Putin Signs Decree Calling up 150,000 Citizens for Statutory Military Service

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All men in Russia are required to do a year-long military service, or equivalent training during higher education, from the age of 18.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree setting out the routine spring conscription campaign, calling up 150,000 citizens for statutory military service, a document posted on the Kremlin’s website showed on Sunday (31 March).

All men in Russia are required to do a year-long military service, or equivalent training during higher education, from the age of 18.

In July Russia’s lower house of parliament voted to raise the maximum age at which men can be conscripted to 30 from 27. The new legislation came into effect on 1 January 2024.

Compulsory military service has long been a sensitive issue in Russia, where many men go to great lengths to avoid being handed conscription papers during the twice-yearly call-up periods.

Conscripts cannot legally be deployed to fight outside Russia and were exempted from a limited mobilisation in 2022 that gathered at least 300,000 men with previous military training to fight in Ukraine – although some conscripts were sent to the front in error.

In September Putin signed an order calling up 130,000 people for the autumn campaign and last spring Russia planned to conscript 147,000.

Russian attacks

Russian shelling killed at least three people in different regions of eastern Ukraine on the front of the more than two-year-old war against Russia, local officials said, and two more in Lviv region, far from the front lines.

In the centre of the northeastern city of Kharkiv, a frequent target of Russia’s intensifying assaults on energy and other infrastructure, regional governor Oleh Synehubov said a strike targeted civilian infrastructure in the evening.

Regional news outlets said aerial bombs had been dropped on different areas of the region. No injuries were reported.

Earlier on Sunday, heavy shelling killed a man in the town of Borova, southeast of Kharkiv, local prosecutors said.

Police in Donetsk region, in Ukraine’s southeast, said Russian shelling hit 14 towns and villages, with two dead reported in Krasnohorivka, west of the Russian-held regional centre of Donetsk.

Russian forces captured the city of Avdiivka in Donetsk region last month and have since made small gains, but the situation along the 1,000-km front has changed little for months.

Attacks on infrastructure have extended well beyond the front line and Lviv regional governor Maksym Kozitskyi said two bodies were pulled from rubble after on such strike by cruise missiles. Rescue work continued through the day at the site.

Over the border in Russia’s Belgorod Region, a frequent target of Ukrainian shelling, regional governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said a woman was killed when a border village came umder attack.

Reuters could not independently confirm accounts of military action from either side.

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