According to British intelligence services, Russia's authorities are probably preparing for an expansion of military service in order to strengthen the armed forces. On March 13, a bill was introduced in the Russian House of Commons, according to which in future men between the ages of 21 and 30 should be called up instead of men between the ages of 18 and 27, the British Ministry of Defense announced. "The law is expected to be passed and would then come into force in January 2024," it said in London.
Since Soviet times, Russia has been conscripting conscripts twice a year. "Officially, Russia continues to exclude conscripts from operations in Ukraine, although at least hundreds are likely to have been deployed - through mix-up by authorities or after being forced to sign contracts," the UK ministry wrote.
According to the intelligence services, many 18- to 27-year-olds are currently applying for exemption from military service by citing that they are in college education. Authorities are now likely changing the age range to increase troop levels, sources said. "Even if Russia continues to refrain from using conscripts in war, additional conscripts will make a larger number of professional soldiers available for combat operations."
The British Ministry of Defense has published daily updates on the course of the war since the start of Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine, citing intelligence information. In doing so, the British government wants to both counter the Russian portrayal and keep allies in line. Moscow accuses London of a disinformation campaign.