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State Duma amendments to laws signal Russia is planning for protracted confrontation with the West

By Aditya Pareek and Alex Petric

Key points

  • Event: The Russian State Duma adopted amendments to laws ‘on military duty and military service', ‘on alternative civil service', and ‘on a unified register of military personnel' between 11 April and 25 July 2023
  • Significance: Amendments to the laws allow the governors of Russian regions to raise paramilitary units with regional and federal funding, tighten up restrictions for conscription absentees, and raise the age for enlistment of conscripts, which signals the Kremlin's desire to increase its military manpower without launching another full-scale mobilisation
  • Outlook: The amendments on raising the conscription age indicate that Russia is likely anticipating and planning for a long-term, protracted confrontation with the West. Russia is also likely to further amend legislation related to the legal status of paramilitary forces and other armed entities


On 25 July 2023 the State Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament, adopted amendments to the Russian laws ‘on military duty and military service' and ‘on alternative civil service'. The amendments were approved by the Federation Council on 28 July 2023 and will very likely be signed into law by Russian President Vladimir Putin in the following days. On 11 April 2023 the State Duma also amended laws ‘on a unified register of military personnel' and ‘on the procedure for leaving and entering the Russian Federation'.


Creation of regional paramilitary units

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