Russia Launches New War Measures

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Russia has expanded the pool of conscripts it can call up for its war in Ukraine, Reuters reports.

The upper age limit for rank and file soldiers was 45 when the first conscripts were called. Now, the age is 55, going even higher for officers. Retired generals that are 70 could now be called up for service in Ukraine.

Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu has said he plans to increase the basic number of combat personnel in service – professional contract soldiers and conscripts – to 1.5 million from 1.15 million.

Russia’s demography is a serious problem for the health of its nation. Poor quality of life has limited birthrates and lifespans, especially for men, which only aggravates Russia’s manpower shortage. Its Muslim peoples, such as Chechens, are comprising an ever increasing share of the military.

Ukraine is in a similar situation however. Many of the socio-economic problems Russia faces are also present in Ukraine, due to the difficult transition of a command economy to a free market one in the 1990s. While some Ukrainians are dodging the draft, most have been serving their country in this defensive war.

Other than materiel shortages on both sides, manpower and its mobilization through the draft will be a major factor to determine combat power in the war. While conscription might be necessary for Russia, it is also likely to cause social unrest if no victory is in sight.


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