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30 Mar, 2020 21:35

Russian Army signals business as usual despite Covid-19 as Putin okays draft

Russian Army signals business as usual despite Covid-19 as Putin okays draft

While a wave of semi-lockdowns sweeps across Russia, it seems the military will be an exception, with the recruitment drive for mandatory conscription set to commence on schedule.

A decree launching the draft season on April 1 was signed on Monday by President Vladimir Putin. Some 135,000 recruits, aged between 18 and 27, are set to be called for military service before July 15. This is the same number of conscripts as last year.

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Russian authorities considered postponing the draft to a later date, yet ultimately decided to stick to the schedule. They did introduce a slight adjustment due to the coronavirus situation – all conscripts will undergo a mandatory two-week quarantine in a bid to prevent an outbreak within military units – but remote service is not on the table.

While Russia hasn't suffered to the same extent as other large European countries, Covid-19 continues to spread nationwide. Some 300 new cases were registered on Monday, with the total number standing at 1,836.

Also on rt.com St. Petersburg adopts strict measures to fight Covid-19: Russia’s second city goes into partial lockdown

The majority have been detected in Moscow, prompting the authorities in Russia’s capital to impose a state of mandatory self-isolation and drastically restrict the right of the citizens to move around. Over 20 other Russian regions, including the second-largest city of St. Petersburg, have followed suit, imposing similar restrictions.

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