The Russian parliament passed a law abolishing an upper age limit for those who join the army.
Moscow may be seeking more troops for its military campaign in Ukraine.
Under the existing law, Russians between the ages of 18 and 40 and foreign nationals between the ages of 18 and 30 are entitled to sign their first military service contract.
Parliament’s lower and upper houses supported the bill in all necessary readings. After President Putin’s approval, it will become the law.
Russia has claimed the lives of over 1,000 soldiers since it invaded Ukraine on February 24. Moscow has described the invasion as a “special military operation” aimed at “denazifying” and “demilitarizing” Ukraine and has vowed to continue fighting until its objectives are met.
“We need to build up the armed forces, help the Ministry of Defence”, Parliament’s speaker Viacheslav Volodin was cited as saying in a statement published on the site of the State Duma, the lower house of parliament. “Our Supreme Commander-in-Chief is doing all he can to make the military more efficient and effective,” he added.
Ms. Andrey, the co-author of the bill and head of Parliament’s defense commission, explained that the purpose of this bill was to attract “highly professional specialists” for the use of high precision weaponry.
Experience has shown that such a level of expertise occurs at the age of 40-45, read a note accompanying the law. The decision would also permit the recruitment of specialists in other fields of military service such as medical support, maintenance, and communication, he added.
The decision of the Russian Parliament comes the day after Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu dismissed any deadline for the end of the military operation in Ukraine.
Over the past several years, the Russian army has increasingly relied on volunteers.
All Russian men aged 18 to 27 must spend a year in compulsory military service. Many avoid the draft by postponing their college education and other exemptions.