Russia moves to recruit more soldiers by eliminating its age limit for military service after a series of setbacks in Ukraine

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Russian Spetsnaz troops military parade
Russian Spetsnaz troops march through Red Square in a Victory Day military parade, May 9, 2021.Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images
  • Russian forces have suffered major losses in Ukraine and failed to capture Kyiv and Kharkiv.

  • Russian lawmakers on Friday moved to expand military eligibility to include older citizens.

  • An amendment introduced in parliament would drop the 18-40 age requirement for first-time recruits.

Russian lawmakers on Friday took steps to expand its military recruitment to include older citizens as its forces have taken major hits and been pushed out of key areas in Ukraine.

An amendment was introduced in Russia's parliament that would eliminate the requirement that first-time military enlistments be between the ages of 18 to 40, The New York Times reported.

The measure would allow older Russian citizens to join the war effort. A statement from the lower house of Parliament said "highly professional specialists are needed" to operate military equipment, The Times reported. The statement also said medical workers and engineers were among the specialists needed.

The lawmakers did not cite a need for additional ground troops in Ukraine. However, the UK's Ministry of Defense said last week Russia has likely lost a third of its ground combat force since invading in February.

Russian forces have been dealt a series of setbacks in the war, including failing to capture the capital city of Kyiv and then Kharkiv, Ukraine's second-largest city. After getting pushed out of the latter last week, some Russian forces were redeployed to the eastern Donbas region.

Jens Stoltenberg, NATO's secretary-general, said earlier this week that Russian efforts in the Donbas had also stalled, adding that "Russia is not achieving its strategic objectives."

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