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UK Defense Ministry: Russia failing to 'insulate population from the war'

by Martin Fornusek and The Kyiv Independent July 31, 2023 10:44 AM 2 min read
Russian soldiers take part in a parade for Victory Day in Moscow's Red Square on May 9, 2023
Russian soldiers take part in a parade for Victory Day in Moscow's Red Square on May 9, 2023. (Photo by Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
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Drone attacks against Moscow and the rising age limit for mobilization indicate that the Russian state is failing to isolate its population from the war, the U.K. Defense Ministry said in its latest report on July 31.

The Russian State Duma, Russia's lower house of parliament, voted on July 25 to raise the maximum age of conscription from 27 to 30.

As the U.K. Defense Ministry noted, Russian dictator Vladimir Putin also signed a bill to gradually increase the upper age limit for reservists, with senior officers liable for mobilization up to the age of 70.

"Reservists made up the Autumn 2022 'partial mobilization' and could provide a more immediate boost to the number available to fight in Ukraine," the intelligence report said.

In January of 2023, the U.K. Defense Ministry reported that Duma Defense Committee Chair Andrey Kartapolov suggested the age extension in order to increase Russia's forces without resorting to forced mobilization.

Russia calls conscripts up twice a year for mandatory military service. The new law, co-authored by Kartapolov, is expected to add 2.4 million men to Russia's conscription base.

According to the latest U.K. Defense Ministry analysis, the July 30 drone strike against the "Moscow-city" business center in the Russian capital, rising levels of domestic repression, and the Wagner Group rebellion in June highlight the Kremlin's inability to insulate its population from the effects of the war against Ukraine.

Media: Russian ministries located in Moscow business center attacked by drones
The offices of several Russian ministries were located in a high-rise building in Moscow that was attacked by drones in the early hours of July 30, independent Russian media outlet The Insider reported.
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