Russia prepares to expand conscription to bolster war machine: UK Intel

Russia is preparing to expand conscription to boost its military strength, according to British intelligence.

In his Saturday update during the war in Ukraine, the British Ministry of Defense (MoD) observed that members of the State Duma – the lower house of the Russian federal legislature – had “introduced a bill to change the tranche age of conscription for men between the ages of 21 and 30”. years, from the current 18-27.

While the number of years covered by the age band is unchanged, men at the lower end of the current 18-27 age bracket are often eligible for a waiver of service due to their higher education.

“THE [Russian] the authorities are most likely changing the age bracket to bolster the number of soldiers ensuring that students will eventually be required to serve,” the Defense Ministry suggested, noting that the new law is expected to be passed and come into force. by January 2024.

The Ministry of Defense acknowledges that “Russia continues to officially ban conscripts from operating in Ukraine”, but stresses that “at least hundreds probably served through administrative confusion or after being forced to sign contracts “.

Critics of Western support for Ukraine tend to dismiss such suggestions, given that Britain is a partisan player in the war, but Russian authorities acknowledge that conscripts have sometimes been sent to Ukraine, apparently by mistake.

Prosecutor Arthur Yegiev told Russian lawmakers last June that a dozen officers were being prosecuted for their role in deploying conscripts – which embarrassed President Vladimir Putin, who assured the public that only professional soldiers were used in what the Kremlin calls “the special military operation”. in Ukraine.

“Even if Russia continues to refrain from deploying conscripts to war, additional conscripts will free up a greater proportion of professional soldiers to fight,” the defense ministry concluded.

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