Today, the State Duma [lower house of Russia's Federal Assembly] returned a draft law changing the rules of conscription into the army to the second reading. According to the current version of the law "On Military Duty and Military Service," draft notices are handed over to a conscript in person against his signed acknowledgment. According to Chairman of the State Duma Defense Committee Andrey Kartapolov, the draft law was returned to the second reading to change the date of entry into force. However, as we reported in yesterday's summary, amendments allowing for the electronic distribution of draft notices may be added as well.
Governor of the Orenburg region Denis Pasler signed a decree releasing mobilized residents and their families from penalties for overdue housing and utility payments.
Following the mayor of the town of Strezhevoy in the Tomsk region, the mayor of Novosibirsk, Anatoly Lokot, personally began promoting service under contract. On his Telegram channel, he posted a video showing missile launches and artillery fire, captioning it "Service under contract in the Russian Armed Forces" and adding a phone number and a link to the Ministry of Defense website.
There has been an increase in demand for military registration specialists in Russia. Companies in Moscow and other regions are looking for employees to communicate with military commissariats [enlistment offices]. Currently, a search on the HeadHunter job-seeking website displays 264 entries, which significantly exceeds the average even during the "partial" mobilization period.
According to the Russian Ministry of Defense, residents of Kaliningrad will be contacted by phone and provided with information regarding military service under contract. The regional administration emphasizes that the calls are informational.
In Saint Petersburg, an operations control center was established to coordinate the recruitment of contract soldiers across the city. The city government web portal announces that information points were set up in all districts of the city to receive those who want to enlist for contract-based service with the Russian Armed Forces. Saint Petersburg’s Governor Alexander Beglov stated that the information points’ member staff includes regional and local officials, officers from military commissariats and internal affairs departments, healthcare specialists and social workers, as well as personnel of multi-functional public service centers. Meanwhile, the Committee of Soldiers' Mothers of Saint Petersburg published a guide on payouts and benefits guaranteed for members of service who participate in the “special military operation.”
In Moscow, information counters marked “Contract Military Service” appeared near metro stations. Students engaged as promoters hand out flyers with information on salaries offered to contract military personnel while the dedicated hotline number is displayed on the counter, as well as the address of a one-stop selection center where one can sign up for a contract. Moscow’s authorities also rolled out a mailing campaign for contract-based military service, delivering booklets to residents’ mailboxes.
The second wave of the recruitment campaign targeting migrants was launched in the Sakharovo migration center located in Moscow's suburbs. The center officials have been instructed to encourage migrants to enlist for contract-based service in the Russian Army. Each migrant applying for a labor patent should be provided with a booklet promoting military service and referred to the contract registration desk. Foreigners who sign a contract with the Russian Army will allegedly be granted Russian citizenship and receive a monthly salary of at least 190,000 rubles, as well as various social benefits.
The Baza Telegram channel reports that because of the “special military operation,” the “price” for [illicit] services to ensure one is not conscripted into the army [during a regular campaign] has doubled. The typical cost for such a service is 500 thousand rubles in Moscow and 150 thousand rubles in other regions. If one deals directly with the draft board, the cost would be 5 to 6 thousand euros, and the draft boards only accept payment in hard currency. As for the mobilization campaign, the cost of not being drafted in Moscow stood at 1.5 million rubles with no guarantees.
Regions continue boasting of draftees returning home for their leaves. This time, the Kursk region prepared the story of locals on leave from the war in Ukraine. In the Russia’s constituent Republic of Yakutia, a woman was fined for saying “What show-offs! Better bring the guys home!” during the ceremony of greeting draftees at the airport.
Draftees continue being killed in the war. The following names have been added to the list of those killed: Valerian Perminov from the Krasnoyarsk region, Vladimir Stepanov from the Irkutsk region, Igor Shnyukov from Vologda, Ilnar Rakhmangulov from the Perm region, Sergey Sorochenko and Aleksey Melekhov from the Arkhangelsk region and Nikolay Shumsky from the Orenburg region.
Losses among volunteer fighters and mercenaries of private military companies could reach eight thousand people, according to the estimate made by journalists of Vazhnyye Istorii [iStories, an independent Russian investigative media outlet] based on the federal register of people with disabilities and the Pension Fund.
The Kommersant newspaper claims that the mobilized servicemen, Yuri Degtyaryov and Aleksey Selivanov, a video of whose demonstrative detention on a military unit parade ground was published at the end of November, were sentenced to three years in a penal colony. The convicts were charged with an article on non-execution of order during an armed conflict. Complaints against the verdict, which were filed by the mobilized, were rejected by the higher court.
In Buryatia [Russia’s constituent republic], a mobilized man was found guilty of nearly stabbing a colleague. This happened due to a fight between men in the barracks after drinking in the sauna of Ulan-Ude. The victim was taken to a medical facility with intra-abdominal bleeding; he survived. The accused was sentenced to three years in a penal colony suspended and ordered to pay the victim 450,000 rubles.
The Omsk Garrison Military Court sentenced Private Yevgeny Proshkin to one and a half years in a penal colony for going AWOL. The man left the unit twice without good reason: the first time for eight days and the second for 14 days. Notably, under the mobilization conditions, the man was threatened with up to 7 years in prison.
A mobilized soldier from Samara received a two-year suspended sentence, with a two-year probationary period, for going AWOL. On Nov. 22, 2022, the serviceman did not return from his leave. He arrived at the unit only on Nov. 29.
The Investigative Committee closed a criminal case against a serviceman for going AWOL. At the beginning of this year, the military investigative department initiated a criminal case against a conscript for going AWOL. According to investigators, the young man went AWOL but returned a few days later. Since the young man could not continue military service for health reasons, the investigator terminated the criminal case due to the absence of corpus delicti in his actions.
The Zavodsky District Court of the city of Kemerovo granted the petition for the investigation and placed a detained 16-year-old teenager under arrest for setting fire to the relay cabinet. The young man will be in a pre-trial detention center until Jun. 1.
According to Vazhnyye istorii, in the Omsk region, the FSB [Russia’s Federal Security Service] began calling Russians who left abroad during mobilization and recently returned to Russia. As the subscribers told the media outlet, they were invited to come to the department to take a survey about the reasons for their recent departure abroad. So far, no one has gone to such an interrogation. Also, according to the media outlet, Russia has already prepared a test version of the base for military servicemen, which will be used to quickly close the borders for them when mobilization is announced, as well as search for those listed in the base using city CCTV cameras. Besides, ground border checkpoints are planned to be equipped with facial recognition cameras.
According to State Duma member Aleksandr Rzhanenkov, who heads the commission on social policy, there are not enough social workers in Saint Petersburg to help families of mobilized soldiers. During the war, the number of people needing psychological assistance and support during rehabilitation greatly increased. The authorities faced difficulties in recruiting such specialists due to low wages and harsh working conditions.
Residents of the Novosibirsk region brought a UAZ off-road van full of tools, medicines, clothes, and food to Donbas. They also transferred a GAZelle minibus for servicemen. Social activists asked soldiers to sign a flag of the Young Army [pro-Kremlin youth organization] in order to pass it on to children. In the Zabaykalsky region, ten vehicles donated by regional hospitals, district administrations, and residents will be sent by rail for the participants in the "special military operation." Meanwhile, from Saratov, aid was sent to the residents of the region, undergoing combat coordination in Belarus.
School students continue being involved in the recording of propaganda videos. In yet another video, a first-year student from a school in the Rostov region reads a poem about Vladimir Putin.