(RepublicanInformer.com)- Last week, the State Duma, Russia’s parliament, passed legislation that will eliminate the existing age cap for those serving in the military.
Russian military service had been limited to those between the ages of 18 and 40. With this new legislation, the upper limit is removed.
Lawmakers who argued for the bill said lifting the age limit of 40 would enable the military to recruit more specialist troops like doctors or engineers.
In a statement last Wednesday, Vyacheslav Volodin, the speaker of the State Duma, stressed the importance of strengthening the Russian armed forces and helping the Ministry of Defense to ensure Russian forces win in Ukraine.
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the bill into law on Saturday.
Since it began the invasion of Ukraine in late February, the Russian military has sustained heavy losses. The UK Foreign Ministry estimates that Russia has lost 15,000 soldiers while as many as 35,000 others have been wounded.
The significant losses have caused serious problems for Russia’s efforts in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region. According to the UK Foreign Ministry, Moscow has been forced to rely on mercenaries and irregular forces, including Chechnyan militias, rather than its army.
The UK Defense Ministry recently reported that the Kremlin has removed several of its top military commanders for their poor performance in the Ukraine war. As a result, the military officials remaining are likely to be focused more on avoiding personal culpability for any operational setbacks than on the operations themselves.
“It will be difficult for Russia to regain initiative under these conditions,” the ministry added.
The Ukrainian military has long permitted older fighters to join. During its general mobilization after Russia’s invasion began, Ukraine barred all men ages 18 to 60 from leaving the country in case they were needed for the fight.