduating.

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Even if Russia continues to bar conscripts from the war, the additional conscript soldiers at home would allow it to free up a larger number of professional military personnel for combat in Ukraine.

A bill to change the age bracket for conscription to men aged 21-30 years instead of the current 18-27 was submitted to the Russian government on March 13. Upon approval, it will come into force in January 2024. The conscription age for men will start from 19 in 2024, from 20 in 2025 and from 21 in 2026. The upper age limit for conscription in Russia will be raised to 30 in 2024.

The Kremlin is trying to avoid full mobilization in such a way, the U.S. think tank the Institute for the Study of War believes. Also, Russian authorities do not expect the war against Ukraine will last more than three years.

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