Russia looks to scrap upper age limit for soldiers

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Russia’s parliament is to consider scrapping the upper age limit for signing up to join the army, in a sign Moscow may be looking to recruit more troops for its military campaign in Ukraine.

Under current legislation, only Russians aged 18 to 40 and foreign nationals aged 18 to 30 have the right to sign their first military service contract.

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A draft bill on the agenda of the lower house State Duma for Wednesday would completely lift that upper age limit.

“Highly professional specialists are needed to use high-precision weapons and operate weapons and military equipment,” said a note accompanying the draft bill.

The note said that such specialists usually acquire the necessary skills when they reach their early- to mid-40s.

President Vladimir Putin sent troops to Ukraine on February 24 but three months into Moscow’s military campaign the offensive has “lost momentum,” Western defense chiefs say.

Russia is believed to have suffered significant human and material losses in Ukraine even though precise details have not been revealed by the Kremlin.

Washington and European countries have poured billions of dollars’ worth of arms into Ukraine to help the country’s forces beat back Russian troops.

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