Russia to begin drafting soldiers from occupied regions of Ukraine

Russia to begin drafting soldiers from occupied regions of Ukraine
  • Russia's fall draft begins October 1 and seeks to call up 130,000 new soldiers to fight in the war.

  • The Kyiv Independent reported eligible men from occupied regions of Ukraine will be drafted.

  • Russian state media claims no conscription has previously occurred in occupied Ukraine.

Russia's Defense Ministry announced Friday that its upcoming conscription campaign will for the first time include eligible men from four occupied regions in Ukraine.

The Russian draft, beginning October 1 and running through the end of the year, seeks to call 130,000 new soldiers to service, according to the Russian state media outlet, TASS. Russian men aged 18-27 are required to enlist for a year of mandatory military service.

The fall draft will, for the first time, include residents of occupied territory in Ukraine including Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia oblasts, the Kyiv Independent reported. Putin announced the annexation of the four regions last September after holding elections regarded by Ukraine and its Western allies as "shams," per CNN.

While the territories are currently held by Russian forces, allegiances among the residents who remain in the regions are divided between Ukrainian loyalists and those who support the Russian regime, France24 reported.

Earlier this year, Russia passed a law raising the upper age limit of the draft to 30 years old to broaden its pool of prospective soldiers, but the change will not go into effect until January 2024. In mid-July, Insider previously reported, Russia also increased the maximum age for veteran reservists to be called back to fight, making the country's highest-ranking officers eligible for mobilization as old as 70.

Representatives for Ukraine's Ministry of Defense, and the Government of the Russian Federation did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Insider.

Russia mobilized 300,000 troops last year, resulting in a mass exodus of young Russians fleeing the country over fears they would be called up to fight. In response, the country passed a measure banning people who had been drafted from leaving the country.

While the country's strict measures have made it increasingly difficult for eligible Russian men to avoid their compulsory military service, Insider reported President Vladimir Putin fears a backlash among his citizens and wants to avoid a general call-up.

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