Russia plans electronic call-up papers to facilitate mobilization

Russia will soon draft men into the army by sending them electronic call-up papers via an online portal in addition to traditional letters, according to draft legislation due to be debated on Tuesday that aims to facilitate mobilization.

More than 300,000 former soldiers and ex-conscripts are believed to have been called up since President Vladimir Putin announced an emergency draft last year to support Russia’s “special military operation” in Ukraine.

Currently, conscription papers in Russia have to be delivered in person by the local military enlistment office or via an employer, but the proposed changes to legislation would see conscription papers being sent via recorded mail and online.

Once an electronic summons is received, citizens who fail to show up at the military enlistment office will be automatically banned from traveling abroad.

“The summons is considered received from the moment it is placed in the personal account of a person liable for military service,” Andrei Kartapolov, chairman of the Russian parliament’s defense committee, said in comments on television.

After a chaotic roll-out last year, Russia has moved to streamline its process of drafting soldiers into the army by digitizing its military records.

The Kremlin promised to fix what it said were “mistakes” with its mobilization campaign, after men who were ineligible for the draft because of their age or medical conditions were called up to fight in Ukraine.

The initial announcement to introduce mobilization prompted thousands of draft age men to flee abroad last year, while protests broke out – and were swiftly suppressed – in multiple Russian cities.

Russian officials have repeatedly denied that they are planning a “second wave” of mobilization.

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