Drafting, drone hits, Wagner mutiny show Moscow can’t insulate Russians from war: UK

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The likelihood of being compelled to fight, drone attacks on Moscow, extreme levels of repression and the recent Wagner mutiny highlight Russia’s failure to insulate the population from the war, the UK Ministry of Defense said on Tuesday in an intelligence update.

“The Russian authorities are prioritizing amending legislation to allow more men to be rapidly drafted into the military. In mid-July 2023, the State Duma increased the maximum age of liability for conscription from 27 to 30, while retaining the current lower limit at 18,” the British ministry said.

“While conscripts are not currently deployed in Ukraine, extra draftees free-up professional and mobilized soldiers from other duties inside Russia. On 24 July 2023, President Putin signed a bill which will gradually increase the upper age limit for those liable for call up as reservists: senior officers can now be mobilized up to 70. Reservists made up the Autumn 2022 ‘partial mobilization’ and could provide a more immediate boost to the number available to fight in Ukraine,” it added.

“The increased chance of being compelled to fight, drone attacks on Moscow, exceptional level of domestic repression, and the recent Wagner mutiny combine to highlight the Russian state’s failure to insulate the population from the war,” the ministry concluded.

The fact that the Russian authorities are amending legislation to allow more men to be drafted into the military indicates that the conflict in Ukraine requires a continuous supply of personnel to maintain the military's operations.

The increase in the maximum age of liability for conscription from 27 to 30 suggests that the Russian military may be facing challenges in recruiting enough young soldiers to meet their needs. This could indicate that the conflict in Ukraine is putting strain on the available human resources.

The decision to increase the upper age limit for reservists, allowing senior officers to be mobilized up to 70, indicates that the Russian military is tapping into its reserve forces to bolster its manpower for the conflict in Ukraine. This move may be a response to potential losses and a need for more experienced personnel on the ground.

The deployment of conscripts to free up professional and mobilized soldiers from other duties inside Russia suggests that the conflict in Ukraine is diverting resources from other areas of the military. This indicates that the Russian army is prioritizing its efforts towards the ongoing conflict.

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