Russia could expand draft age as soon as this spring – lawmaker

The Jerusalem Post reports: “Russia could raise the upper age limit for citizens to be conscripted into the armed forces as soon as this spring, a senior lawmaker has said, as part of Moscow’s plans to boost the number of Russian troops by 30%.

President Vladimir Putin gave his backing in December to defense ministry proposals to raise the age range for mandatory military service to cover Russian citizens aged 21-30, rather than the current range of 18-27.

The chairman of the Russian parliament’s defense committee, Andrei Kartapolov, said in an interview with the official parliamentary newspaper that Russia could raise the upper age limit for conscription to 30 for this year’s spring draft. But only after a one-to-three year ‘transition period’ would the lower limit be raised from 18 to 21 years, Kartapolov said.

Critics said the idea of a transition period was a transparent attempt by Russian authorities to increase the number of Russians eligible to be called up for military service to plug massive manpower shortages resulting from heavy losses in the war in Ukraine…”

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