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More Than 150,000 Russian Men Called Up for Mandatory Conscription

More than 150,000 young men will be called up for compulsory military service this fall in Russia.

More than 150,000 young Russians will be called up for compulsory military service this fall, the Armed Forces said Wednesday, though residents in recently-annexed Crimea will be exempt from conscription until next year.

"During the fall draft [which takes place Wednesday] … 154,100 men will be sent to complete their military service in the Russian Armed Forces, military formations or organs," Deputy Chief of Staff Lieutenant-General Vasily Tonkoshkurov was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency.

Of this number, 32,500 recruits have a military background, while a further 454 men will complete an alternative form of compulsory service, said Tonkoshkurov, who heads Russia's Organization-Mobilization Directorate.

Three new science squadrons will be added to the army this year — bringing the total number up to eight — allowing recruits with an academic background to contribute to the technological development of the armed forces, Tonkoshkurov was cited as saying.

In line with Russian law, able-bodied men aged 18-27 are required to complete a 12-month period of service in the Armed Forces, amended from 18 months in 2008.

Male residents of the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea — annexed earlier this year from Ukraine — will be exempt from military service until next year, as the region has yet to be fully absorbed into Russia, Tonkoshkurov said.

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