Posted 28 декабря 2022,, 13:04

Published 28 декабря 2022,, 13:04

Modified 28 декабря 2022,, 13:21

Updated 28 декабря 2022,, 13:21

Medieval conscription: how has the age of conscripts changed in our country

Medieval conscription: how has the age of conscripts changed in our country

28 декабря 2022, 13:04
While in civilized countries military service is a thing of the past, becoming a voluntary matter for every citizen, Russia does not find the strength to refuse recruitment.

As you know, on December 21, 2022, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said at the final board of the Ministry of Defense that the military department proposes to gradually increase the draft age of citizens from 18 to 21 years, and raise the age limit from 27 to 30 years.

In this regard, the experts of the company "Invokanet" found out at what age they were called in different epochs of national history.

Recall that military duty is the procedure established by the Constitution of the Russian Federation, federal laws and other regulatory legal acts of the Russian Federation for the implementation by citizens of the constitutional duty and duty to protect the Fatherland, providing for: military registration, mandatory preparation for military service, conscription and military service, stay in reserve, conscription and military training during the stay in reserve, as well as conscription, military service and military training during periods of mobilization, martial law and wartime. By the way, September 1, 2024 will mark the 85th anniversary of the adoption of the law "On universal military duty" by the Supreme Council.

In Tsarist Russia

A full-fledged regular army appeared in the Russian state under Tsar Peter I on the basis of conscription, which included peasants, burghers and other taxable estates.

Initially, in the decree of 1705, young people aged 15 to 20 were recruited as recruits. In 1708, the age range was raised to 20-30 years, and in 1726, the age restriction was lifted. In 1766-1831, recruits aged 17-35 were taken, in 1831-1855 - 20-25 years, from 1855 - 20-30 years.

On January 13 (January 1, old style), 1874, Emperor Alexander II approved the Statute of Military Service, abolishing recruitment and introducing all-genealogical personal service. Young people of only one age were subject to being sent to the army every year - who turned 20 years old by January 1. The legislation provided that the draft was carried out by lot. For those who drew lots, but at the same time had the right to a postponement (for example, for health reasons or studies), sending to the army was postponed: up to a maximum of 28 years for those who studied at higher educational institutions.

In 1888, under Emperor Alexander III, the conscription age was raised to 21 years. This norm continued to operate until the October Revolution of 1917.

In the USSR

Planned conscription in the conditions of the Civil War of 1917-1922 in Russia was not carried out.

The resolution of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee (VTSIK) "On compulsory recruitment into the Workers' and Peasants' Army" dated May 29, 1918 also did not specify the age to be mobilized.

After the end of the Civil War, the Soviet government resumed conscription. According to the decree of the Central Executive Committee and the Council of People's Commissars (SNK) of the RSFSR "On compulsory military service for all male citizens of the RSFSR", the conscription system was left the same as in tsarist Russia, including with a draw, but the draft age was lowered to 20 years. The Law on Compulsory Military Service of September 18, 1925 returned this age limit to 21 years.

The law of August 8, 1928 stipulated that citizens who for some reason did not complete military service before they reached the age of 30 could be enlisted in the reserve. In 1930, the institute of drawing lots for military conscription in the USSR was abolished, the norm of conscription of only one age for military service remained.

On August 11, 1936, the decree of the CEC and the SNK of the USSR was signed on lowering the conscription age for active military service to 19 years (with a transitional period until 1940).

The USSR Law "On Universal Military Duty" of September 1, 1939 regulated the conscription of citizens from the age of 19, but for those who graduated from high school – from the age of 18. At the same time, the provision on enlistment in the reserve without military service has disappeared in the legislation.

After the end of the Great Patriotic War, in 1945-1949, conscription into the Armed Forces of the USSR was not carried out. Men of military age were sent for restoration work in the territories affected by military operations.

On October 12, 1967, the USSR law "On Universal Military Duty" was adopted, which fixed the conscription age at 18 and regulated that conscription can be carried out until the conscript reaches the age of 27.


Similar terms (18-27 years)

preserved in the legislation of the Russian Federation: in the laws "On military duty and military Service" of February 11, 1993 and March 28, 1998 (the latter is currently in force). Currently, conscription is carried out 2 times a year: from April 1 to July 15 and from October 1 to December 31. By the way, it is possible to replace military service with an alternative civilian one, but its term is longer (from 18 to 42 months), and the right to replacement must be justified.

Age of conscripts in numbersBefore 1708 – 15 – 20 years.


Before 1726 – 20 – 30 years.

Up to 1766 – without strict age restriction.

Before 1831 – 17 – 35 years.

Before 1855 – 20 – 25 years.

Up to 1874 – up to 30 years.

With 1874 – 20 – 28 years.

With 1888 – 21 – 28 years.

With 1922 – 20 – 28 years.

With 1925 – 21 – 28 years.

From 1928 – after 30 years they began to enroll in the reserve.

With 1936 – 19 – 28 years.

With 1939 – 18 – 28 years.

From 1945 to 1949, the draft was not carried out.

With 1967 – 18 – 27 years.