South Asia and Beyond

Ukraine Lowers Army Draft Age To 25

 Ukraine Lowers Army Draft Age To 25

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky has given the go ahead to a bill that seeks to lower the age for combat duty from 27 to 25. This is likely to help Kyiv tackle the shortfall in numbers it is facing on the ground.

The bill has been with Zelensky since 2023 and was cleared only yesterday. Zelensky had earlier said that he would sign the bill if he was given a strong enough argument of the need to do so. Separately, the Parliament in Ukraine has been discussing a separate bill to broadly tighten draft rules for months.

Ukraine has been facing tough times on the ground with its troops facing a severe shortage of ammunition supplies, which have been blocked by the Republicans in the Congress for months and the European Union failing to deliver on promised ammunition on time.

There have been suggestions from the army that up to 500,000 more Ukrainians are brought into the armed forces. Recently, the army said that the figure was no longer up-to-date and that it had been “significantly reduced” after review.

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The president has warned that Moscow may up its ante in summer or spring and has called for upping efforts to build a strong defensive fortification along the front line.

Meanwhile, Ukraine has claimed responsibility for a drone attack in Russia’s Tatarstan region – over 1,300km from the Ukraine-Russia border. This comes a day after a Ukrainian official claimed that the country’s domestically produced drones were now able to hit targets beyond 1,000 kilometres.

At least 12 people were injured in the attacks, analysts say that the attack on Tatarstan hit a facility in Yelabuga where Russia assembles Iranian Shahed drones, which are frequently used by Russia to attack Ukraine.

According to Reuters, the photographs posted online suggested that one of the drones also hit a unit at Tatarstan’s Taneco oil refinery which accounts for roughly half of its annual production capacity.