Russia’s lower house of parliament, the State Duma, says it will discuss a draft bill that would remove the upper age limit and allow anyone over the age of 18 to sign up for the military, a possible sign that Moscow has suffered heavy personnel losses in its war against Ukraine.

According to current legislation, only Russians aged 18 to 40 and foreigners aged 18 to 30 are permitted to enroll as professional soldiers in the military.

The amendment, introduced by the head of the Duma’s Defense Committee, Andrei Kartapolov, and his deputy, Andrei Krasov, does not mention any new upper age limit.

“For the use of high-precision weapons, the operation of weapons and military equipment, highly professional specialists are needed. Experience shows that they become such by the age of 40–45,” the draft, placed on the State Duma website, said on May 20.

Western military experts have questioned how much longer Moscow will be capable of sustaining its offensive operations in Ukraine due to heavy losses it is suspected of having incurred since launching its invasion on February 24.

The amendment would also make it easier for Russia’s armed forces to recruit civilian medics, engineers, and operations and communications specialists.