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Moscow, April 12 – The Russian Parliament approved a legislation to start serving call-up papers online, but the Kremlin has denied that the move was aimed at speeding up further mobilisation or putting a stop to widespread draft-dodging.
Until now, conscription papers in Russia have had to be served in person or via an employer, the BBC reported on Wednesday.
But under the new legislation, call-up papers will be deemed to be served as soon as they appear on a special “State Services” government portal called “Gosuslugi”.
“The summons is considered received from the moment it is placed in the personal account of a person liable for military service,” the BBC quoted Andrei Kartapolov, chairman of the Russian Parliament’s defence committee, as saying to the media on Tuesday.
From that moment, a conscript will be obliged to turn up at his local enlistment office.
Citizens who fail to show up will be banned from travelling abroad and could face other restrictions.
They will not be able to buy or sell property, their driving licences will be invalidated and they will be unable to register small businesses.
Of the 395 Russian MPs who voted on the legislation, 394 supported it and one abstained.
Russia’s lower house or State Duma has 450 MPs.
The new legislation will come into effect when it is signed by President Vladimir Putin.
Last September, the Kremlin began a chaotic emergency mobilisation campaign to support Russia’s “special military operation” in Ukraine, amid a series of humiliating defeats after its full-scale invasion.
More than 300,000 former soldiers and former conscripts are believed to have been called up, in a drive that often saw young men being picked up on the street or in shopping malls.
Thousands of men aged 18 to 27 fled abroad to avoid the draft and protests broke out in numerous Russian cities.
BBC News Russian says 17,000 were confirmed dead in the war.
The last time Russian authorities revealed casualty figures was in September last year, when they confirmed the deaths of 5,937 servicemen.