mobilization briefs
December 16, 2022

Mobilization in Russia for December 14–15, CIT volunteer summary

A group of the State Duma [lower house of Parliament] members proposed to reduce the period for considering complaints about violations during mobilization from 30 to 5 days with the possibility of extending it by no more than 5 days.

The State Duma adopted a draft law waiving punishment for crimes committed “in Russia's interests” on the occupied territories of Ukraine. The Advokatskaya Ulitsa [Lawyer Street] project drew attention to this document. The explanatory note to the law states that such an indulgence is issued for actions committed before Sept. 30, 2022. When read literally, the draft law does not establish time limits for waiving criminal prosecution.

Russia’s MinTsifry [the Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media] argued against a legislative ban on remote work for those employees of Russian IT companies who relocated from Russia. “A total ban could slow down the development of digital platforms and solutions and may eventually make them less competitive,” the ministry stated.

Valerii Zaluzhnyi, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, said that Russia is preparing some 200,000 fresh troops and may have another go at Kyiv. In his interview to The Economist, Zaluzhnyi estimated Russia’s mobilization reserve at 1.2-1.5 million people.

Another letter to a potential draftee with threats to open criminal proceedings was posted on social media. The letter was signed by the head of the Zelenograd District Investigation Department of the Investigative Committee of Russia. Even a popular Russian online marketplace Avito is being used by security officials to hunt draft-dodgers.

A mobilized soldier from the Chita region escaped from the training ground in the Primorsky region [federal subject in the Far East of Russia] with four assault rifles. He has already been arrested. As local media emphasized, authorities had been trying to withhold information on the incident from the public for several days. However, any local publications addressing the escape are now being removed from the internet.

A reserve officer Oleg Marzoyev urged regional authorities to stop lying blatantly about the draftees being supplied with everything they require. A former serviceman, Marzoyev lashed out at the head of the Republic of North Ossetia Sergey Menyaylo when the latter claimed that all needs of the mobilized are being met. Marzoyev himself has been raising funds to cater for the needs of draftees from North Ossetia and posts reports on his campaigns on his Telegram channel.

A mother of three from the Pskov region is pleading for her mobilized husband to be sent back home. She wrote an appeal on the governor’s website stating that her husband was the only breadwinner in the family. The woman is now on maternity leave taking care of her three children. “We all depend on my husband. I have already applied to the prosecutor’s office in Pskov, but they said he is not eligible for exemption. The draft officer told me he could not help either. Please help me return the only breadwinner in the family back home,” the woman wrote. The NGS42.RU online media outlet covered the story of a 44-year-old father of three from Novosibirsk told by his wife. He is in poor health after having survived tuberculosis, and he completed basic military service 25 years ago, but he is nevertheless being prepared to be transferred to the “special military operation” area while his wife is fighting to bring him back home. (Earlier, this story was featured in the Verstka media outlet.)

Mobilized people who haven't started their service, the families of soldiers deprived of parental rights, and guardians, who already receive support, will not receive the "New Year" payments of 20 thousand rubles from the authorities of Bashkortostan [constituent republic of the Russian Federation]. A total of 400 million rubles will be allocated from the republican budget for that purpose. The family of a mobilized man from Bashkortostan was not given a one-time payment because his wife and son were registered in another region. The mother of a mobilized man called Sergey Tsivilyov, Governor of the Kemerovo region, on the direct line and reported that she had not received regional payments for several months, although she had appealed to all the competent authorities. In response, Tsivilyov stated that such delays are unacceptable and ordered to deal with the situation.

Servicemen from Crimea will be able to receive land plots on the peninsula for free on a priority basis. This decision was adopted at a regional parliament session. The authorities of the Irkutsk region promised to transfer money for buying housing without queuing to 46 orphans from the region who took part in the war. Such amendments to the regional law were adopted by the Legislative Assembly members. According to the law, the authorities must provide an apartment to an orphan by his or her eighteenth birthday, after graduation from an educational institution, or service in the army. But in practice, these deadlines are not respected, and people have been on the waiting list for years.

Mobilized residents of the Kama river area (Perm region) will be sent to the war in the coming days. Men who trained in the Tyumen training center will go to Ukraine. The scheduled deployment date is Dec. 17. Head of the regional Center for Support of Mobilized People Konstantin Strogiy told about it. The other group of mobilized men was seen off from Kostroma. Russia's Ministry of Defense reported that in the period from mobilization to deployment, the servicemen had 10-hour combat training at regional training grounds daily. Military training is carried out not only at training grounds of the Ministry of Defense. For example, employees of Zarubezhneft AO  had training in tactical medicine and shooting in Moscow.

Aleksandr Melbard, 33, from Znamenka village of Krasnoyarsk region mobilized on Sept. 28, felt off while on a combat mission. According to preliminary information, he had a heart attack. The man died in the hospital on Dec. 2. 39-year-old resident of Yekaterinburg Vladimir Zubkevich was mobilized on Sept. 27 and was killed on Nov. 25. The place and circumstances of the death are unknown. Nikolay Frolov from Severouralsk was mobilized on Sept. 28, and his funeral was held in the town recently.

The Committee-Council of Soldiers’ Mothers (CCSM is a pro-government organization that should not be conflated with the Union of Committees of Soldiers’ Mothers – UCSM) sent a petition to “the global community” asking to exchange POWs and hand over bodies of soldiers killed in Ukraine. They demand to organize the exchange in accordance with international humanitarian law and make a corridor for transfer of killed soldiers’ bodies. The petition is addressed in particular to the International Red Cross, the Ministries of Defense of Russia and Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Vladimir Putin, the Russian Orthodox Church and the UN. The Verstka media outlet draws attention to the fact that Russians have suddenly become interested in how to surrender. The amount of search queries in Yandex about this issue has increased manifold since the middle of November. Also, the outlet noticed that the number of POW exchanges has increased too.

In the city of Abakan, students at the School No.7 collected warm clothes, candy, and other essentials for care packages to send to the military. Children at the Kindergarten No.88 and students at the School No.22 in the city of Saransk also collected a package for the fighters who went to participate in the “special military operation.” One of the pupils asked the soldiers to make sure the package is transported on a tank and the servicemen promised to oblige. Families of the mobilized soldiers from Minusinsk in the Krasnoyarsk region recorded a video about how they can’t wait for their relatives who left to the front to return home. In anticipation of the upcoming New Year, members of the Rural Council in the village of Barlak in the Novosibirsk region launched a New Year gift drive for the draftees and called it Teplo Serdets [The Warmth of the Hearts]. As a result, 26 boxes containing sweetened condensed milk, candies, chocolate, honey, coffee, and tea were collected. In the town of Chusovoy in the Perm region [federal subject of Russia], another batch of care packages for the mobilized chusovites was collected last week at the Center for Investments and Entrepreneurship.

Educators in Voronezh were requested to make a donation in the amount of their day’s salary for the needs of the military. Emails containing a form to make a donation were sent to the faculty and staff at the Voronezh State University. The funds will be used for the needs of “residents of the territories where the special military operation takes place and those participating in the operation.” In Volgograd, not only the staff of universities and colleges are urged to make contributions but the students as well. In the Krasnoyarsk region, families of the mobilized soldiers are being distributed firewood for free. In the villages of Sokolovka and Yuzhno-Aleksandrovka in the Ilansk district, the relatives of the soldiers participating in the war have received 5 cubic meters of firewood. The director of the local forest management office said that the foresters were planning deliveries of firewood to ten additional families.