In an effort to preserve the families of those who may perish or be injured in armed conflict, the Russian government is taking steps to supply free access to sperm cryobanks for troops called up to fight in Ukraine.
Russian news agency TASS reported that Igor Trunov, president of the Russian Union of Lawyers, stated that the Russian Health Ministry responded to his plan to finance the effort to allow Special Military Operations (SVO) troops the chance to freeze their sperm.
According to Trunov, those mobilized “will receive a free quota for infertility treatment and storage of biomaterial in a cryobank.”
This, Trunov notes, marks a departure from the current compulsory medical services offered to troops.
“The Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation determined the possibility of financial support from the federal budget for the free conservation and storage of germ cells (spermatozoa) for citizens mobilized to participate in SVO for 2022-2024,” Trunov is reported as saying.
The unorthodox move comes as 300,000 additional conscripts have been called up to serve in Ukraine, doubling the 150,000 troops President Vladimir Putin initially sent to carry out the mission, which is rapidly approaching its first anniversary on Feb. 23.
The cryobanks would ensure that married men injured or killed in the line of duty would still be able to have children with their wives.
“Andrei Ivanov from the city’s Mariinsky hospital said men preparing for the draft had come forward, as well as those who were planning to leave Russia,” the BBC reported.
Sarah Sicard is a Senior Editor with Military Times. She previously served as the Digitial Editor of Military Times and the Army Times Editor. Other work can be found at National Defense Magazine, Task & Purpose, and Defense News.