According to American experts, the Kremlin expects that the war in Ukraine will last no longer than the next three years.
On Monday, March 13, the State Duma of the Russian Federation received a bill to raise the draft age for consideration, which may indicate that Moscow does not plan to carry out full mobilization in the future. This is discussed in the report of the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) dated March 13.
The said law was reportedly proposed by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu at a meeting of the collegium of the Russian Defense Ministry on December 21, 2022.
According to the document, the maximum age of conscription in 2023 should rise from 27 to 30 years. The minimum age for conscripts is to gradually increase from 18 to 21 during a transitional period until 2026.
The report states that the immediate increase in the maximum draft age may be aimed at temporarily expanding the age range for conscription to meet the needs of the RF Armed Forces. However, this range will be reduced in the future.
Thus, some groups of Russians will receive three, two and one year deferrals, respectively. Analysts believe that in this way, the Russian authorities may be trying to shield the younger generation from the demographic and social consequences of the war by placing this impact on one generation.
According to experts, the increase in the draft age may also indicate that the Kremlin does not expect the war in Ukraine to last longer than the next three years.
“This proposed expansion of the age range for conscription is yet another additional force-building measure, much weaker than full mobilization, and indicates that the Kremlin remains highly opposed to the prospect of full mobilization,” the report said.
The head of the Defense Committee of the Federation Council Viktor Bondarev announced on March 3 that the military age could be raised in Russia. According to him, the changes may come into force in the fall of 2023.
Earlier, on January 12, Russian President Vladimir Putin supported the idea of raising the military age of Russians to 30 years. Putin’s spokesman also stressed that the Russian Defense Ministry should “submit its arguments” on this matter.
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