Putin forced to change law on conscripts as military forces devastated

Vladimir Putin is planning to change Russia’s laws on military conscription in a bid to be able to force more young men in his country to fight the war on Ukraine, The Russian leader is looking into changing the current age requirement for conscripts from 18-27 to 21-30 in order to force more men into higher education to serve for the country, the UK Ministry of Defense says.

In its latest update, the MoD said: “The Russian authorities are likely preparing to facilitate wider military conscription to resource its military requirements.

“On 13 March 2023, Russian Duma deputies introduced a bill to change the age bracket for conscription to men aged 21-30 years, from the current 18-27. The law is likely to be passed, and would come into force in January 2024 .

,Russia has continued to run conscription call-up cycles twice a year since Soviet times. They are distinct from the exceptional ‘partial mobilization’ of veterans carried out since September 2022.

However, some Russian lawyers and rights groups pointed out Putin’s decree, saying it remained in effect until the president issues another decree, formally ending the mobilization and invalidating the previous document.

Reporters have asked Putin whether he would do so, and the Russian leader promised to “consult with the lawyers.”

The Kremlin later acknowledged the decree still stood but said call-up efforts have ceased.

On Thursday, a court in Russia affirmed the right of a man mobilized to fight in Ukraine to perform an alternative form of civil service due to his stated religious beliefs, setting a precedent that could persuade more reluctant draftees to try to get out of military service.

The Leningrad Regional Court upheld a ruling of a lower court that deemed the drafting of Pavel Mushumansky illegal and said he was entitled to fulfill his duty in another way, Mushumansky’s lawyer, Alexander Peredruk, said.

Putin ordered a call-up of army reservists in September. Although officials said 300,000 men were drafted as planned, the mobilization also spurred resistance.

Tens of thousands of men fled the country, and some of those who stayed ignored their summons.

Others contested enlistment in the courts, including by claiming a right to alternative service, which entails taking up a paying job at state-run institutions or organizations.

Those opting for alternative service often work in hospitals, care homes or post offices.

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