The Russian State Duma has recently passed two bills with implications for conscription in the country. The first bill changes the maximum conscription age from 27 to 30 years. The second bill imposes restrictions on conscripted citizens’ ability to leave Russia.
The State Duma has approved a bill that alters the age limits for conscription in Russia. While the minimum age is still at 18 years, the maximum age has been raised from 27 to 30 years. The change is set to take effect on January 1, 2024.
As part of the bill, conscripts enlisted for military duty will have the opportunity to sign voluntary one-year contracts. According to the Russian state-owned news agency TASS, these contracts will be available during, mobilization, martial law, wartime, armed conflicts, counter-terrorism operations, and deployments of Russia’s Armed Forces abroad. Reservists will also have the option to sign similar contracts for one year or less.
Additionally, the bill enables regional governors to establish specialized enterprises. According to the bill, these enterprises will operate as legal entities that will collaborate with security agencies.
In a separate bill, the Russian State Duma amended a law with the goal of clamping down on people fleeing the country after being conscripted. Under the revised law, conscripts will be prohibited from leaving the country from the day their summons appears in the draft register.
Russia’s History of Conscription:
In September of last year, Vladimir Putin announced a partial mobilization in Russia. Notably, this was the first time a mobilization occurred in Russia since Joseph Stalin ordered a mass mobilization during the Second World War.
Putin’s partial mobilization had the goal of gathering 300,000 men to aid Russian forces in Ukraine.
After the mobilization was announced, reports began to come out that thousands of men eyed for conscription fled or attempted to flee Russia to avoid military service in Ukraine. There was also an instance of a man shooting a military commissioner at a conscription office as retribution for his friend who had been conscripted.