Russia Raises its Military Conscription Age to 30 Amid War with Ukraine

July 26, 2023

Russia on Tuesday raised its maximum age of military conscription from 27 to 30 as it continues to wage its now 17-month-long war against its sovereign neighbor, Ukraine. 

The bill, passed in the Kremlin’s lower house, seeks to replenish Russia’s forces on the front lines in Ukraine without resorting to another military mobilization. During a fall mobilization effort, hundreds of thousands of Russian men rushed to cross the borders into Finland, Kazakhstan, Mongolia and Georgia to avoid being drafted.

Once Russian President Vladimir Putin signs the new bill into law, it’s expected to add 2.4 million men into military service. It will also prohibit conscripts from leaving the country once they are called up for duty by threatening a fine of 30,000 rubles (roughly $330). That’s up from a 3,000 ruble maximum fine.

Technically, conscripts cannot legally be deployed to fight outside Russia and were in theory exempted from the September mobilization, However, the Kremlin unilaterally claimed four Ukrainian regions as its own last September: Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia. While their annexation is not internationally recognized, it has fueled fears inside Russia that raw conscripts could be sent into battle.

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