Such a decision is possible due to the intentions of the State Duma of the Russian Federation to increase the age of conscription into the army from 18-27 to 21-30 years. Thus, the Russian authorities want the majority of men to have military experience.
The Russian authorities are likely preparing for a wider conscription to meet their needs. About it informs British intelligence in a summary for March 18.
The department notes that on March 13, deputies of the State Duma of the Russian Federation introduced a bill to change the age ceiling for military service. Probably, now men will be called up at the age of 21-30 instead of the current 18-27 years. The law is likely to be passed and enter into force in January 2024.
In Russia, since the days of the USSR, cycles of conscription for military service have been held twice a year. They differ from the exceptional “partial mobilization” of Russians that took place in September 2022.
According to intelligence information, the Russian Federation continues to officially ban conscripts from participating in the war against Ukraine. However, at least hundreds of men probably completed their service due to administrative confusion or after being forced to sign contracts.
The British Ministry of Defense believes that the Russian authorities have decided to change the draft age so that as many men as possible serve in the army. Many males aged 18-21 are exempted from military service due to higher education.
“The authorities are likely to change the age limit to increase the number of troops due to the fact that students will eventually be forced to serve,” experts said.
Moreover, even if Russia continues to refrain from participating in the war, additional conscripts will free up a large proportion of professional soldiers to participate in hostilities.
Recall that on March 15, the media wrote that the Russian military commissars began to distribute summonses to men “to clarify the data.” However, journalists note that a new recruitment of volunteers to the RF Armed Forces for transfer to Ukraine is possible.
On March 7, the Pentagon noted that the militants from the Wagner PMC are fighting better than the regular Russian army. US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin believes that mercenaries better manage their offensive, using “inconceivable but effective methods.”
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