Russian reservists called up to fight in Ukraine will be able to freeze their sperm for free, a lawyer has claimed.
Russian Union of Lawyers head Igor Trunov told state news agency Tass the health ministry would introduce a free cryobank and changes to compulsory medical insurance.
Mr Trunov announced on Twitter that his union had lobbied for the move on behalf of Russian couples where the husband was called up to take part in the invasion.
He told the BBC his union would be following up with the Russian health ministry - which has yet to comment - on what process there would be.
He told Tass the ministry had “determined the possibility of financial support from the federal budget for free conservation and storage of germ cells (spermatozoa) for citizens mobilised to take part in the SVO [special military operation] for 2022-2024".
Russia insists on calling its invasion of Ukraine a “special military operation”.
Reports of men wanting to freeze their sperm increased after Putin partially mobilised reservists in September.
The Fontanka website reported that in St Petersburg, there was a surge in men approaching fertility clinics to freeze their sperm and draw up documents entitling their wives to use it.
Andrei Ivanov from the city’s Mariinsky hospital said men preparing for the draft were among them, as well as those who were planning to leave Russia. Some 250,000 men fled the country to avoid the draft.
Many of the men had considered the move because if they were to die in conflict, it would enable their partners to have their biological children.