mobilization briefs
April 20, 2023

Mobilization in Russia for Apr. 18–19, 2023 CIT volunteer summary 

Member of the State Duma [lower house of Russia's Federal Assembly] Alexander Khinshtein submitted a draft law proposing to extend the mobilization to public security agencies such as the police and the Rosgvardia [the National Guard of Russia]. The draft law prohibits the resignation from these agencies during mobilization.

Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Defense Andrey Kartapolov stated that digital draft notices will be delivered as part of the ongoing spring conscription. However, according to Kartapolov, digital draft notices "will have no legal force" and would duplicate traditional methods of notices' distribution. In a telephone conversation with politician Elvira Vikhareva, State Duma member Kartapolov could not explain how the digital register of draft notices would work. According to him, everything will be determined by a government decree. Kartapolov could not say when the according resolution would be adopted.

Deputy Chairman of the Central Electoral Commission of Russia Nikolay Bulayev stated that the agency will provide the Ministry of Defense with data from the register of voters. The register includes citizens over 14. "This is a public system, so the state can use this system in those directions it considers appropriate," Bulayev said.

A draft law proposed by the Yabloko party was denied consideration by the Legislative Assembly of Saint Petersburg. The draft proposes that during the first four months of service and without completing primary training, conscripts are prohibited from going to war.

Following the "head of the LPR," a decree on the conscription of citizens born in 1996-2005 was signed by the "head of the DPR" Denis Pushilin. Earlier, Andrey Kartapolov promised that conscription would not take place in the occupied regions of Ukraine.

In Kurgan, around 50 conscripts were sent to the army. The authorities of the Vladimir region sent a group of 15 volunteers to the war in Ukraine, the 19th such group since the beginning of the current invasion. Meanwhile, another group of mobilized soldiers arrived in the Kursk region for a two-week leave.

In Kamchatka, the governor Vladimir Solodov announced the formation of a volunteer battalion for the war in Ukraine. Interested individuals can join the "Kamchatka" battalion by signing a one-year contract. Meanwhile, in the Magadan region, law enforcement officers are approaching local residents with offers to participate in the war with Ukraine as part of the Kolyma Battalion.

The Ministry of Defense has released a new promotional video for the contract service on its official Telegram channel. The "7x7” online outlet reported on which regions the military commissariats [enlistment offices] are conducting an active campaign to call citizens with a proposal to sign a contract. Residents of the Vladimir, Murom, and Kaliningrad regions complain about persistent calls from the military commissariats offering them contract service. The Syerditaya Chuvashia [Angry Chuvashia] Telegram channel reports on an active advertising campaign by both the Ministry of Defense and the Wagner Group for contract service in the region.

Except for Novorossiysk, all cities in the Krasnodar region have canceled their May 9th parade. Earlier, parades were also canceled in Crimea, as well as in the Kursk and Belgorod regions. In addition, the Immortal Regiment rally has been canceled throughout Russia.

The payments to participants of the "special military operation" in Ukraine cost the Altai region 1.5 billion rubles, according to the Minister of Social Protection of the region. The money was allocated to the mobilized soldiers, contract soldiers, wounded, and families of those killed in the war.

Mobilized soldiers from the Zabaykalsky region may be exempted from paying transport tax, according to a bill passed in the second reading by the regional parliament. In the Primorsky region, changes were made to the law providing certificates for subsidized housing to families of the soldiers killed in the "special military operation."

The list of mobilized soldiers who were killed in the war has been updated with Sergey Leontiev from the Krasnoyarsk region, Ruslan Pyatkov from the Khanty-Mansi autonomous region [Russia’s federal subject], Sergey Prokofiev from the Yaroslavl region, Denis Trunov from the Novosibirsk region, Igor Miksheev from the Krasnoyarsk region, Sergey Popov and Sergey Taran from the Voronezh region, Artur Loginov from the Tomsk region, and Dmitry Mityagin from the Vladimir region.

We came across another case of a "transfer" of mobilized soldiers to so-called private military companies (PMC). Six Yakut soldiers from the 64th Separate Guards Motor Rifle Brigade were transferred to the "Veteran" PMC squad without their consent, and another one of their colleagues was sent under command of Wagner Group mercenaries. According to one of the soldiers who managed to contact his relatives, they are all being sent to Bakhmut. Fedot Tumusov, member of the State Duma from Yakutia [Russia’s constituent republic], and the regional government are currently addressing the issue. Fedot Tumusov asked the Ministry of Defense and the military prosecutor's office to investigate the facts presented.

Sergey Menyaylo, Head of Russia’s constituent Republic of North Ossetia, announced that the investigation of the reports of violence against the mobilized servicemen from the 404th Regiment, which included 46 residents of the republic, has been completed. Menyaylo claimed that the violence was the result of "an interpersonal conflict between three soldiers." According to him, "the misunderstanding has been eliminated", and all the parties of the conflict have now established “mutually respectful professional relationships.”

A mobilized serviceman with HIV is kept in a pit in the Kherson region. His relatives suspect that he got the disease when he was vaccinated against the flu at the medical unit of the Kherson region. After being discharged from the hospital, the soldier was deemed fit for limited military service and sent to Serpukhov, where his unit is headquartered. He did not want to return to the war, but after being threatened by the commanders, he returned back to the Kherson region. On arrival, as a punishment, he was put in  a four-meter pit covered with an iron grate. He has already stayed there for eleven days.

The Irkutsk Garrison Military Court sentenced private Denis Kurenkov to five years in prison for failing to report for duty. In September 2022, Kurenkov decided to temporarily evade military service and did not report for duty at his unit’s headquarters. On January 11, the serviceman voluntarily submitted himself to the military investigation department.

Another criminal case was initiated against a Russian soldier who asked underage girls for intimate photos. Now he is also being charged with sexual misconduct.

A senior sergeant from the Nizhny Novgorod region, who came from the war for leave, while intoxicated, stabbed his wife to death after a party on the occasion of his return home. He has now been arrested and admitted his guilt. The married couple had two children (7 and 8 years old), who are currently left unattended as none of the relatives agreed to take care of them.

The Vyorstka media outlet spoke with psychologists who work with servicemen returning from the front about the psychological problems that Russian soldiers come home with after the war and how these problems could be solved.

In Kerch, the FSB [Federal Security Service of Russia] officers detained a man on suspicion of preparing a "sabotage". According to the Agency, the detained citizen of both Russia and Ukraine was preparing an explosion at a power system facility. The FSB claimed that an improvised bomb had been found during a search of his home.

For six days now, lawyers have not been able to locate Aleksey Moskalyov, who was convicted under the "discrediting" article. At the same time, it became known that the Commission on Juvenile Affairs rejected the lawsuit filed to limit the parental rights of Aleksey Moskalyov and Olga Sitchikhina, mother of Masha Moskalyova.

Vazhnyye Istorii [iStories, independent Russian investigative media outlet] published statistics on anti-war cases. According to the publication, the number of people convicted for calling for terrorism, extremism, and mass disorders in Russia has reached a maximum in 10 years. It is under these articles of the Criminal Code of Russia that opponents of the war in Ukraine are often prosecuted.

A resident of Donbas, who fought in the ranks of the separatists since 2014, met with disabled people in the Khanty-Mansi autonomous region. The man himself is hard of hearing, but he was recruited into the ranks of the separatists because, according to him, they took anyone due to a lack of manpower.

Volunteers from Chita delivered cakes and colored eggs to the military hospital for the participants of the "special military operation". They also handed over water and fruit. The Kursk regional branch of the pro-government People's Front sent three UAZ 2206 cross-country minivans to Russian military men as part of the Vsyo dlya Pobedy [Everything for Victory] project. Meanwhile, school teachers in a village in the Chita region made 146 sets of "dry showers" for servicemen. The Lyudi Baykala [People of Baikal] media outlet reported how the Buddhists of Buryatia [Russia’s constituent republic] support Russian military men in Ukraine.

The Mozhem ob’yasnit [We Can Explain] Telegram channel published a list of incentives and benefits for the participants of the “special military operation” recently introduced by the authorities and organizations of various regions of Russia. The list of measures turned out to be wide and diverse: from discounts at a strip club in Saratov to permission for the combatants not to fast during Ramadan and Lent from the heads of the Muslim and Orthodox churches in Russia.

The wife of a mobilized soldier from Karachay-Cherkessia [Russia’s constituent republic] received tickets to the circus instead of the promised firewood. Meanwhile, in the Chelyabinsk region, year sixth cadets came to a kindergarten and taught the kids a lesson in handling weapons.

Mediazona [an independent Russian media outlet] browsed new textbooks on history by the Prosveshchenie publishing house, which will be used in schools in the next academic year: textbooks for year 4 and 6 students no longer mention Kyiv in the history of Kyivan Rus’.