UK Intelligence points out cons of Russian idea of raising age limit of contract soldiers

Russia’s plans to raise the age limit for contract soldiers may reduce need for additional mobilization, but will not enhance combat capability of the Russian army, particularly in offensive operations, UK Defense Intelligence reported on Twitter (X) on Feb. 13.

The new Russian bill reportedly raises the age limit for contract soldiers to 65 years and 70 years for officers.

Read also: General mobilization in Russia possible after 2024 elections — Danilov

Intelligence officials noted that this would significantly exceed the current age limit of 51 for non-officers and is likely to extend the overall length of contracts.

The report cites data from the World Data website, indicating that the pre-war life expectancy for Russian men in 2021 was 64.2 years.

Read also: Ukrainian vet: Russia's mobilized troop total means little, citing enormous KIA disparity inflicted

Consequently, this measure effectively provides these soldiers with a “lifetime contract.”

On Dec. 14, Russian dictator Vladimir Putin stated that Russia was conducting a campaign to recruit contract soldiers and claimed that 486 thousand people had signed military contracts. He also reassured that there were no plans for a second wave of mobilization in Russia.

On Feb. 2, the Russian State Duma proposed raising the conscription age to 50 for foreigners who have obtained Russian citizenship.

However, State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin stated that “the issue has not been fully addressed,” and the authors will be asked to withdraw the proposal.

Read also: Russian forces may double amid post-March mobilization, warns Ukrainian war veteran

On Jan. 31, UK intelligence reported that in 2023, Russia opted for regular contract recruitment as the primary source of new military personnel for the war against Ukraine.

Russians are joining the military at rates of up to 30,000 per month, mostly due to the military’s comparatively high salaries, Ukrainian intelligence deputy chief, Vadym Skibitskyi, said in an interview with Ukrainian news outlet RBC-Ukraine reported on Jan. 15.

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