Maksut Shadayev, Minister of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media, indicated that his department is drafting amendments to the presidential decree authorizing draft deferment for IT professionals, in order to raise the upper age limit to 30 years. The current version of the decree enables employees of accredited IT companies, aged 18 to 27, to request the deferment of their regular conscription service. The decree should be amended before the start of the regular conscription campaign in spring 2024, added Shadayev, as the new law raising the upper age limit for conscription to 30 years will enter into force on Jan. 1.
Alexey Svalov, Member of the Legislative Assembly of Sverdlovsk Region, called for the creation of a registry of Russian citizens, who returned from emigration. It would list people who tried to return, after leaving the country at a difficult time or openly denouncing the actions of the Russian government. Presumably, he targets singers and musicians, who did not support the invasion of Ukraine.
The Vladimir regional government announced the recruitment of yet another group of volunteer fighters. The authorities claim that more than 20 people signed contracts with the Ministry of Defense and left to fight in Ukraine.
The list of mobilized soldiers killed in the war has been updated to include Evgeny Polyakov from the Vladimir region, Aleksandr Karev from the Kaluga region, Aleksandr Nikulichev from the Tver region, Yevgeny Ratakhin and Aleksandr Panyushin from the Krasnoyarsk region, Semyon Bezyanov from the Khanty-Mansi autonomous region–Yugra [Russia's federal subject], Aleksandr Skripkin from the Kursk region, Igor Kolemasov from the Volgograd region, and Igor Yelboev from the Irkutsk region.
In the book distribution area of the Mayakovsky library in Saint Petersburg, photographs of city’s soldiers who were killed during the war with Ukraine are being displayed.
The Astra Telegram channel has drawn attention to the widespread dissemination of video messages from the servicemen of the 1822nd Battalion. Such messages were submitted to Astra’s editorial office and were also published by some other Telegram channels. As journalists have established, at least some of the individuals featured in the sent videos are actually in captivity in Ukraine and were used in the recordings as "actors." It has also been revealed that Major Tomov, the commander of the 1822nd Battalion, has been taken prisoner.
Russian soldiers have recorded a video address in which they issue threats aimed at traffic police and law enforcement officers in the Rostov region. This comes as a result of a recent incident on the Rostov-on-Don to Stavropol highway, where traffic police issued a fine for tinted windows to an individual transporting military assistance.
In Crimea, near the village of Pochyotnoye, a 45-year-old private who was guarding a military facility, shot and killed his fellow 42-year-old contract sergeant. The latter entered the secured area and didn't respond to warning shots. The materials pertaining to the incident have been handed over to the military investigative department.
TheNovocherkassk Garrison Military Court sentenced the mobilized soldier Vladislav Sunagatullin to one year of probation for causing harm to the deputy commander. The officer reprimanded intoxicated Sunagatullin for consuming alcohol during wartime. 20 minutes later, the mobilized soldier attacked the commander, stabbing him multiple times. The commander managed to disarm the assailant and call for help, following which he was hospitalized. The mobilized soldier faced up to two years in prison, but the court took into account his "participation in combat activities in defense of the Motherland."
Two similar incidents took place in Krasnoyarsk. Private Vladimir Latsev was sentenced to five years in a penal colony for going AWOL. In February 2023, Latsev went on leave to Krasnoyarsk but failed to return to his duty as required. He was apprehended in May.Another contract soldier has been sentenced to five years of imprisonment for going AWOL by the Krasnoyarsk Garrison Military Court. Corporal Zhutov went on leave in February but failed to return to his unit. In May, Zhutov voluntarily surrendered to the military commandant's office in Krasnoyarsk.
As of the beginning of August, for the first half of 2023, the Vladimir Garrison Military Court has issued 26 guilty verdicts for the offense of going AWOL. By comparison, in 2022, there were 6 such verdicts in the Vladimir region. In 2021, prior to the military invasion of Ukraine, there were 2 verdicts. In 2020, there were 6 verdicts.
The district court of the Severskaya stanitsa has fined municipal deputy Sergey Detochkin 30,000 rubles [$300], finding him guilty of discrediting the Russian Armed Forces. Detochkin, while addressing the relatives of two deceased mobilized soldiers during a farewell ceremony, urged them to speak the truth and ask the authorities inconvenient questions. He emphasized that there was "no denazification or demilitarization." The police report against the deputy was filed by officials who were also present at the funerals. Detochkin himself stated that his statements were distorted.
24-year-old Davronbek Yuldoshev, who was detained with a bottle of gasoline near a draft office in Saint Petersburg, has been sent to a pre-trial detention center for two months on suspicion of preparing an act of terror. More details about the incident can be found here.
The SHOT Telegram channel has released a fragment of the interrogation of an 18-year-old student Nikita from Yekaterinburg, who allegedly tried to leave Russia and join the Russian Volunteer Corps.
In the Zabaykalsky region, a 43-year-old resident has been detained in a case related to an attempt on the life of Mikhail Taskin, a former Wagner Group mercenary. He surrendered to the police; two other suspects are already in custody.
During a meeting of residents with Governor of the Zabaykalsky region Aleksandr Osipov, Aleksandra Chernyaeva, head of a volunteer group from Nerchinsky Zavod assisting Russian soldiers, asked him to stop the bullying of volunteers and others involved in the fight with Taskin. The bullying began after she refused to publish harsh remarks about the attackers. The governor urged her to "talk in person and not give in to emotions." Because of the bullying, the volunteers have already ceased their support for the soldiers.
In Yekaterinburg, Aleksandr Naumov refused to take care of his five children after the arrest of his wife Veronica and went back to the war with Ukraine. The Naumovs had three own children and three adopted ones. One of the adoptees, 6-year-old Daler, died at the end of 2022. Veronica Naumova was accused of his murder. The court arrested the woman on June 30. While waiting for their father, five children were placed in an orphanage. However, following his refusal to take custody of them, his own children were taken to their grandmother, while the foster children are likely to remain in the orphanage.
Rosneft employees in Tyumen received a corporate communication advising them to keep a close eye on their colleagues and relatives, if they "secretly conduct telephone conversations" or systematically leave work “for family reasons.” In case of any "suspicious" behavior of colleagues or relatives, the employees are encouraged to report to law enforcement agencies or the company's management. The need for such "spying" is explained by the activities of "intelligence services of unfriendly countries," involving citizens in "sabotage-terrorist and extremist activities."
In the Kemerovo region, members of the Kuzbass Women's Union make camouflage nets, medical backpacks, and military gear for Russian servicemen.
The definition of the term "empire" will be revised in the new history textbook for grades 5 to 9 [age 10 to 15]. According to the author, Alexander Tchoubarian, who had also written the textbook for senior grades, the Russian Empire will be contradistinguished from the concept of "classical colonialism, a classical empire."
Adults keep on engaging children in weaving camouflage nets for the Russian military even during the holiday period, which they proudly report about. Thus, third-grader Stepan was engaged in this activity in Zelenogorsk, Krasnoyarsk region. Meanwhile, a social rehabilitation center for minors in Prokopyevsk, Kemerovo region, has reported about the accomplishments of its participants and staff—within a month, they have woven nine camouflage nets for the military and written letters of support for them. Additionally, the center is planning to set up the production of trench candles in autumn.
Another Russian officer, Lieutenant Ivan Korolev, fled to Lithuania, seeking political asylum. BBC News Russian spoke to Korolev, who detailed his illegal border crossing into Lithuania. He successfully reached Vilnius on Aug. 10, where operatives of the Lithuanian border service detained him. According to Korolev, he took part in the war but remained within the territory of the Russian Federation, supplying Russian troops with ammunition.
Rosstat [Russian Federal State Statistics Service] reported on the historically low figures of birth rates in Russia. The first half of 2023 has seen another 3% drop in the number of children born, hitting a new low of 616,200. Throughout 2023, all months except March have recorded historic lows in birth rate. The birth rate in Russia has been steadily declining since the annexation of Crimea and has fallen by almost a third from 1.942 million in 2014 to 1.304 million in 2022.
The results of an August survey by the Russian Field research group revealed that 46% of Moscow residents would not cancel the decision to start the "special military operation" if they had the opportunity. Women are more likely to support the decision to cancel the invasion than men with 37% versus 33%. Respondents aged 18-26 are also more likely to overturn the decision to start the war with 47% in favor versus 34% in the 60+ age group. In addition, low-income Moscow residents are more likely to support canceling the "special military operation" with 38% versus 33% among wealthy citizens. It should be noted that given the circumstances of war and repressions, the results of opinion polls are not representative.
An exhibition called Strength in Truth was opened on the Ivan Gren landing ship on the Naberezhnaya Leitenanta Shmidta [Lieutenant Schmidt Embankment] in Saint Petersburg. The exhibition features propaganda materials, trophies from Ukraine and other military-themed exhibits. The opening ceremony included a review of Young Army [pro-Kremlin youth organization] members in the presence of Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy Nikolai Yevmenov.
Nastoyashsheye Vremya [Current Time, an editorially independent US-funded Russian language media outlet] spoke with people who left Russia after the start of mobilization, but later decided to return.