Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree to draft 142,000 people into the military. The document was published on the official portal of legal information.
Russian citizens between 18 and 27 years old who are “not in the reserves and not subject to military service in accordance with federal law” are subject to the decree, titled “Military Duty and Military Conscription,” the document says. The decree goes into effect on March 30th. The government, regional authorities, and conscription commissions will ensure that the decree is carried out.
From October to December 2016, 152,000 Russian citizens were drafted into the army by the presidential decree. In the spring of last year, 155,000 went into military service.
Last week, the head of the Duma committee on defense, former commander of the airborne forces Vladimir Shamanov, said that deputies are discussing the possibility of raising the maximum conscription age to 30. Shamanov said some legislators feel that 27, the current age limit for military service, is too low.
Some suggested a maximum age of 30, so that those who might be interested in dodging the draft wouldn’t do so. He also said that a group will be established in the committee to develop appropriate legislative initiatives.
According to a survey conducted by the Levada Center in January 2017, more than half of Russians (58%) are in favor of keeping conscription into military service. This percentage, the same as in 2016, is the highest since 1997, sociologists noted. Of those in favor of keeping military conscription, the highest percentages are among retirees (66%) and Russians over 55 (63%). In the same survey, only 37% favored transitioning to a contract military. This was mostly among Russians under 25 and students.