mobilization briefs
April 18, 2023

Mobilization in Russia for Apr. 16–17, 2023 CIT volunteer summary 

According to the Moscow military commissar Maksim Loktev, digital distribution of draft notices through the Gosuslugi public services portal will be tested during the spring regular conscription. He also wrote that notifications will be sent simultaneously as SMS text messages.

MinTsifry [the Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media of Russia], which is responsible for the creation of a common register of Russians subject to military service, stated that there is no legal basis for digitally distributing draft notices through the Gosuslugi public services portal. The ministry explained that the legislative amendments requiring the digitalization of the military service register do not specify that draft notices will be sent through that portal. They only mention notifications of military reserve registration and application/lifting of restriction measures. The government would have to specify the notification methods of draft notices in a distinct regulation, which has yet to be introduced.

Meduza [an international Russian-language online media outlet] published an article on the recent amendments to the legislation on military service by political scientist Tatiana Stanovaya, a senior fellow of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. She explores what other spheres of life might be affected by the digitalization of the draft mechanism and what effects this could have on Russian society in the future.

Journalists of the Avtozak LIVE Telegram channel discussed the impact of the new digital draft notices law and the consequences it may lead to, with political scientist Ekaterina Schulmann, first Russian Minister of Economic Development Andrey Nechayev, as well as legal experts Sergey Krivenko and Arseny Levinson.

The Saint Petersburg branch of the Yabloko party reported that the administration of the town of Murino (Leningrad region) refused to approve a rally against digital draft notices, which the party planned to hold on Apr. 23. The application review was terminated, stating that the application must be submitted in a paper form.

At least 750,000 Russians could pass through the war in Ukraine. This estimate of the potential number of war participants is included in a presentation by the State Fund for Support of Veterans of the “special military operation” created by President Putin. The information was provided to the journalists of the Mozhem Ob'yasnit [We Can Explain] Telegram channel by a source familiar with the fund's work. According to the fund's forecast, nearly 16,000 disabled veterans of different groups are expected among those who have gone through the war.

Campaign activities aimed at attracting people to the military service continued in Russia. For example, a promotional stand of the military contract service appeared near the monument to the Conquerors of Space in Moscow. Calls to enlist in the military service were also noticed on a smart display at a bus stop in Volgograd. And in the Khabarovsk region, military service is now advertised live on the NTV TV channel.

An advertising banner calling to join the Wagner Group has been installed in Vladimir. On the other hand, it's been reported that similar posters started to disappear from several crowded places in Simferopol. Note that the advertising to join the Wagner Group started appearing in Simferopol last fall but is now being replaced with advertising to join the military contract service in the Ministry of Defense.

Prime Minister of Bashkortostan [Russia’s constituent republic] Andrey Nazarov reported at a government meeting about the competition between the enlistment offices of the region and headquarters recruiting volunteer fighters. They are competing with each other, who are recruiting more people to the war in Ukraine. It should be noted that later the region's official media deleted this news.

The lists of the deceased in the war include Aleksandr Trofimov from the Omsk region, Vladimir Dyudnev from the Altai region [federal subject of Russia], Konstantin Konokhov from the Leningrad region, Mikhail Dubrovin and Denis Mukhamadiarov from Bashkortostan, and Yuri Churbakov from the Krasnoyarsk region.

“Military correspondent” Aleksandr Simonov, who is associated with the Wagner Group, published a video in which mercenary claims that mobilized Russian soldiers have begun voluntarily joining the Wagner Group, both in small groups and in whole units. According to him, at the moment, the group's instructors are "training mobilized personnel in up to three motorized rifle brigades." Earlier, the Astra Telegram channel published a story about mobilized soldiers who were taken to the "LPR" and forced to sign contracts with the Wagner Group.

A new video appeal from a serviceman from the 387th Regiment has appeared online. In it, a military man who introduced himself as Junior Sergeant Veretennikov refutes all the complaints voiced in the previous video (which we reported on in yesterday's summary) and states that it was recorded under pressure from the company commander due to his personal dislike of the command. The serviceman apologizes to Colonel Davydov, Major Sherin, and police platoon commander Matyukhin.

The relatives of draftees from the 1231st Regiment recorded video messages asking for President Putin's help. According to the women, the servicemen of the 1231st Regiment were assigned under the command of the 1st Brigade of the so-called DPR, which does not hide that it treats soldiers as cannon fodder. The commanders ordered the draftees to storm Avdiivka without preliminary artillery preparation and the necessary weapons. As a result, the servicemen suffered losses and took shelter in basements. The command is not supplying them. Their relatives ask to turn the servicemen over to someone else's command.

Servicemen from the Arkhangelsk region serving in the engineering company of the 350th Motorized Rifle Regiment recorded a video message in which they asked to buy them an off-road vehicle.

The Investigative Committee of Russia refused to investigate the torture of Ivan Kudryashov, a Tver resident accused of arson. A criminal investigator stated that it is impossible to establish the time when injuries appeared on the body and referred to the lack of a "description of the color of bruises and the condition of abrasions."

A 19-year-old resident of the Arkhangelsk region was convicted of evading the draft. It is reported that the young man repeatedly received draft notices against acknowledgment of receipt but did not report to a military commissariat without a valid reason. The court imposed a 50,000 ruble [USD 610] fine on the young man.

The Voyenny Ombudsmen [Military Ombudsman] Telegram channel drew attention to the fact that in 2022, only one person received a jail term for evading military service in Russia. In total, based on published statistics, last year, courts considered 1,121 cases under Art. 328 of the Criminal Code of Russia (evasion of military service). Of these, 1,113 cases ended in fines, 2 people were acquitted, 60 criminal cases were dismissed, in 2 cases, suspended sentences were given, and only in one case was a defendant sentenced to real imprisonment.

In the Kaluga region, an arson was committed on the railway. Employees of RZhD [Russian Railways, a Russian state-owned railway company] noticed that two relay cabinets were on fire near the village of Vorotynsk. Upon arrival at the scene, the police found that the relay and battery cabinets had been opened and completely burned out inside.

An ex-mayor of the town of Bolshoy Kamen in the Primorsky region [federal subject of Russia], Rustyam Abushaev, who is on the federal wanted list, published a video message in which he said that he was participating in the "special military operation.” The man is accused of fraud with land plots and illegal business activities by proxies.

State Duma [lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia] member from Khakassia [Russia’s constituent republic] Sergey Sokol, who volunteered for the war in Ukraine, is returning home. He announced the expiration of his contract. Sokol is a contender for the post of Head of the republic, whose elections will be held in September 2023. Let us recall that due to the decree on mobilization, contracts concluded with the Ministry of Defense are indefinite and can only be terminated if the age limit is reached, for health reasons, or if a contract soldier is sentenced to imprisonment.

The Department of social development of the Tyumen region reported that the participants of the "special military operation" who were wounded (including shell shocks and various injuries) are provided with a lump sum payment.

In the Krasnodar region, participants of the "special military operation" who have signed a contract since Apr. 1 will receive a lump sum payment of 100,000 rubles. Previously, only mobilized residents of the Krasnodar region and volunteer fighters could count on such a payment.

In Buryatia [Russia’s constituent republic], the wives and widows of military men fighting in Ukraine will have their working day reduced by an hour if they have preschool children in the family. The salary will remain the same. They will also be allowed to synchronize their vacations with the leaves of their husbands, bypassing the general schedule.

The twin brother of a seriously wounded military man from Yekaterinburg (we reported about his story in previous summaries) is concerned that he will be denied custody of his brother due to the lack of normal housing. Viktor Bautin, a mobilized soldier with a disability from the Sverdlovsk region, who, according to the United Russia party [Putin’s ruling party] member Zhanna Ryabtseva, “was eager to return to the front,” may become incapacitated.

Residents of the Krasnoyarsk hinterland, including Evenkia, sent food, underwear, and other things collected for Russian soldiers to Krasnoyarsk on rafts along the Podkamennaya Tunguska River since the only other way to deliver parcels from Evenkia to Krasnoyarsk is by plane. However, this alternative delivery method turned out to be overly expensive for them.

The Clergy of one of the Orthodox temples in Vladivostok organized a collection of donations for a quadcopter for soldiers. They posted an announcement of their good intentions on a car, which will soon also go to the “special military operation” zone. Vladimir Dzendzyura, a blacksmith from Nyagan (Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Region), made supplies for the participants of the war. He produced 20 portable stoves and 40 crampons in his shop. The blacksmith bought all the materials with his own money. Meanwhile, Vyacheslav Kvon, Head of Artyom (Primorsky region), met with volunteers who make camouflage nets for the “special military operation.”

The Sota media outlet informed that in the Krasnodar region, students were forced to sing songs about the war instead of the "Talking about Important Things'' propaganda classes,  the theme of which was the genocide of the Soviet people.

A mobilized soldier from Perm showed gifts that the United Russia party had sent to his fellow soldiers for Easter. Among other items, there were religious icons depicting Putin.