In December, Putin supported the initiative to raise both the limits of the military age in Russia. However, the State Duma (the Russian Parliament) decided that young men would still be drafted as before, from the age of 18, but the upper limit would be increase to 30.
Kremlin's official spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that it was the decision of the Russian Defence Ministry that mattered most.
Journalists reminded Peskov that Vladimir Putin supported the gradual increase in the enlistment age from 18 to 21 years, whereas the top limit for military age was supposed to be increased from 27 to 30 years.
"Let's turn questions to the Ministry of Defence at this stage. It is the expert point of view of the Ministry of Defence that is of fundamental importance here," Peskov said adding that he could not give any further details on the topic.
In December, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu announced the need to raise the lower and upper limits of the military age. Putin then "conceptually supported” the proposal, Peskov said. In March, a relevant bill was submitted to the State Duma. It was assumed that the lower limit would be raised gradually, and the upper one — immediately.
Thus, in 2024, men aged 19 to 30 were to be drafted, in 2025 — from 20 to 30 years, in 2026 — from 21 to 30 years.
One of the authors of the project, the head of the State Duma Committee on Defence Andrei Kartapolov, then said that "yesterday's fledgeling schoolchildren should not be conscripted. ”
In mid-June, the State Duma passed the bill in the first reading. At the same time, the bill said that 18-year-olds would still be able to join the army if they wanted.
However, by the second reading, the authorities decided to refuse to raise the lower limit of military age, Kartapolov said. According to the MP, "many guys want to go to serve” with the onset of adulthood. "We decided to expand the rights, rather than reduce them in any way," he said.
If the bill is adopted, the conscription age in Russia will be extended from 18 to 30 years old (today - from 18 to 27). The novelty will not affect the upcoming autumn conscription and will take effect from 2024.
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