As the Russian-Ukrainian war entered its fourth month in May, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law allowing people over 40 to enlist in the armed forces.
The move should help Moscow recruit more civilian experts for the war in Ukraine. The Russian military had previously set age limits for domestic and foreign army recruits. The limit for Russians was 18-40 years old while the limit for foreigners was 18-30 years old.
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The country touts the law as a way to bring in more technical specialists, including more doctors, engineers and communications experts who can be recruited.
This week, the Russian parliament passed the law removing an upper age limit for people joining the army.
“We need to strengthen our armed forces, to help the Ministry of Defense. Our Supreme Commander (Putin) is doing everything to make the army win and increase its efficiency,” Russian lawmaker Vyacheslav Volodin told the lower house of the parliament.
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According to Ukrainian and Western military experts, Russia suffered heavy losses of around 30,000 soldiers during the war. The latest official Russian reports showed a total of 1,351 dead on March 25, the figure has not been updated since.
President Putin avoided large-scale conscription for the war in Ukraine, however, the Russian Defense Ministry admitted in March that some conscripts were involved in the conflict, adding that some had been taken prisoner by Ukrainian forces.
However, the Russian Defense Ministry stressed that it was not the country’s official policy to send conscripts into combat. The Russian Defense Ministry has said it will continue its “special military operation” until the “targets” are achieved, a sign that the war in Ukraine is likely to continue.
(With agency contributions)
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