It comes after the Russian defence ministry claimed three drones were shot down on Sunday, two of which crashed into offices in Moscow. The nearby Vnukovo Airport was also shut temporarily.
In its latest update published on Twitter on Monday, the UK’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) claimed: “The increased chance of being compelled to fight, drone attacks on Moscow, exceptional level of domestic repression, and the recent Wagner mutiny combine to highlight the Russian state’s failure to insulate the population from the war.”
Until now, the Russian public has been pretty far removed from the brutalities of the conflict, because it has mainly taken place on Ukrainian land.
However, as the MoD explained: “The Russian authorities are prioritising amending legislation to allow more men to be rapidly drafted into the military.”
Earlier in July, the State Duma (the Russian parliament) announced plans to increase the maximum age of liability for conscription from 27 to 30. The minimum call-up age remains at 18.
“While conscripts are not currently deployed in Ukraine, extra draftees free-up professional and mobilised soldiers from other duties inside Russia,” the UK intelligence said.
Russian president Vladimir Putin also signed a bill on July 24 which will increase the age limit for reservists so senior officers can be mobilised up to 70.
This subtle shifting of the age boundaries comes after there was significant backlash among the Russian public following the Autumn 2022 “partial mobilisation”, where 300,000 men were called up to fight.
The MoD also referred to “domestic repression”, a nod to the ongoing censorship laws enforced by the Kremlin which prevent anyone within Russia reporting on war crimes by Russian military or Ukrainian civilian casualties, along with a long list of other “offences”.
The aborted attempt to overthrow the Russian ministry of defence from the Wagner mercenaries in June – in a row over how the war is being handled – also brought the realities of the ongoing conflict to the Russian public.
Over the last few months, there have been an increasing number of drone attacks on Russia, which Moscow has blamed on Ukraine, but Kyiv has never taken credit for.
However, on Sunday, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy seemed to come close to admitting responsibility when he said that war was returning to Russia.
He said: “Gradually, the war is returning to the territory of Russia – to its symbolic centres and military bases, and this is an inevitable, natural and absolutely fair process.”