Russian parliament scraps age limit for army recruits

Not actually to do with books and TPV isn’t going to turn into a blog about politics, but interesting for PG at least.

From Reuters:

Russia’s parliament approved a law on Wednesday in double-quick time removing the upper age limit for contractual service in the military, amid heavy casualties in Ukraine.

Lawmakers in the State Duma lower house approved the bill in three readings in a single session, with the upper house, the Federation Council, giving its assent shortly after. The bill now needs only the signature of President Vladimir Putin to become law.

State Duma speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said: “Today, especially, we need to strengthen the armed forces and help the Ministry of Defence. Our Supreme Commander is doing everything to ensure that our armed forces win, and we need to help.”

Currently, only Russians aged 18-40 and foreigners aged 18-30 can enlist as professional soldiers in the Russian military.

Russian forces have suffered significant losses fighting in Ukraine.

The defence ministry said on March 25 that 1,351 Russian service personnel had been killed and 3,825 wounded since Moscow sent its armed forces into Ukraine on Feb. 24. It has not updated its casualty figures since.

Both Ukrainian and Western intelligence officials have said Russia’s losses in Ukraine were significantly higher at the time, and have risen sharply since March.

Link to the rest at Reuters

17 thoughts on “Russian parliament scraps age limit for army recruits”

  1. I must wonder just how many combat fit “volunteers” they expect to get from the over-40 group, and how long it will be until they are trained even to the lower Russian standards before they can be sent into the fight.

    Being a student largely of wars before my birth in 1960, what is considered to be a high casualty count these days is difficult for me to wrap my head around. It’s still “one death per soldier,” but there are so many fewer of them now. Of course, a large proportion or frequently a majority of “war casualties” in conflicts before WW2 were not caused by enemy action, but by disease.

    • Russia’s problem with Putin’s war is many fold.

      First, they don’t have enough troops to deal with the Ukraine forces because Ukraine went to full mobilization from day one. The front lines are manned by veterans who have been rotating through since 2014. Plusvthey are mostly graduates of UK commando training and US Green Berets.

      Second, except for a few choice elite units (that got slaughtered the first week) most of the rest of the forces are either raw recruits or highlevel officers (Colonels and up) . They don’t have non-commisioned officers. Last week they reportedly (insert spooful of salt) lost a general while flying accombat mission when his fighter met a STARSTREAK misile.

      Third, they don’t dare fully mobilize to draft younger folk who woukd still need months of minimal training not to become instant cannon fodder. Worse, they have a demographic crisis. And so far, about 4 million russians (mostly young, educated, and smart) have voted with their feet, mostly decamping to Georgia the country, not the state, (in-joke). What tbey are fighting with and what tbey can draw upon, are poor farm boys. Who are, however, needed on the farms needed to feed the population.

      Add it up and older ex-army are all they can bring up short of full mobilization.
      They’ve already brought back most of tbe firces in Syria and Africa and the onky merceneraries crazy enough to join in are chechens who find themselves fighting other cgechens siding with Ukraine. Byelorussia is refusing to send tbeir forces because they are facing the same thing: anti-government forces that have thrown in with Ukraine, some of which are actively sabotaging facilities in Byelorussia itself. The regime might not survive if its main army goes to war.

      It’s a mess.
      Thevrussians hay have lost a third of their army.

      A medieval bloody mess.

      (Just how messy is unclear because, lets not forget, the Ukraians cut their teeth under the Soviets. Their dept of dirty tricks is as good as Russia’s. And they’re unofficially assisted by the CIA, not that anybody is going to admit it.)

      All the while, hardly anybody notices the looming collapse of the Chinese economy.

      • The fundamental problem with the Russian military is that it wasn’t built to fight a modern war, but to LARP World War II. Putin has Stalin on the brain, and his military decisions reflect that.

        As for the Chinese, they are certainly in for a dose of the ‘interesting times’ with which they allegedly curse people.

        • That’s about right.
          The whole drive to “plug the invasion routes” is based on obsolete geopolitical thinking. As if anybody would actually want to take over the near-basket case that is Russia. Their oil isn’t worth the trouble, as they’re starting to realize.

          China is likewise working off a dated world view.
          Worse, they’re working off fake data.
          (They are only now discovering how local leaders have been lying to provincial leaders who have been lying to the party leaders who have been lying to the Uncrowned Emperor. Biggest lie is their population is hundreds of business smaller in the productive cohorts, older on average and more sex unbalanced than everybody knew.)

          The story is long but their fate was sealed in 1979. They’ll likely remember it as Hua’s Curse. (One Child Policy.)

          The short version is their economy peaked in 2003 or thereabouts.
          And the economist fears came true: China grew old before it grew rich. And the house of cards is shaking.

          Some think they are doomed but I’m not so sure. They *do* have a typically CCP option: turn away from the outside world, “triage” the non-productive elders, and downsize the population to match the economy. All they have to do is arrange for a few hundred million to die. Covid can help there…
          …or a nuclear exchange. (BRR.)

          Interesting times is about right.

    • This is stage-2. In stage-1, they lost lots of guys 18-30. But, there are lots more of them in support roles behind the lines. Also more are scattered all over Russia.

      So, bring in older guys for support, and push the current support troops up front. This doesn’t cycle well.

  2. In addition to their personnel issues, Russia has serious quality control issues with their missiles and “precision” aircraft bombs:

    Failure rates as high as 60%.
    This has forced them to use their fighters as low altitude bombers which makes tbem easy prey for Stingers and Starstreaks.

    The lack of accuracy adds to their institutional scorched earth tactics as even when targetting valid military targets they end up hitting civilian zones. They have also been known to hit themselves. As for their ground gear…

    • …it is no better.
      In fact, they’ve lost so many tanks (upwards of 1000) they’re dusting off T60 tanks and deploying them to the front.

      In one respect it is an upgrade of sorts: the T72, T80, and T92 tanks all rely on shell autoloaders and thus store their amunition in the turret. As a result, even minor hits on the turrets makes the ammo explode and literally pop the turret like a champagne cork or a jack-in-the-box.

      Of course these tanks are purely mechanical with no electronic features and a dozen otber vulnerabilities. No need to waste Javelins on those; vintage RPGs suffice.

      Ukraine started the war with similar Soviet era gear but since 2014 they have been updating it and above all doing good maintenance. The gear isn’t inherently bad but the corruption of the Russian Military Industrial Complex permeates their entire military to the extent that the majority of their nominal stash of 12000 tanks is unusable. And their troops were deployed with limited fuel and water and MREs years past expiration. This latter forced the troops to “forage” leading to a culture of plunder. Intercepts (a whole other story) has caught soldiers phoning home to brag about “scoring” mint HYUNDAI cars and large screen TVs.

      Very Khanate era of them.

      FWIW, the US has had a similar problem in recent times, with congress underfunding parts and munitions in order to fund platforms. (Got to protect those big job sites!) An IG audit is in order.

  3. Oh, and: PG, book relevance is a function of genre.

    Technothriller and near term SF writers *need* to understand the geopolitics of the real world unless they intend to write of C.O.N.T.R.O.L. vs K.A.O.S. 😉

    • And what’s wrong, pray tell, with C.O.N.T.R.O.L. vs K.A.O.S.?

      I don’t want to gum up PG’s combox by discussing it here, but let me lower the cone of silence and then you can call me on my smart shoe.

      • Nothing. Its timeless. Ignoring the real world is its charm.
        Same as Hogan’s Heroes.
        Happily nobody has tried remaking either.

        • Hogan’s Heroes didn’t so much ignore the real world as thumb its nose at it. Most of the recurring German characters were played by Jewish actors, and Robert Clary (Corporal LeBeau) to this day carries the tattooed ID number from his years in a Nazi concentration camp. It was a wonderful case of revenge by laughter.

          • Same cast, though.
            And it still missed by “that much”…

            A lot of the 60’s TV shows, both comedy and drama, are a product of their times and personnel. Without the combination you get things like the WILD WILD WEST, GREEN HORNET, and BEWITCHED movies.

            Of course, some are actually improved by aligning them with more modern times, like LOST IN SPACE, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, and BATMAN, but those were misses to start with.

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