The Russian military has begun using Moscow’s vast video surveillance system to find conscripts who evade compulsory service, Moscow’s chief draft officer Maxim Loktev told state-run news agency TASS on Tuesday.
“Moscow’s video surveillance systems are being used to determine a conscript’s residence,” said Loktev.
He added that workplaces and educational establishments will also provide information on those required to perform military service.
Russian President Vladimir Putin last week signed a controversial law that seeks to tighten Russia’s military call-up system, replacing paper summons with electronic summons, creating a new digital database of those eligible for military service and blocking those sought for call-up from traveling abroad.
Russia’s spring military service call-up, which is expected to see the enlistment of 147,000 men, is currently underway.
Loktev told TASS that one of the main problems for military enlistment officers was that they did not have up-to-date information for the addresses of men eligible for military service.
With the help of Moscow’s CCTV camera and face-recognition technology, he said, more accurate information on addresses could be collected.
Under Russia's the new law, which was passed and signed at breakneck speed last week, the Russian authorities can now issue call-up papers online instead of being required to deliver them in person.
A digital database of all Russians eligible for military service is expected to launch this fall. However, Loktev said Monday that the online call-up papers will be “tested” during the ongoing spring draft.
Russian officials have previously said men conscripted for Russia’s mandatory year-long military service will not be sent to the front.
But experts warn that the bloody failure of a Russian spring offensive to achieve significant territorial gains and Kyiv’s imminent counter-offensive could mean the Kremlin is soon facing a manpower shortage in Ukraine.