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

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The wave of mandatory self-isolation orders is sweeping across Russia, but there seems to be no change of plans for the military, with the recruitment drive for mandatory conscription service set to commence on schedule.

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

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Russian authorities have 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 the conscripts will undergo a mandatory two-week quarantine in a bid to prevent an outbreak within military units – but remote military service is not on the table.

While Russia has been largely spared by the coronavirus pandemic so far, the virus spread appears to be quite steady. Some 300 new cases were registered on Monday, with the total number standing at 1,836.

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The majority of the cases 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. Around 20 other Russian regions, including the second-largest city of St. Petersburg, have followed suit, imposing similar restrictions.

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