As of July 31, 2023, British intelligence reports indicate that the Russian authorities are taking significant steps to bolster their military capabilities amid the ongoing Ukraine War. Several legislative amendments have been implemented to increase the number of men available for military service and mobilization.
1. Amendments to Conscription Legislation:
The Russian State Duma has made changes to the conscription laws to allow for a more rapid drafting of men into the military. In mid-July 2023, the maximum age of liability for conscription was increased from 27 to 30 years, while retaining the lower limit at 18 years. This move aims to expand the pool of potential conscripts available to the Russian military.
2. Mobilization of Reservists:
On July 24, 2023, President Vladimir Putin signed a bill to gradually increase the upper age limit for mobilizing reservists. Senior officers can now be called up for military service up to the age of 70. This measure is expected to augment the number of available personnel who can be called upon to fight in Ukraine.
3. Implications and Challenges:
While conscripts are not currently deployed in Ukraine, their inclusion in the military frees up professional soldiers from other duties within Russia. Moreover, reservists played a crucial role in the Autumn 2022 partial mobilization and could potentially provide an immediate boost to the number of troops available for deployment in the ongoing conflict.
The increased chances of being compelled to fight, drone attacks on Moscow, heightened levels of domestic repression, and the recent Wagner mutiny collectively highlight the Russian state’s failure to shield its population from the war’s impact.
These measures demonstrate Russia’s ongoing commitment to its military involvement in the Ukraine War and its preparedness to take extensive steps to bolster its military capabilities. The situation remains highly fluid, and international observers are closely monitoring developments in the region to assess the potential ramifications for regional and global security.