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Russia Ramps Up Fines for Draft Dodging

A military enlistment office in St. Petersburg. Marina Mamontova / Kommersant

President Vladimir Putin on Monday signed a law that significantly raises fines for failing to appear at a military enlistment office after receiving a draft notice.

The fines will increase from the current range of 500-3,000 rubles ($5-32) to 10,000-30,000 ($109-327) when the law comes into force on Oct. 1.

Fines were also raised for a number of other violations, including for failing to notify the military enlistment office when a conscript has moved within Russia for more than three months and for failing to report changes in marital status, residence, workplace and education.

The stiffer penalties come as Moscow continues its efforts to clamp down on the military's problems of draft dodging and a manpower shortage in Ukraine.

In April, Putin signed a law that requires men eligible for military service to show up to recruitment offices after receiving an online summons, which some observers speculated would pave the way for a second wave of mobilization.  

Ignoring the summons subjects military-age men to restrictions that include bans on leaving Russia, buying real estate, taking out loans and driving a car.

Similarly, Russian lawmakers last week passed a bill raising the upper age limit for military conscription in an effort to widen the pool of potential recruits for the war in Ukraine.

Putin is likely to sign the bill into law, which would raise the age range for this compulsory military service to 18-30 starting in January 2024

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