mobilization briefs
December 6, 2022

Mobilization in Russia for December 4–5, CIT volunteer summary

The next wave of mobilization in Russia reportedly starts in January. The Ministry of Defense instructed regional military commissariats [enlistment offices] to start active preparations for calling up men to fight in Ukraine. Recruitment of draftees will begin in January-February. However, the authorities do not plan to officially announce the mobilization. The Mozhem Obyasnit’ [We can explain] Telegram channel received this information from three unrelated sources in military commissariats in different regions. They claim that one of the tasks set by the Ministry of Defense is the mass distribution of draft notes under Putin's decree on "partial" mobilization, which has not been officially revoked. Also, the military commissariats were obliged to launch raids on the places of residence of men liable for military service. The number of people to be mobilized is not yet disclosed by the Ministry of Defense. According to an interviewed officer of a military commissariat in St. Petersburg, commissariats were warned that "there will be a lot of work in January and February." A source in a Moscow commissariat added that the employees were obliged to "review the files of conscripts and contract soldiers in order to send them draft notices and mobilize them."

Local authorities and draft offices send letters to Moscow residents threatening, among other things, with criminal liability under article 328 of the Criminal Code of Russia for nonappearance to draft offices.

Pavel Chikov, a human rights activist and lawyer, notes that the number of raids on conscripts is growing – young men are forcibly taken to draft offices, their mobile phones are taken away, they undergo medical examinations in one day and are drafted. In the legal sense, these actions are unlawful. However, due to the short period of the autumn conscription, which lasts only two months until the end of the year, the authorities will intensify efforts to fulfill the conscription. Another case of illegal conscription in Moscow was unsuccessful. A Moscow resident was detained and brought to a draft office by police investigators, posing as clients who wanted to repair a mobile phone via Yula [a Russian classified advertisements website]. The man was sent from the draft office to an Army depot, but he turned the corner and ran away. With the help of lawyers, he has sent formal letters demanding the decision of a draft commission, and also filed a suit. The Ministry of Vocational Education of the Primorsky region asked heads of universities to expel students so that the region could fulfill the conscription plan.

The State Legal Department of the Moscow City Duma [regional parliament of Moscow] has refused to register an appeal to Vladimir Putin demanding him to sign the  decree on the end of the mobilization. The authors of the appeal, Moscow City Duma members Stupin, Timonov and Kruglov, were told that such issues were beyond the competence of the city parliament. At the same time, the Department has no right to limit CIty Duma members in issuing documents of this kind.

The Russian authorities may propose legislative amendments to complicate the lives of those Russians who have left Russia due to mobilization. This was claimed by Senator Andrey Klishas to the pro-Kremlin newspaper Vedomosti. “Many of them have fled and continue to work in Russian companies remotely. Can we change the law to restrict schemes allowing people to work there [abroad] and receive money here considering the fact that we cannot be sure if they pay all taxes? Yes, we can,” the senator said. In response to this statement, Russian President’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that there was no discussion in the Kremlin on how to legally make the lives of those Russians who have left the country "less comfortable". Moreover, according to the Banks, Money, and Two Offshores Telegram channel, since the beginning of mobilization in Moscow, the number of IT specialists who rent apartments has halved. Previously, IT specialists rented apartments mainly for 50-100 thousand rubles a month, but with the start of mobilization, about half of them relocated to other countries. The basis for the statistics is unknown.

In response to numerous complaints about non-payment of allowances, the authorities of the Pskov region prepared a letter to the Department of Finance Support of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation. Regional authorities asked the Ministry of Defense to ensure timely provision of monetary allowances to military personnel participating in the "special military operation." Pskov trade unions donated mineral water to the servicemen in the war zone. They promised to donate more than 1000 bottles in total.

Kostroma newspapers were forbidden to use the word "mobilized". Instead, local media should now write "recently drafted military personnel."

Igor Timukhin, born 1999, from the village of Kurya, Sverdlovsk region, was mobilized on September 29 and killed near Svatove a month later. Another resident of the Sverdlovsk region, Alexey Maltsev from Kamensk-Uralsky, was mobilized on September 28 and killed on November 2. His funeral will take place on December 7. 29 mobilized soldiers from Irbit, Sverdlovsk region, deserted from the front because they were starving. The men from Irbit were mobilized on September 29. First, they were sent to the 32nd military camp in Yekaterinburg, then to the Rostov region, and then to the war in Ukraine. At the end of November, the men were left without food and command. Therefore, the mobilized left the front. Now the men are accused of desertion, as their wives told E1.RU.

The Russian Ministry of Defense keeps reporting on draftees undergoing combat training, “Artillery crews formed from mobilized servicemen are successfully operating the Giatsint-B 152mm towed guns.” In the Kaliningrad region, mobilized soldiers practiced combat firing from portable ATGMs. In the Stavropol region, draftees worked on combat tactics. In Tomsk, draftees practiced shooting at targets depicting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. One of the instructors leading the exercises at a training camp in Chebarkul published photographs of the targets. To lift the fighting spirits of the servicemen stationed in the Republic of Belarus, a group of artists from the Central House of the Russian Army came to perform. Meanwhile, on the stage of the Central House of the Russian Army itself, artists from the Bolshoi State Theater performed for the mothers and wives of servicemen called up from reserve as part of the “partial” mobilization.

A Novosibirsk club did not admit a group of mobilized soldiers dressed in military uniform. One of the soldiers introduced himself as a Senior Lieutenant of the Special Forces. “You understand that you are about to face charges for discrediting the Armed Forces, don’t you?” the man who filmed this video threatened the club’s security personnel. A club staff member answered, “We have a dress code and it cannot be changed. The draftees who come here keep starting fights and assaulting others with knives.”

The 60-year-old director general of the Perm Polymer Materials Research Institute Nikolay Lakhauzov has left his post in order to volunteer in Ukraine. The Research Institute he used to direct is one of the few organizations in Russia that develop new gunpowders and solid rocket fuels.