Mobilization in Russia for Apr. 23–24, 2023 CIT volunteer summary
Authorities and Legislation
In a meeting with President Putin, Senator Andrey Turchak, who presides over the “special military operation” working group, put forward a legislative proposal to entitle territorial defense force personnel to carry and use firearms. Authorities of the Kursk and Belgorod regions had previously announced the creation of Territorial Defense Force units. Furthermore, Turchak proposed that all war participants, whether mobilized or enlisted, be treated equally, including in matters of compensation. The President agreed with the proposal. Also during the meeting, Turchak pushed for federal recognition of Jul. 1 as War Veterans Day. Until now, that day is only celebrated regionally and does not have any official status.
The Russian Government submitted a bill for consideration by the State Duma [lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia], which would amend the Tax Code of the Russian Federation, specifically the article on income tax. The bill seeks to shift the responsibility for payment from the taxpayer to the employer, when the former loses their tax residency in the Russian Federation. The Ministry of Finance claims, however, that the bill should not result in tax increases for people with employment contracts, even if they moved abroad. Journalists from Meduza [international Russian-language online media outlet] published an analysis of the new legislative initiative.
Legal experts from the Voyenny Ombudsmen [Military Ombudsman] Telegram channel considered how to request to be taken off the military rolls remotely. Until the common register of Russians subject to military service becomes available, it will not be possible to send a digital request, but one can try to request it by post or with the help of a representative with powers of attorney.
The authorities of the Bryansk region will allocate 500 million rubles to construct fortifications, informs RBC [RosBuzinesConsulting — a Russian media group], referencing the order of Governor Aleksandr Bogomaz. Previously, the regional authorities posted а contract for constructing fortifications in the near-border areas in the amount of 143 million rubles.
Military Service Advertising
NTV, the state-sponsored free-to-air TV channel, following Match-TV [a Russian federal sports channel] has begun broadcasting commercials for military contract services by the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation. The ministry itself, in the meanwhile, has published another propaganda video.
New "mobile recruiting offices" have appeared on the river-front streets [high-traffic areas] of Cheboksary and Perm. In Nizhny Novgorod, residents have witnessed recruitment campaign tents. An info stand containing ads for contract service has been erected in the Koltso shopping center in downtown Kazan. And in the Yaroslavl region, a ragged barrack was "decorated" with a banner summoning to go to war.
Mobilized Soldiers and Volunteer Fighters
Andrey Gorshkov from Bashkortostan [Russia's constituent republic], Vyacheslav Averin from the Samara region, Anatoly Sharapov from Krasnoyarsk and Fyodor Solomonov from St. Petersburg joined the list of the mobilized soldiers killed in the war.
On Apr. 26, the 4th Volunteer Battalion named after World War II participant Dayan Murzin will be deployed from Bashkortostan [Russia's constituent republic]. On the other hand, the mobilized from Kursk continue arriving home for a two-week leave.
The Sever.Realii [part of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty] online media outlet conversed with wives of soldiers and told their readers how the war and mobilization affected the fate of the families of mobilized servicemen. The journalists also asked a clinical psychologist to comment on the situation.
Sentences, Legal Proceedings, and Incidents
The prosecution requested 8 years and 6 months in prison for Igor Paskar from Krasnodar. On Jun. 14, 2022 the man painted his face in the colors of the Ukrainian flag and threw a Molotov cocktail at the FSB [Federal Security Service] administration in Krasnodar. An FSB investigator charged him with committing a "terrorist act." Paskar is also accused of setting fire to a banner with the letter Z and the phrase "we don't abandon our own," which was classified as "vandalism."
Dmitry Mikheev, who was arrested for setting fire to the military commissariat [enlistment office] in Bratsk, was transferred to the Irkutsk pre-trial detention center. At first, the young man was charged with the destruction of property, but later the charge was reclassified. Now Mikheev is accused of committing a terrorist act. He faces 12 to 20 years in prison for this charge.
Belarusian citizens accused of sabotage on a suburban railway were given the task to "destroy any railway object" in the "Vpiski-Moskvy" Telegram channel, said an FSB investigator in court. The accused's lawyers stated that their clients were cooperating with the investigation.
Unknown individuals broke into and set fire to the relay cabinets on the Seyatel-Berdsk section of the West Siberian Railway. The fire was extinguished by railway workers, and trains continued to run on schedule.
A military serviceman from the Stavropol region is accused of murdering his grandmother. According to the investigation, the soldier, who came on leave, struck the woman with two knives at least four times "due to suddenly arisen personal hostility." In addition, the serviceman is accused of failing to appear in his unit during mobilization. The man is currently in custody. The Stavropol Military Court's press service did not disclose the serviceman's name, rank, or the unit in which he served.
In the Sverdlovsk region, a female service member was convicted for going AWOL during a mobilization campaign. The young woman serving under a contract went on [sanctioned] leave but remained with her relatives once the leave ended instead of returning to her unit. The Yekaterinburg Garrison Military Court handed down a three-year suspended sentence to her with a probationary period of two years.
The Nizhny Novgorod Garrison Military Court convicted two soldiers of service evasion. One of them left his unit on his own on Dec. 9, 2022, and went back home. On Jan. 16, 2023, he was detained by the military prosecutor’s office. He was sentenced to five years in a regular security penal colony. The second service member left his unit and stayed home until Jan. 18, when he turned himself in to the military commissariat office. He was sentenced to two years in a settlement colony.
A conscripted soldier has been wounded in the Bryansk region. According to the initial report, Pvt. Babanov, a conscripted soldier, accidentally shot and wounded another conscript, Dmitry Kocherin, 20, from an assault rifle during a ride in an Ural vehicle.
In the town Svobodny in the Amur region, representatives of the military police detained Miroslav Shepilov, 30, right in the street. He was shown some detention order from the military commissar that he was not allowed to photograph. Uniformed men stated that they had orders to deliver the man to a military prosecutor’s office. Miroslav Shepilov’s brother said that during the early days of the mobilization campaign, they had tried first to draft Miroslav and then, after finding out he could not be drafted, to coerce him into signing a contract to join the army. Miroslav refused; therefore, as of now he cannot be considered a service member.
Two residents of the Belgorod region were charged with attempting to sell Kalashnikov assault rifles and cartridges for them bought from Russian servicemen. Two AK-74M Kalashnikov rifles and 387 cartridges were confiscated from the detainees. A criminal case was initiated against them under the article “Illegal acquisition, transfer, and sale of firearms,” which provides for up to eight years in prison.
Residents of Russian regions continue to find ammunition in the most unexpected places. This time, an inert grenade was found in a neighborhood of Yekaterinburg near the forest, and an RGD-5 grenade was found in a forest belt east of Moscow.
On Apr. 20, during his address to the regional parliament, Head of Kabardino-Balkaria [Russia’s constituent republic] Kazbek Kokov reported that over 400 million rubles had been allocated for monthly and one-time payments to war participants since the beginning of the "special military operation." According to the Kavkazsky Uzel [Caucasian knot] media outlet, this report was posted on the ChP Nalchik Instagram account after which many angry comments appeared from users who complained that they could not receive these payments.
The We are Together festival of giving was held in Kirillov, Vologda region, during which funds were collected to support participants in the “special military operation.” In Chelyabinsk, Mufti Rinat Raev organized a collection point for aid to Russian military staff directly in a mosque. Meanwhile, acting governor of the Krasnoyarsk region Mikhail Kotyukov participated in the weaving of camouflage nets to be sent to the front.
The government of the Novosibirsk region is going to compensate the costs of rehabilitation for mercenaries of "private military companies" from the budget. According to Vice-Governor Sergey Nelyubov, in order to comply with the principle of social justice, it was decided to extend rehabilitation certificates "to the members of the “special military operation” serving as part of PMCs."
One of the schools in the Leningrad region on its page on VKontakte social network published a video greeting from the participants of the “special military operation” with gratitude to the students of the school for the parcels and letters [they had sent] to the front. Also, as a thank you to students, servicemen wrote the names of schools on one of the projectiles.
Parents in Novosibirsk were informed about the switch of all kindergartens to the "new patriotic [educational] program." This was done, according to one of the employees, in accordance with the federal decree, mandatory for all state kindergartens. Meanwhile, in the Artek international children’s center in Crimea, children on the pretext of activities dedicated to the memory of Nazi victims are being imposed with state propaganda narratives.
Students from the Perm region were requested to complete an online survey. They were asked about their attitude toward the war in Ukraine, their opinion on the effectiveness of Vladimir Putin's work, as well as on Russia's development prospects. Previously, students from Samara and Voronezh had reported on similar surveys.