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Ukraine’s occupied regions to be included for first time in new round of Russian conscriptions

Four occupied regions of Ukraine will be included for the first time in a new round of Russian military conscriptions this fall, Russia’s Defense Ministry announced Friday.

Autumn conscription will begin from October 1 in all parts of the Russian Federation, according to the ministry, including in the illegally annexed regions of Ukraine.

Putin announced the annexation of the four areas – Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia – last September, following so-called referendums in the regions that were universally dismissed as “shams” by Ukraine and Western nations. Russia had previously annexed Crimea in 2014.

In some regions of Russia’s Far North, the conscription will begin on November 1 due to the climate differences, Rear Admiral Vladimir Tsimlyansky, Deputy Chief of the Main Organizational and Mobilization Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, said during a briefing.

“The autumn conscription will take place from October 1 in all constituent entities of the Russian Federation. The exception is certain regions of the Far North and certain areas equated to regions of the Far North, where citizens living in these territories are conscripted for military service from November 1 to December 31. This is primarily due to the climatic characteristics of these territories,” Tsimlyansky said.

The departure of conscripts from collection points is scheduled to begin on October 16, he said. “The term of conscription military service, as before, will be 12 months,” Tsimlyansky said.

“Military personnel undergoing military service upon conscription will not be sent to the points of deployment of units of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation in the new regions of the Russian Federation: Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions or to participate there in carrying out the tasks of a special military operation,” he said, using Russia’s euphemistic term for its war in Ukraine.

Conscription for military service in what Moscow describes as Russia’s new regions is regulated by a so-called constitutional law on admission to the Russian Federation, according to Russian state news agency TASS.

According to the law, the autumn 2023 conscription round will include the newly annexed territories for the first time. There was no conscription for military service last year and in the spring of 2023 in these regions, according to TASS.

While regular conscriptions will be carried out, Russia has no plans for further mobilizations, Tsimlyansky said. “I’d like to stress that the General Staff (of Russia’s Armed Forces) has no plans for a further mobilization,” he said.

Conscriptions in Russia happen twice per year. Last fall’s conscription began a month later than usual due to bottlenecks at conscription offices amid a partial mobilization, according to TASS.

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