Russia sees bill that could abolish upper age limit for army service - report

The current law on Russian contracted military service puts the age limits between 18 and 40 for Russian citizens and 18 to 30 for foreigners.

Russian soldiers march in Almaty, Kazakhstan, January 13, 2022 (photo credit: REUTERS/PAVEL MIKHEYEV)
Russian soldiers march in Almaty, Kazakhstan, January 13, 2022
(photo credit: REUTERS/PAVEL MIKHEYEV)

A bill that would abolish the upper age limit for adults to finish their contracted military service has been submitted in Russia's State Duma on Friday, TASS reported.

The current law on Russian contracted military service puts the age limits between 18 and 40 for Russian citizens and 18 to 30 for foreigners.

Abolishing this age limit would allow people to serve in the Russian military for longer, something the bill's authors hope will attract specialists to serve under contract in fields like engineering, communications and medical support.

The bill's explanatory note also highlighted the need for specialists to operate high-precision weaponry, military equipment and other weapons, and these specialists with enough experience tend to be between the ages of 40-45, according to RIA.

The proposal comes amid severe Russian losses in the ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

A convoy of pro-Russian troops is seen before the expected evacuation of wounded Ukrainian soldiers from the besieged Azovstal steel mill in the course of Ukraine-Russia conflict in Mariupol, Ukraine, May 16, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/ALEXANDER ERMOCHENKO)A convoy of pro-Russian troops is seen before the expected evacuation of wounded Ukrainian soldiers from the besieged Azovstal steel mill in the course of Ukraine-Russia conflict in Mariupol, Ukraine, May 16, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/ALEXANDER ERMOCHENKO)

According to Ukraine, Russia has already lost some 28,700 troops.

These losses have been so severe that Russia has allegedly been preparing to conscript soldiers from its Unarmia military youth movement between the ages of 17 and 18 to make up it, the Ukrainian Intelligence Directorate (GUR) claimed in March.

Some Western nations allow for the enlistment process into the military to begin when the recruit is still a minor, but will not train and deploy them until they are legal adults. The UK armed forces still recruit citizens as young as 16 years of age, though it doesn't send them into combat until they are above 18.

Michael Starr contributed to this report.