mobilization briefs
April 10, 2023

Mobilization in Russia for Apr. 7–9, 2023 CIT volunteer summary 

Governor of the Vladimir region Aleksandr Avdeyev has amended his decree on social benefits for relatives of servicemen fighting in Ukraine. Now not only biological children but also stepchildren will receive social support. Earlier, Avdeyev reduced the amount of regional payments from 3 million rubles to 1.25 million rubles in the event of the death of a serviceman and from 1 million rubles to 750 thousand rubles in the event of serious injuries.

As a mark of respect for May 9, the Khanty-Mansi region government will make one-time payments. 5,300 people will receive such payments, including relatives of servicemen deployed in Ukraine and disabled war veterans. They will receive a payment of 10,000 rubles [123 USD] each. Parents of servicemen and employees of federal executive bodies who died or went missing in the war will also receive these payments. The volunteers' parents are also entitled to these benefits.

Russia's recruiting drive is ongoing. It is reported that in Chelyabinsk, employees of the city administration and military commissars visited all mosques during Friday prayers to agitate Muslims to enlist in the Armed Forces, promising citizenship and payments starting from 190,000 rubles.

Moscow's military commissar Maksim Loktev confirmed the recruitment of foreign citizens into the Russian Army: "[As for] those who are not citizens of the Russian Federation, but from neighboring countries, we will also consider these candidates and offer them military service under contract."

In Ufa, teachers were forced to distribute advertising leaflets about military service under contract on their weekends. Previously, they were forced to deliver draft notices. The administration of the Leninsky district of Ufa, in response to complaints from teachers, stated that this activity is not part of teachers' duties and promised to sort out the situation.

In Vsevolozhsk, Leningrad region, conscription notices are found in mailboxes. In Omsk, conscripts are mailed with registered letters from the Ministry of Defense. Notifications about this come in the Russian Post app, where the Russian Ministry of Defense is displayed as a sender. Men also receive paper notifications without the sender.

In the Perm region, residents are being summoned to the draft office in order to be given a mobilization assignment. In Moscow, the draft notices requiring the recipient to report to the military commissariat [enlistment office] allegedly for a “data check-up” are being delivered by police officers. Employees of the Moscow “Zhilischnik” [state-financed institution for housing and utilities maintenance] were assigned to put up adverts for contract-based military service in apartment blocks across the city. In addition to the advertising materials, the employees were supplied with the list of designated addresses and were instructed to place adverts in the entrance area at eye level so they are clearly visible. Interestingly, there is a specific requirement not to display such adverts in premium-class food retail stores; instead, the campaign is strictly targeting convenience and mid-range grocery and alcohol stores. Adverts calling for contact soldiers were also noticed in the Rehabilitation Center for Disabled Children in the Primorsky district of Saint Petersburg and in the office of Russia’s Federal Migration Service in the city of Tyumen.

The Zapad24 media outlet of the Krasnoyarsk region reports that a mobile makeshift recruitment office where one can apply to enlist for contract-based military service was set up near the community center of the town of Nazarovo. Over a few hours, four men submitted their applications and completed a medical examination. Also, according to media reports, school teachers bring eleventh-graders to the mobile recruitment office for an excursion, where the students are given a lecture on military service. However, local residents are not entirely happy with such recruitment offices popping up across the town. In Novosibirsk, a similar makeshift recruitment office emerged on Marx Square on the opening day of the biennial trade fair. Military recruitment points were also set up at the Easter fair in Ruzayevka, Mordovia [Russia’s constituent republic], and in the cities of Penza and Tver.

The authorities of the Vladimir region claim to have recruited as many as seventeen groups of men who signed contracts with the Ministry of Defense to fight in Ukraine. Following a one-week basic training course, the fresh group consisting of 19 contract soldiers will be deployed to the frontline.

Advertising flyers for the Russian Special Forces University, located in the Chechen Republic  [Russia’s constituent republic], were spotted on poles in Novorossiysk. Billboards promoting the Wagner Group appeared along highways leading to Moscow. Near Yekaterinburg, Wagner Group agitators were seen going door-to-door and leaving flyers at building entrances.

The new names of mobilized soldiers killed in the war in Ukraine have been revealed: Sergey Maslukhin from the Vologda region, Ivan Cherkasov from the Tyumen region, Sergey Matveev from the Samara region, Maxim Pirogov, brothers Artyom and Stanislav Shamukaev, and Pyotr Fedotov from the Russia’s constituent republic of Tatarstan, Aleksandr Efremov from the Ivanovo region, Vladimir Kryuchkov from the Oryol region, Maksim Shcherbakov from the Rostov region, Andrey Manakov from Mari El [Russia’s constituent republic], Ilnur Nurgaliyev from the Russia’s constituent Republic of Bashkortostan, Dmitry Borozdin from the Perm region, Vadim Mityukov from Irkutsk, Mikhail Iskam from the Lipetsk region, Vladislav Smetanin from the Kurgan region, and Artyom Pavluschenko from Volgograd.

The names of deceased soldiers from Tuva [Russia’s constituent republic] were found at a cemetery in Novosibirsk, reported the New Tuva media outlet. The media outlet cites local Viber chats, saying that the relatives of the deceased were not informed of either the funerals or even the fact of their relatives' deaths. Journalists suggest this was done to avoid paying insurance benefits and one-time allowances to relatives.

A conversation between former South Ossetian President General Anatoly Bibilov and mobilized soldiers was published. The mobilized soldiers are unhappy with the fact of being subordinated to the command of the 3rd Army Corps in the absence of corresponding documents, the practice of confiscating military IDs, and deception by commanders. The conversation also reveals that mercenaries are involved in the training of the soldiers. In addition, according to one of the soldiers, Bibilov beat him in front of the line-up. Bibilov, in his speech, accuses the mobilized soldiers of cowardice and appeals to their sense of duty. At the end of the conversation, the soldiers again refuse to comply with the demands.

Mobilized soldiers from the Irkutsk region keep being captured by the AFU. For example, the Ukrainian side published a video showing Yegor Svitnev, who shared the circumstances of his capture. Aleksey Shakirzyanov, a mobilized soldier from Sayansk, was also taken prisoner. The man says that he served in the 1439th Regiment and then was seconded to the 1st Brigade. According to him, the commanders treat mobilized soldiers "like cannon fodder." The captive Ivan Prikhodko reported that when mobilized soldiers were sent to Donetsk, they stopped receiving payments. According to Prikhodko, the servicemen began to resent, and then they were sent to the frontline.

The Sibir.Realii [part of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty] online media outlet, published the stories of Russian citizens whose mobilization was declared illegal by the courts, but the commanders are in no hurry to comply with the decisions of the courts and do not let them leave the front. Lawyer Maksim Grebenyuk advises simply going home in such situations. No criminal case for desertion can be initiated in this situation since the military personnel has been recognized by the court as “non-mobilized.”

A court in Samara sentenced a mobilized soldier who did not return from a leave of absence to 5 years in a penal colony for going AWOL. The serviceman was absent from the unit from Nov. 26 to Dec. 27, 2022. The man was taken into custody right in the courtroom.

In the village of Mulino, Nizhny Novgorod region, two soldiers went AWOL. At night, the men froze and broke into a workmen's house converted into an Orthodox church. There, they kindled a fire, which spread to the altar. As a result of the fire, one man died, and the second one managed to escape.

The Vladimir Garrison Military Court issued warrant officer Vitaly Korsun, who was found guilty of abuse of power, a 3.5 years suspended sentence. He beat his subordinate with a shovel handle for forgetting to seal up the door of a military depot.

Arms trafficking is on the rise in the border regions. At the same time, when issuing verdicts to the guilty, the courts take into account the “turbulent situation during the special military operation” and render rather lenient sentences. For example, a resident of the Belgorod region who bought an assault rifle with cartridges “for the purpose of personal self-defense” was sentenced to one year of restriction of freedom (the maximum punishment under this article is five years in prison). Meanwhile, a mercenary of one of the "private military companies" was sentenced to two and a half years of restriction of freedom for illegal arms trafficking.

The Moscow City Court has canceled the international wanted notice for Aleksandr Dagutsy, who was involved in the illegal transfer of 24 million dollars abroad. The man submitted a statement to the judge and requested the "suspension of the proceedings" due to his participation in the "special military operation" under contract. His lawyer insisted that the defendant was absent for a "valid reason". The court took the "circumstances" into consideration.

The Astra media outlet has published a story about a 19-year-old resident of Moscow who was detained by police near the entrance to his building, beaten and handcuffed "for evading the conscription." Officially, the young man, who wanted to do alternative civilian service, was arrested for 10 days on charges of "petty hooliganism" for allegedly standing in the courtyard and "shouting while waving his arms." After the arrest, he was taken to the military commissariat and forced to sign a draft notice, but he refused. Currently, the young man is in the Sakharovo Foreign National Detention Center.

In Naberezhnye Chelny, the Mayor of the city Nail Magdeyev, held a meeting with servicemen who had come on leave from the “special military operation.” While in Bugulma, one more town of Tatarstan [Russia’s constituent republic], a second group of mobilized soldiers has come on leave.

Residents, companies, and institutions of the Republic of Tuva collected 40 vehicles for servicemen. Russian off-road vehicles will be sent to the front by road train. A tire shop has opened in Rybinsk, where servicemen's wives can change a set of winter tires for summer ones for free. While in Yaroslavl, women collect food parcels for participants of the “special military operation”. Parcels with food are also collected by school students in the village of Turginovo, Tver region.

In Khabarovsk, a local resident sews camouflage blankets and wraps for newborns whose fathers are fighting in Ukraine. According to her, it is impossible to find a kit of that color for discharge from a maternity hospital anywhere in Russia. She has already sold 30 such blankets and plans to make 200 more.

War veterans continue to be actively invited to schools to meet with students. This time such meetings were held in a school in the village of Karmaskaly, Republic of Bashkortostan, and in a school in the city of Tobolsk, Tyumen region.

The Novosti-26 Telegram channel, which tells teenagers about politics, published a list of methods used by the authorities to propagate war in kindergartens and schools in Russia and also gave some examples of these kinds of "activities."

In Yerevan, Armenia, the police detained a Russian citizen, 23-year-old Yuriy T., who had been previously put on a wanted list on suspicion of desertion. A pre-trial restriction in the form of military control was imposed for him; the information about his detention was passed on to the "initiator of the investigation and a prosecutor's office." Probably, the detainee is Yury Trostyansky, born in 1999. A native of the city of Kamensk-Shakhtinsky, Rostov region, was put on a wanted list in Naro-Fominsk, Moscow region.