mobilization briefs
December 18, 2022

Mobilization in Russia for December 16–17, CIT volunteer summary

Draft officer for Dmitrov, Taldom and Dubna [Moscow region] Mikhail Fotin claimed that the term of regular conscription service would be extended. “Citizens called up next spring will serve for one year and a half, while those enlisted in the fall of 2023 will serve for two years,” he said on Dmitrov TV channel. According to Fotin, this information was relayed to the Moscow regional draft offices by the Moscow military commissar. It should be noted that the duration of regular conscription service cannot be extended without an amendment to the federal law. Shortly after the broadcast, the recording with Fotin’s statement was removed. MSK1.Ru online media outlet reporters contacted Fotin on the phone and asked to corroborate his statement. “I said a lot. It all depends on how the video was edited. There are many different ways you can cut the footage and put clips together,” Fotin responded. He later told the Baza Telegram channel that the video in which he spoke about the extension of conscription service and on suspension of the mobilization had been shot two years earlier, but alleged he only found out about the video on the day it was published. Fotin did not provide any explanation as to why he would have spoken about “suspension” of the mobilization in Russia two years ago. “Currently, no changes to the Russian law regulating the duration of conscript service are being suggested by the Ministry of Defense,” Fotin’s direct superior, military commissar for the Moscow region Alexey Astakhov commented on behalf of the Ministry of Defense. Lawyer Pavel Chikov believes that this information has been planted intentionally to push potential conscripts to enlist voluntarily as soon as possible. “Draft offices are failing to meet their recruitment targets,” Chikov tweeted.

According to the Sota telegram channel, the government in the Sakhalin Region demanded that the heads of districts withdraw mobilization deferment certificates from the government employees. At the same time, the regional government has also demanded to verify strict reporting forms availability with military commissariats [enlistment offices] (in this case, the forms mean certificates of deferrals).

Senator from the Perm Region Andrey Klimov spoke today to United Russia [Putin’s ruling party] members at the Perm State National Research University and called for a general mobilization of society: “To defend the Fatherland, we need a genuine general mobilization of civil society. In this special period that our country is going through, no one should stand aside from the common struggle against the external aggression of fifty unfriendly states. Only a genuine and brisk consolidation of the Russian state and society can reliably protect from their attempt to weaken the Fatherland, to tear us to shreds, to blow us up from the inside”.

Head of the State Duma [lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia] Committee on Information Policy Alexander Khinshtein announced the completion of amendments to the draft law on the release of mobilized and volunteers from punishment for an expired weapon permit. According to him, the amendments will be introduced to the State Duma next week.

Roskomnadzor [Russia's internet censorship agency] blocked the website of the Vladimir-based media outlet "Rezonans',' which posted instructions on evading mobilization. The decision was made by the Kolchugin city court. A rally against the war in Burkina Faso was allowed by the Lipetsk city administration, but the consent was revoked a day before the event. Aleksandr Grigoriev, a local resident, submitted a notification to the city administration to hold a public event under the slogan "We are for peace! We are against the war in Burkina Faso!" After the officials agreed, Grigoriev wrote on social media: "I invite you to a rally against the war, no matter where it takes place." The event was canceled by the city administration a day before it was scheduled. According to the officials, Grigoriev "intentionally provided false information about the purpose of the rally."

After finishing military training, another group of "militiamen" from Kursk returned home. Another trainload of mobilized soldiers left the city of Tyumen. This time, residents of the Tyumen and Yamalo-Nenets regions were sent to the combat zone. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Defense held another teleconference, during which mobilized servicemen deployed in the zone of the "special military operation" were able to communicate with their loved ones and friends from Novosibirsk.

The death toll for mobilized servicemen continues to rise. A mobilized resident of Krasnoyarsk was killed by a landmine leaving his two children without a father.

The online media outlet collected proposals by lawmakers, governors, ombudspersons and other high-profile persons to solve various problems with the help of the mobilization. According to these statements, the mobilization contributes to reducing gang violence, drug addiction, price hikes, and even domestic violence.

A pro-mobilization advertisement campaign urging people to enter contracts with the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation continues on the Internet. Many of the ads look absurd and distort the facts.

The Shilkin district administration in the Zabaykalsky region organized a campaign called Meat for the Fighters. The regional government press service clarified that the meat is being collected to diversify the soldier’s food rations. In the Samara region, the draftee support organization called Help for our Sambats [Samara Battalions] was founded. The group is conducting several campaigns to provide various types of goods to the mobilized soldiers: “Let’s knit for our Sambats,” “Let's sew for our Sambats,”  “Sambat-kitchen,” “Candles for our Sambats.” In the Kursk region, schoolchildren made dugout candles for the front. The Together We Are Strong volunteer unit“” from the Baranovsk school in the Gorshechensk district made 65 dugout candles for the Russian military. Making such candles “to help the front” has become a popular “volunteer” activity across Russia. Among participants, there were retirees from the Amur region who “volunteered” to make candles, too.  The task of finding the raw materials was left to the retirees themselves.

In Moscow, the Gazprom Energo power company suggested that its employees donate part of their salary “to help the mobilized soldiers.” The management offered an option to make a one-time voluntary donation or schedule a contribution on a monthly basis.

18-year-old Moscow resident Nikita Tarabarov was detained by police at 6 a.m. on Dec.17 at a computer club. Initially, he was taken to a police station; later, he was transferred to the Golovin district draft office. The young man says that he was caught up in a “dragnet looking for draft evaders.” Tarabarov was held at the draft office for almost the entire day and was released with a notice to report back on December 20 for his military records check-up. According to him, several other men of military age were held up at the draft office.

29.RU news portal reports that the letter "Z" that had been projected onto the Administration building of Arkhangelsk since March of this year was replaced with a New Year tree projection. It is not clear yet whether the letter “Z” projection will return after the New Year holidays. In Murmansk, the illumination of the Ice Palace of Sports building also changed: instead of the letter “Z”, there is now an abstract New Year’s illumination. According to a subscriber of the Sota Telegram channel, a banner with the letter “Z” was also removed from the palace; instead, there is a festive New Year’s poster now. The situation in Moscow is different. As part of preparations for the New Year holidays, Moscow parks were decorated with the “special operation” symbols: letters “Z”, “V” and patriotic slogans, for example, at VDNKh [permanent general purpose trade show and amusement park] and in Gorky Park (more photos). Meanwhile, in Belgorod, Ded Moroz [Grandfather Frost] arrived at the children’s New Year party on a BTR-82A APC. A video from the "festive events" was published by Mir Belogorya [World of Belogorye] media outlet. According to so-called Ded Moroz, his sleigh got stuck in the forest, and in the clearing he saw Russian fighters who saved him by giving him a lift on an armored personnel carrier.

According to Etazhi company, the percentage of men who take out a mortgage in Russia decreased by 11.3% after March 2022 (from 48.3% to 37%).