Russians Are Switching Genders To Avoid the Draft

Russians Are Switching Genders To Avoid the Draft

( – Vladimir Putin started issuing presidential decrees expanding Russia’s conscription of civilian males into active military service shortly after the Russia/Ukraine conflict began in early 2022. He signed a new measure into law cracking down on draft-dodging efforts in mid-April 2023 due to continued issues maintaining adequate troop strength levels. Now, some Russian males have found a workaround and are attempting to avoid the draft by switching their gender on paper.

On May 4, The Telegraph published an article detailing efforts by the Russian parliament to ban gender reassignment by males hoping to avoid the military draft. Although the Kremlin has assumed an aggressive position against the LGBT+ community, Russia has lax laws allowing individuals to change their legal gender identification without undergoing sex reassignment surgery.

Currently, Russian males can spend roughly 60,000 rubles (about $772) at a private clinic for a psychiatric examination. Then, they can apply for a change of gender at their local government registry and passport offices.

Russian Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin estimated more than 2,700 men have changed their genders this way in “recent times.” He warned that under the current system, an individual can get up one day and “decide he’s no longer a man, but a woman.”

Russia’s influential Minister of Justice, Konstantin Chuychenk, encouraged the Russian parliament to adopt a new law halting the practice of allowing men to change their official gender marker using the loophole.

Chuychenk advised that lawmakers will speed up the usual process for passing new laws considering the urgent need to crack down on draft dodgers. He predicted that Russian lawmakers could pass the measure as early as May 15. The justice minister also noted that passage of the bill would also serve as a significant move towards “enshrining family values” into Russian law.

An unidentified member of parliament recently confirmed that legislators took up the new bill due to the “recurrent incidents” of men attempting to avoid being drafted to serve in the “special military operation in Ukraine.”

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