mobilization briefs
April 14, 2023

Mobilization in Russia for Apr. 12–13, 2023 CIT volunteer summary 

The law on digital draft notices has been submitted for the President's signature, TASS reports.

One of the authors of the bill on digital draft notices, Chairman of the State Duma [lower house of Russia's Federal Assembly] Committee on Defense Andrey Kartapolov, talked to the Fontanka newspaper. He said that he believes that the criticism the law has faced is engineered by foreign agents, while the reform virtually makes the legislation on mandatory military service more liberal. Also, according to Kartapolov, one hour is enough to get acquainted with the text of the draft law. He claims as well that a 56-page document was not yet introduced on Mar. 31 [when Kartapolov denied digital draft notices are permissible].

The Voyenny Ombudsmen [Military Ombudsman] Telegram channel analyzes the issue of receiving draft notices on the Gosuslugi Public Services portal and whether notices will be delivered if the account is deleted. The situation remains ambiguous when a citizen does not delete the account but withdraws consent to receive letters from government agencies. It is unclear whether draft notices will be delivered in this case.

The journalists of the Mozhem Ob'yasnit [We can explain] Telegram channel discussed the draft law on digital draft notices with constitutional law experts. In their opinion, the proposed law contradicts six articles of the Constitution.

The sources of the Vyorstka media outlet explained that, despite the fact that the Ministry of Finance will be able to collect a more complete array of data only by the fall, a number of provisions of the new law will begin to work during the spring conscription campaign. The sources report that the rush to amend the law is due to the likelihood of both Russian and Ukrainian counter-offensives.

In the Yaroslavl region, digital draft notices will be sent out as part of the spring conscription campaign, the regional draft office reported.

The Ministry of Education, together with the Ministry of Defense, have elaborated a concept for preparing for military service, Minister of Education of Russia Sergey Kravtsov said. Earlier, the Ministry of Education had sent to universities a course on the basics of military training to be included in educational programs. The minister clarified that at schools, basic military training within the subject of life safety will be held at the Avangard military-patriotic education centers for youth. These centers, as well as historic parks, will be included in the entities of the regional ministries of education. The minister did not provide other details of the new concept.

Residents of the Perm region continue to receive draft notices demanding to visit draft offices to receive mobilization designations. Earlier, the Ministry of Territorial Security of the region has already commented on this situation, assuring that these draft notices are not related to mobilization and are sent out as part of the spring conscription campaign. The residents of the Bryansk and Sverdlovsk regions, who are in reserve, reported calls from draft offices inviting them to come to check up military service register data.

The authorities continue the recruitment campaign for contract soldiers. Thus, in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) [Russia’s constituent republic], head of the Aldan district Aleksandr Shestopalov called on “all real men to stand up for their homeland, family and loved ones and report to a draft office,” and administration officials and business leaders to provide them with all possible aid. Meanwhile, in Perm, leaflets advertising contract military service are being handed out in the city's schools. This is reportedly done by the representatives of a draft office who come to schools.

A source from the VChK-OGPU Telegram channel told that all migrants who receive a labor patent at the Sakharovo migration center are being referred to the military contract registration desk where they are being coerced into signing a contract. Those who disagree are being threatened with obstacles in obtaining the labor patent. Those who receive a patent are also being given an advertising leaflet promoting military service.

Diasporas in Yugra [Russia’s constituent entity] are encouraging their fellow countrymen to sign up for a contract with the Russian Army. Representatives of local communities provide consultations and translations of the contract with the Ministry of Defense into their native languages. Newly translated booklets calling to enlist for military service are being displayed in mosques and distributed by representatives of the diasporas.

Adverts calling for contract soldiers appeared in the subway in the city of Kazan. In Ufa, a recruitment point was set up in one of the shopping centers. In the town of Buzuluk in the Orenburg region, an advert for contract-based military service was placed near the cemetery where Russian soldiers are buried, which was interpreted as “discrediting” the Russian Armed Forces by a local activist. He flagged the case to the Federal Security Service, requesting to investigate it.

In the annexed Crimea, the parade for May 9 was canceled due to security concerns, according to the Russian-appointed head of Crimea, Sergey Aksyonov. The Russian authorities of Sevastopol made the same decision. Previously, parades were canceled in the Kursk and Belgorod regions.

Alexander Yaremenko from Peterhof, Vladislav Mosolov from the Ryazan region, Danis Volkov from Tatarstan [Russia’s constituent Republic], Aleksandr Elshin from Buryatia [Russia’s constituent Republic], Sergey Rybachek from the Irkutsk region, and Vladimir Vlasov from the Lipetsk region are added to the lists of mobilized, who were killed in the war.

Since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, more than 3,400 people with military-related disabilities have been registered in Russia, according to the Federal Register of Disabled People. Only those who were injured in the war fall into this period. Military disability is established by the commission; registration can take months — therefore, this number is not equivalent to the seriously wounded at the front. By the beginning of the war with Ukraine, the number of people living with military disabilities was reduced by several thousand year-by-year.

One of the service members mobilized from Irkutsk, serving in the notorious 1439th Regiment, told the Lyudi Baikala [People of Baikal] media outlet that after the promise of the governor Igor Kobzev to transfer them to another place of service, nothing has changed. They are still in one of the villages in the so-called DPR. According to the mobilized man, the governor came to see him at the hospital, where he was recovering from wounds, and promised he would be released on leave for ten days. However, the command did not let him go anywhere.

The Astra Telegram channel published a video showing mobilized soldiers from the Saratov region (1199th Regiment) saying that they were put in a pit because they "allowed themselves to drink a little beer." According to them, they have no water and no food. They are expected to spend three days in the pit.

In a Cheboksary draft office, the FSB [Federal Security Service] detained a former special forces soldier who was about to go to the “special military operation” with 13 grams of marijuana. The man had previously been convicted several times for theft, drug possession, and drunk driving, which did not prevent him from signing another contract with the Russian Army.

A show trial was held in Krasnoyarsk over a contract soldier who went AWOL. The soldier received 5 years in a penal colony. In September, he left his unit, located in the “LPR”, for Tyva, and in November, he went to the commandant's office of the Kyzyl garrison. A similar show trial for a contract soldier who went AWOL was held in the Tula region.

The media outlet learned about sentences for mobilized soldiers who went AWOL. A military court in the Zabaykalsky region considered four criminal cases on leaving a military unit during mobilization, but the verdicts have not been published yet. At least in two cases, the accused were mobilized men. One of them returned to the unit in December 2022, and the other one in January 2023. Both received suspended sentences, but the court did not specify for how long.

A military court sentenced Dmitry Lyamin, a resident of Shuya, Ivanovo region, to eight years in a penal colony for throwing a Molotov cocktail through the window of a military commissariat. Lyamin was found guilty of terrorism and was also ordered to undergo compulsory psychiatric treatment while serving his sentence.

Nadezhda Kornilova, a 61-year-old resident of Usinsk, was placed in custody until June 10 on charges of attempted terrorism. According to investigators, in April 2023, the woman attempted to set fire to a military commissariat using a homemade Molotov cocktail.

The Gatchina City Court in the Leningrad region sentenced local resident Mikhail Lazebny to one year and four months of probation for throwing three Molotov cocktails into a rural administration building. According to investigators, the man came from Saint Petersburg to his relatives in the village of Syaskelevo, where he drank alcohol with his mobilized friends. He felt sorry for them, so he went to the Syaskelevo village council building, which sent out draft notices to mobilized soldiers, and decided to set it on fire. He was charged with damage to property.

The 22-year-old resident of the city of Sibay in Bashkortostan [Russia’s constituent republic], Alik Bagautdinov, was detained for setting fire to a relay cabinet on Mar. 7, 2023. He is expected to be charged under the article on arson of railway tracks "with the aim of stopping Russia's special operation in Ukraine." Currently, an investigation is underway.

​​Mediazona [an independent Russian media outlet] published a study on cases of sabotage on railways in Russia, according to which the security forces have already detained more than 65 people. Almost all of the detainees are schoolchildren or students. A third of them are minors; the rest are under 25 years old. The number of arrests has increased dramatically since January 2023, after Russia expanded punishment for sabotage. Cases are often initiated under less serious articles, but then they are reclassified as terrorist attacks or sabotage.

Aleksey Moskalyov, detained in Belarus, was handed over to the Russian security forces. This information was confirmed to TASS [Russian state-owned Federal Information Agency] by the Head of the information and public relations department of the Belarusian Ministry of Internal Affairs, Natalya Sakharchuk.

Mobilized soldiers, who had gone to the war in the hope of improving the financial situation of their families, were disappointed: they had not been paid for months, and people responsible for non-payment cannot be found.

Bus carriers in rural areas of the Rostov region stop servicing some routes, leaving locals without transport, as taking military men to a water supply conduit turned out to be much more profitable.

In the Vladimir region, participants in the military invasion of Ukraine will become "guests of honor" of the events associated with the celebration of Victory Day. According to the Governor of the Vladimir region, Aleksandr Avdeyev, the authorities are also going to "tighten security measures" on May 9.

In Saint Petersburg, a military volunteer clean-up [subbotnik] will be held under the slogan "Everything for victory!". In addition to helping with cleaning parks and squares, residents will be offered to participate in thematic events: e.g., master classes on making camouflage nets and trench candles for the front.

In Chuvashia [Russia’s constituent republic], an auction of jewelry will be held in support of soldiers. All proceeds are promised to be donated to the needs of the front. Earlier, the Union of Women of Chuvashia, which is headed by Natalya Nikolaeva, the wife of the head of the republic Oleg Nikolaev, held a beauty pageant in support of the military.

In the city of Saratov, a striptease club promised free entry from May 1 to Aug. 1 to those who fought in the war in Ukraine.

An 11th grader from the city of Bratsk was awarded a stipend of 10 thousand rubles by the city mayor for educational excellence. She donated the award to a charitable foundation, “Bratsk — everything for the victory,” and, together with her mother, also donated 20 winter and summer sailor shirts for the military personnel.

In Astrakhan city, dozens of letters, which students of secondary school No. 74 wrote to soldiers at the front, were thrown into the trash can. Schoolchildren's letters were found on the night of Apr. 13 in the courtyard where the Committee of Soldiers' Mothers is located.

Germany refused to issue a Schengen visa to a Russian citizen. The Germans fear that he will not return to Russia due to mobilization. Also, the "political and economic isolation of Russia" can sway a man to remain in Germany, according to the embassy.