Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has reportedly signed a law scrapping the age limit on the Russian military to those over 40 years old to serve in the war against Ukraine.
Previously the army had age limits of 18-40 years for Russians and 18-30 for foreigners, and comes amid a push to recruit more technical specialists, the BBC reported.
The new law, signed by Putin on Saturday Business Insider reported, also aims to recruit more medics, engineers and communications experts.
Ukrainian and Western military experts say Russia has lost an estimated 30,000 killed in its war. The U.K. government estimates the toll at about 15,000, the BBC reported. Russia gave a total of 1,351 of its troops killed in Ukraine on March 25 that hasn’t been updated.
Military analysts say Russia has more than 400,000 professional contract soldiers in its 900,000-strong active armed forces, and can mobilize about two million reservists, the BBC reported.
In comparison, Ukraine's army has an estimated 200,000 active troops and 900,000 reservists, though it has boosted those numbers since Russia’s invasion on Feb. 24, the news outlet reported.
Under its current martial law, Ukraine forbids men aged 18 to 60 from leaving the country, demanding that they stay and fight.
According to Business Insider, UK intelligence officials recently said Russia's losses have caused serious problems for its invasion as it focuses on Ukraine's eastern Donbas region.
In one update, they said personnel problems had forced Russia to rely on mercenaries and irregular forces like militants from Chechnya rather than its main army, BI reported.
After weeks of apparent stasis in the attacks on the Donbas, Ukrainian officials have recently conceded Russia is gaining ground there.
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