mobilization briefs
December 25, 2022

Mobilization in Russia for December 23–24, CIT volunteer summary

The Russian government extended the list of departments receiving updates from the federal personal records register. The list now includes the Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media and the Ministry of Defense. Prior to this, these updates were provided to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Ministry of Labor, the Federal Tax Service, the Federal Compulsory Medical Insurance Fund and the Pension Fund. The register is a database where all basic personal details of Russian citizens are stored.

A video leaked to social media shows mobilized troops departing to war from a train station in Russia’s Chuvash Republic. Dancing and having fun, they appear not to lose any of their high spirits. One of the dancers is waving the armorial banner of the Russian Empire. Mobilized residents of Novgorod set out from the city of Tver to Ukraine, but the carriage with all their belongings was sent to Ryazan.

In Saint Petersburg draft notices are still being delivered to citizens. “Varshavskaya Street, 55 building 1, there’s a draft notice duct-taped to our neighbor’s door. He is in his forties,” residents say. In Moscow recruiters seek out migrant workers near metro stations and hand out leaflets offering to sign up with the Russian armed forces. These leaflets highlight powerful incentives of joining the Russian army, such as “fighting against the Nazis in Ukraine”, “invaluable experience of participating in the “special military operation" and “a chance to become a hero of Russia.”

Authorities of the Leningrad region purchased old Niva vehicles [off-road cars manufactured in Russia] for mobilized troops participating in the “special military operation.” Records of this purchase were revealed on the website of the public procurement office. The media outlet notes that one of these vehicles was bought for 760,000 roubles although an average price of such a vehicle in a similar condition only amounts to 500,000. Another noteworthy record found on that website is related to the contract for the purchase of New Year gifts for children of mobilized citizens of Bashkortostan [Russia’s constituent republic]. This record suggests that mobilized residents of Bashkortostan left at least 7547 children back at home.

In Novosibirsk, two drunk draftees had a row with the staff of an optometrist shop, broke a chair and a display case. The employees called the police, who arrived at the scene after 30 minutes. The draftees were made to record a video apology on the spot and will not, most likely, face further consequences.

Another draftee from Molchanov in the Tomsk region was killed in the war. Ivan Borkovskiy, a father of two, was mobilized on September 27 together with several men from his village. Ivan’s wife Ekaterina got the news of his being killed from his fellow soldiers. A Ukrainian citizen residing in Belgorod who had earlier participated in the Anti-Terrorist Operation” [the 2014–18 war in Donbass] has been taken prisoner by the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Until 2017, Mikhail Naydenko served as a Ukrainian border guard and spent half a year in the ATO zone in the Luhansk region where AFU was fighting with separatists. Naydenko later resigned from the army and in 2019 he and his family moved to Belgorod. In 2021, he became a Russian citizen but kept his Ukrainian passport. Shortly before the war, he was issued a military id and in September 2022, Naydenko was drafted and found himself in the combat zone. While attempting to escape encirclement near Chervonopopivka, he became a POW. As a Ukrainian citizen, he may now face treason charges.

In Moscow, the authorities are trying to forcibly draft Daniil Myatin, an educator whose health, according to his relatives, would not allow him to serve. Officers took away Myatin’s documents and phone as he is held incommunicado at a collection point. It’s worth noting that Myatin is a pro-regime activist and a member of the Volunteers of Victory movement that has staged, among other things, anti-Ukrainian actions. In 2019, he participated in the persecution of the news outlet DOXA that was at the time still connected with the Higher School of Economics: during a birthday celebration at the Higher School, he tried to obstruct an action of support for political prisoners including Egor Zhukov, a defendant in the “Moscow case.” Faced with the illegal mobilization of their ailing fellow activist, the Volunteers of Victory remain silent. DOXA, on the other hand, is sounding the alarm and trying to save the man.

Governor of Zabaykalsky region Aleksandr Osipov published an illustration from the cover of the Polish magazine Wprost on his page on the VKontakte social network. The illustration expresses support for Ukraine, whose people defend their families at the front on Christmas. Osipov, who did not understand the context of the image, wrote that the illustration was “brilliant”. Nevertheless, Osipov's post was eventually deleted.

Soldiers thank for the warm woolen socks now being knitted by women across the country. A very young soldier in the video promises to “wear them carefully.”

Correspondents of the Sota media outlet visited the performance preview of the “Victory Tree" — a children's New Year's military performance held yesterday for the winners of the Draw a Victory Tree contest. The performances start today.