Defence Minister Shoigu: Russian Army needs to be increased to 1.5 million troops

Conscription age to be raised, army to be increased to 1.5 million - Defence Minister Shoigu

Defenсe Minister Sergei Shoigu announced plans to raise conscription age in Russia from 18 to 21 years, and the upper conscription age limit — from 27 to 30 years. Shoigu announced the proposal speaking at the board of the Defence Ministry on December 21.

At the suggestion of the Minister, the increase in the conscription age will be conducted gradually.

"[It is proposed] to provide an opportunity, at the request of citizens, to enter military service under a contract or be called up for contractual military service from the first day of conscription," the Defence Minister said.

Sergei Shoigu presented several other proposals. He advocated the creation of two interspecific strategic territorial associations of the Armed Forces — Moscow and Leningrad Military Districts. Two new airborne divisions will be formed as well.

"It is necessary to increase the number of the Russian Armed Forces to 1.5 million troops, including 695,000 contract soldiers,” Sergei Shoigu said.

He also instructed to increase the number of contract servicemen to 521,000 by the end of the year.

Currently, all male citizens aged from 18 to 27 are subject to conscription in the Russian Federation. They join the army to serve for one year.

The law of the Russian Federation "On military Duty and Military Service" came into force in 1993. Initially, the document reduced the service life to 1.5 years (in the Navy — to 2 years). In 1996, a new law came into force, according to which the duration of service in the army and navy was limited to two years. In 2006, amendments were adopted setting the army service term to 18 months for those conscripted from 2007 and to 12 months for those called up from 2008.

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Author`s name Petr Ermilin
Editor Dmitry Sudakov