Criminals convicted of serious crimes to be included in future Russian call ups

International Criminal Court issues arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin

Image of Vladimir Putin. Credit: Harold Escalona/

Convicted criminals who have been found guilty of serious crimes and who are no longer in prison will now be conscripted for army service after a change in the law.

The change reported on Saturday, November 5 by news agency LaVanguardia, sees Russian President Vladimir Putin do away with the restrictions that kept criminals who are not in prison to be conscripted.

In the past Russian law prohibited those with a serious criminal record from serving in the army, but that has been partially eliminated as the country struggles to find recruits willing to fight in Ukraine.

Approval to the change was given after the Duma (lower house of parliament) and the Federation Council (equivalent to the senate) approved the changes, which will see prisoners who are not in jail (parole or sentence commuted) being called up.

Exceptions to the new law are who have been convicted of sexual abuse of minors, treason against the State, espionage, terrorism, hostage-taking, organisation of an illegal armed group or armed rebellion.

Those who convicted of hijacking an aircraft, sea or rail transport, or for handling nuclear material illegally are also excluded.

The change also allows for conscientious objectors to be forced to do civilian and administrative work within the military, freeing up able bodied men to fight the war.

The law still prohibits the use of prisoners but that could change should the situation in Ukraine not improve.

Putin’s call up in September was met with limited success and numerous protests. That has according to foreign intelligence reports led to shortages of front line personnel, and personnel who are prepared to fight and die for their country.

Criminals convicted of serious crimes may just be the mentality that Putin is looking for in his efforts to succeed in Ukraine.

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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at