Up to 5,000 people will be drafted to Russian armed forces, regardless of their ethnic origin, as Russian President Vladimir Putin signs an executive order on spring conscription into the Russian Army, drafting roughly 150,000 men between April 1 and July 15.
"Everyone will serve regardless of nationality, and equal conditions will be created for all," –head of Crimea Sergey Aksyonov announced.
Anyone who served in the Ukrainian army will be exempted from service in Russia’s armed forces under the law.
This comes as Ukrainian President Poroshenko has signed a law to increase Ukrainian Armed Forces to 250,000 people.
Meanwhile, more than 45,000 Russian troops started military exercises across Russia this month in a display of force.
"New challenges and threats to military security require the armed forces to further boost their military capabilities. Special attention must be paid to newly created strategic formations in the north," Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said at the time.