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UK intel: Russia’s proposed 65 and 70 military contract age limit would reduce mobilization requirements

Russia bids to cut mobilization drives by introducing a draft law to hike age limits on military contracts from 51 to 65 for troops and to 70 for officers, binding them for life service, per UK intelligence.
Russian soldiers captured in Sumy Oblast. March 2022. Photo: The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine
Captured Russian soldiers. Sumy Oblast, Ukraine. March 2022. Photo: General Staff of the Armed Forces
UK intel: Russia’s proposed 65 and 70 military contract age limit would reduce mobilization requirements

Russia proposes a draft law to lift the age cap on military contracts to 65 for rank-and-file and 70 for officers, locking them in for life while cutting mobilization needs, the British Defense Ministry says in its intelligence update.

Russia declared its first modern partial mobilization on 21 September 2022 due to military setbacks in Ukraine, targeting 300,000 reservists. Despite claims of completion, reports indicate ongoing covert mobilization with profound frontline and domestic consequences.

However, while the measure would reduce requirements for mobilization, it is unlikely to actually improve Russia’s military effectiveness by increasing the number of personnel aged over 51, the Ministry says.

The Ministry wrote:

  • Russia is proposing draft legislation to raise the age of military contract personnel, including those that were recruited before June 2023, to age 65, and age 70 for officers. This would substantially raise the current age limit of 51 for non-officers and would likely extend the contract length.
  • The pre-war 2021 life expectancy for Russian males was 64.2 according to the World Data website. Therefore, this measure confers on these service personnel, in effect, a lifetime contract.
  • Although this measure will likely alleviate the need for additional mobilisation, increasing the number of military personnel aged over 51 is highly unlikely to increase Russia’s combat effectiveness, particularly in kinetic assaults.

To mitigate the impact of mass drafting labor-age Russians, Russia has implemented several strategies, including the forced conscription of Ukrainian men in occupied territories, recruitment of foreign fighters from regions as diverse as Cuba to Syria and Nepal, and engagement of migrant communities within Russia to participate in the war against Ukraine.

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