The State Duma [lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia] approved in the first reading the bill of the Ministry of Defense, which expands the categories of military personnel eligible to participate in Russian peacekeeping missions. If adopted, the law will provide the ground for the voluntary inclusion of conscripts in [military] missions.
The participants of the "special military operation" were included in the program of preferential auto loans. However, the program will only cover purchased cars of domestic assembly and those costing less than 2,000,000 rubles [about 25,000 USD]. The categories of citizens who qualify for the program have been greatly reduced this year. However, the war participants have been categorized as eligible.
Russian authorities in Crimea announced 511 land plots with a total area of 56 hectares [approx. 138.5 acres] ready to be distributed to participants in the war in Ukraine. To remind you, the law on the issuance of free plots to the participants of the "special military operation" was adopted by local legislative assembly members in 2022. A mandatory prerequisite for obtaining a plot is an established permanent residency in the region prior to Feb. 24, 2022.
Approximately three and a half thousand people are planned to be called up from the Samara region during the spring conscription campaign [a regular biannual event]. The same number of conscripts is expected to be summoned from the Chelyabinsk region. As stated by the military commissar of the Seymsky and the Central districts of Kursk, the 600 draft dodgers from Kursk are prohibited from leaving the region and the country. There's a plan to enlist 500 conscripts from the mentioned districts.
In Saint Petersburg, draft offices continue distributing by mail draft notices for "personal data check-ups." In Yaroslavl, a 31-year-old man with poor eyesight and excess body weight signed a contract for military service after receiving such a draft notice and appearing at a draft office. He explained to his former manager that at the draft office, he received an offer for a job at the Yaroslavl headquarters with a good pay and a short work day — till 2 pm. Initially, the man had no intent to enter military service.
Information continues to come in about various ways of attracting people to sign a contract for military service. Advertising in the settlement of Klyuchi in the Omsk region provides detailed information about the amount of cash payments fighters receive. In Vladimir, advertisements for military service under contract are printed on utility bills, along with advertising for the collection of aid for draftees. In Moscow's apartment buildings entrances, residents are informed about the points where they can get information about the service under contract. Meanwhile, in the Nizhny Novgorod region, advertising leaflets appeared in a kindergarten. In Novosibirsk vocational schools, military commissars personally tell teenagers about the "charms" of service under contract in the "special military operation zone".
The Wagner Group, whose existence was previously denied by Russian authorities, also actively reminds of itself. Its advertising leaflets were spotted in Russia’s constituent Republic of Komi, the Group's videos are shown on billboard screens in the Tyumen region, and in the Rostov-on-Don region on television. A huge advertising banner was also spotted in Moscow.
The Leningrad region authorities will hold meetings with the leaders of diasporas until Apr. 15 with the aim of attracting them to influence the popularization of military service under contract among diasporas' members. Similarly, local HR agencies will be contacted for the same purpose. At the same time, military commissariats will check whether they have complete military registration data about those who received Russian citizenship from 2017 to 2022.
The number of draftees killed at the front rises daily. The death toll is updated with the names of Aleksey Batenyev from the Novosibirsk region, Yury Styazhkin from the Perm region, Nikolay Arnautov and Aleksandr Kutsenko from the Voronezh region, Igor Butvin and Vitaly Petrov from the Arkhangelsk region, Ilya Budnikov from the Bryansk region, Nikita Arkhipov from the Yaroslavl region, as well as Vladimir Tsyplyukhin and Ivan Scheglov from the Samara region.
According to the VChK-OGPU Telegram channel, the investigation into the incident in Makiivka was given an easy ride, creating the appearance of a trial through lots of interrogations of third-rate persons guilty of poor-quality briefings with personnel. The Telegram channel also got a testimony of the chief of staff of the 1st Army Corps, Colonel Zhuravlev, who apparently was responsible for the accommodation of military personnel. In his testimony, he shifts the blame for the incident to representatives of the civil administration.
Journalists of the Idel.Realii [part of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty] media outlet established the chronology of events in Makiivka, spoke with relatives and friends, and studied the biographies of all killed soldiers whose names were identified. It should be noted that in total, journalists managed to establish 140 names of soldiers killed in Makiivka on New Year's Night. At least 18 more servicemen from the Samara region are still reported missing by their relatives who write in social networks that although those were in the vocational school building on Jan. 1, there is no information about their deaths or hospitalization.
The Prosecutor General's Office of the Russian Federation blocked the publication about POWs from Sayansk, Irkutsk region. A video with two captured residents of the Irkutsk region, Ivan Prikhodko and Aleksey Shakirzyanov, recorded by Ukrainian journalist Volodymyr Zolkin, went viral on social networks. The mayor of Sayansk said that he was aware of the situation and that the POWs were included in the exchange list. However, on Apr. 4, the administrator of the Sayansk.Zima group on the VKontakte and the Odnoklassniki social networks reported that the video was blocked by the decision of the Prosecutor General's Office.
The mothers and wives of volunteer fighters cannot get them back after the contract expires. Even those who need urgent treatment are not discharged. The command refers to the decree on mobilization, which has not been canceled. The lawyer Aleksey Tabalov commented on the situation that contract soldiers will now serve “until their death or until the end of the war.” According to him, it is hardly possible to be invalided out of the army even for health reasons: doctors in hospitals have an unspoken decree of the General Staff "not to assign service fitness categories D [temporarily unfit for military service] and E [not fit for military service] to servicemen."
EAN News Agency of Yekaterinburg publishes the story of the mother of 26-year-old Pavel Evdokimov, mobilized from Kasli (Chelyabinsk region), who has not received "a penny of payments" since Oct. 6, 2022, except for one-time regional payments. At first, the calculation center of the Ministry of Defense referred to the lack of documents that the unit commander was supposed to send. However, even after confirmation on their part that the papers were found and payments would be made, the serviceman did not receive the money. The Ministry of Defense has not yet responded to the publication's request.
19-year-old Aleksey is trying to prove that he is not fit for military service due to being overweight. For this, the young man had to stand in line at a military enlistment office more than once and visit the hospital, where he learned many new things about his health. He has not yet received the decision from the military enlistment office.
The court dismissed the appeal against the verdict to Stanislav Rybin, mobilized from Omsk. With the beginning of partial mobilization, he went to the draft office, considering it his duty. To buy army boots and thermal underwear, his parents sold a cow. However, upon arrival at the military unit, Rybin was increasingly dissatisfied with his superiors and the living conditions in the barracks every day. As a result, he attacked his commander with a knife and threatened to kill him. Now the man will spend six years in a strict regime penal colony.
In Lipetsk, mobilized servicemen came for leave that would last for two weeks. After the break, the soldiers will go back in the Kherson direction.
Students of the town of Palatka in the Magadan region are asked to help mobilized soldiers. It took almost a month to collect food and stuff according to the list. While in a Telegram channel for relatives of mobilized soldiers from the Kirov region, they are once again asked to help collect fabric for underpants for injured soldiers at hospitals. In Astrakhan, a workshop was organized for school students on painting T-shirts for participants in the war. In Kansk (Krasnoyarsk region), members of the Young Army [pro-Kremlin youth organization] were taught to make camouflage nettings.
In the Belgorod region, traditional military training camps for school-age students will be held in person. Recall that schools in the region have been switched to distance learning. However, Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov did not see any “lack of logic” in this, since at a training camp, unlike classes at schools, there will not be a large number of children at the same time. In addition, the authorities are preparing the locations of these camps "to ensure maximum safety for children."
Anatoly Trushin, Chairman of the DOSAAF [Russian Army, Air Force and Navy Volunteer Society] office in the Rostov region, said that quadcopter operator courses for children from 10 years old would appear in schools and colleges of the region. The education program is still being finalized. According to him, the DOSAAF cooperates with 36 educational organizations in the region, and 10 quadcopters have already been purchased for students.
Russian women in the border regions actively join the so-called People's Militia — volunteer squads and self-defense organizations. The Vyorstka media outlet talked to them about motivation and views on the war.
The Bumaga [Paper] online media outlet published an interview of Anton Gorbatsevich, coordinator of the Idite Lesom [Go take a running jump] project. Recall that the project helps citizens in resolving issues related to military service. Anton talked about the main pitfalls of the spring conscription campaign and the citizens’ rights in connection with it.