Russian Men Are Changing Gender to Avoid Military Draft in Ukraine

AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko

Russia’s parliament is expected to tighten regulations on gender reassignment as part of an effort to dissuade young men from identifying as women to evade military conscription, according to new reports.


Despite the Putin regime’s relatively hostile stance toward LGBT rights, Russia still has relatively lenient laws that permit changing one’s gender marker after a psychological evaluation and without a requirement of gender reassignment surgery.

“Amendments will soon be introduced in the State Duma to officially ban gender reassignment without surgery,” the head of the Duma Committee on Family, Women, and Children’s Affairs told Russian Kommersant.

The clampdown was first proposed by Russia’s justice minister Konstantin Chuychenk last month, who said it would “take a step towards enshrining family values in the Russian law”.

“This will allow us to rule out the possibility of changing a person’s gender purely by changing the documents,” Chuychenko said in an interview with the Tass news agency. “A person who changes their passport gender but physically remains the same can get married and adopt children, (which) could result in various legal complications.”

Vyacheslav Volodin, the speaker of the State Duma, claimed that there have been over 2,700 cases of gender reassignments over the past few months. “Decisions can be made in private clinics. A man gets up in the morning and decides for himself that he is no longer a man, but a woman; not a woman, but a man,” he explained. “He goes to a paid clinic – the service costs from 30 thousand to 60 thousand rubles – receives a certificate and with this certificate goes further to the registry office, to the passport office to change his last name, first name and patronymic.”

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The communist legislator and supporter of the bill, Nina Ostanina, acknowledged that the conflict was leading to a rise in transgender identification. “Both the Justice Ministry and MPs have concerns regarding the increasing number of gender marker changes,” Ostanina stated. “It seems that many who didn’t have time to escape to Georgia or Kazakhstan hurried to private clinics to complete the necessary paperwork. This is not merely a legal loophole; it is a loophole in education.”

Last week, Russia’s largest LGBT advocacy organization, Coming Out, urged transgender people to expedite their preparations for changing since the bill would make the process much more difficult.

Since launching its offensive on Ukrainian territory last year, Russia has suffered a staggering loss of 770,000 troops, with over 570,000 of them sustaining injuries severe enough to prevent them from returning to the front lines.

The death toll, which already stands at a staggering 193,000, has resulted in an increasing number of Russian men seeking methods to evade military service after Putin prohibited draftees from leaving the country. Meanwhile, an estimated 700,000 Russians are believed to have left the country since the war broke out, while some 12 million Ukrainians have fled the country to escape the conflict.


A vote on the new rules is scheduled for next week and is expected to be expedited through parliament and could be approved as soon as May 15th.


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