mobilization briefs
February 14, 2023

Mobilization in Russia for Feb. 12–13, 2023, CIT volunteer summary 

The United States Embassy in Moscow issued a ‘Do Not Travel’ advisory and recommended that US citizens leave Russia immediately. “U.S. citizens residing or traveling in Russia should depart immediately. Exercise increased caution due to the risk of wrongful detentions.” Diplomats warn that Russia may refuse to acknowledge dual nationals’ U.S. citizenship, deny their access to U.S. consular assistance, subject them to mobilization, prevent their departure from Russia, and/or conscript them.”

Putin’s spokesman Dmitriy Peskov, commenting on the US Embassy statement, emphasized that there were no plans for a new wave of mobilization in Russia. “It is not the first time that we hear such calls [to depart Russia]; therefore, this isn’t news. With regards to the mention of citizens holding dual citizenship, such citizens are for us, first and foremost, citizens of Russia irregardless of their second citizenship,” said Peskov.

The Mediazona independent news outlet noticed that the Judicial Department of the Russian Supreme Court no longer reports statistics on prosecutions of offenses against military service, such as desertion, going AWOL, and not obeying orders. The Judicial Department explained the disappearance of the data by referring to directives issued by the Defense Ministry and the FSB [Federal Security Service] making the data secret.

Governor of the Kirov region Aleksandr Sokolov visited draftees from Vyatka who are serving at air-defense units near Luhansk. Sokolov delivered to the service members equipment they were lacking, including tents and a power generator.

New social support programs for military servicemen and their families have appeared in the Khanty-Mansi autonomous region [federal subject of Russia]. One of the programs provides a monetary payout for children of mobilized soldiers who pay alimony. While these men are actively serving in the military, the program will make their monthly child support payments for up to 12 months from the date when they were initially drafted. In total, the amount paid out over the 12 months will be 24,480 rubles per child.

New information on mobilized soldiers being killed in the war in Ukraine keeps coming. Among those killed is Aleksandr Teplov from Bashkiria [constituent republic of Russia] as well as Artyom Prokudin and Vitaly Minakov from the Kaluga region.

A resident of the Novosibirsk region, Mikhail Nizhegorodtsev, who was drafted on Sept.27, and recently returned home for rotation, suddenly died. The cause of death is being investigated.

Mediazona has published an update on the number of Russian losses in the war with Ukraine. Since Jan. 27, another 1555 people have been added to the list. This is the largest increase for the entire time of the war. The confirmed number of killed draftees exceeded one thousand: by Feb. 12, we knew the names of 1082 men, on Feb. 9, this number was 924.

Drafted men from the Orenburg and Samara regions recorded a video in which they said that they were trained as part of the commandant's battalion in the Orenburg region, but upon arrival in the combat zone, their unit was disbanded, and they ended up in a separate shooting battalion of the "DPR". According to the men, now they have to participate in the attacks without proper training and have already suffered losses.

In another video, the men drafted from the Orenburg region also complain that during their training, they were promised service in the territorial defense, but upon arrival in the war zone, they were transferred to the “DPR” command. The “DPR” command assigned them  to the assault infantry, and in 30 minutes, they were expected to go to the front line.

Also, residents of one of the occupied parts of the Donetsk region whose loved ones were mobilized into the “DPR” People’s Militia’s 117th Rifle Regiment recorded another video address. The wives of the mobilized soldiers claim that their husbands who have already spent a year in the area of the “special military operation,” are not granted leave despite many of them being unfit for service or wounded. In spite of everything, their husbands are being sent on reconnaissance and assault missions.

In yesterday’s summary, we wrote that the draftees from Russia’s constituent republic of Tatarstan were returned to their regiment deployed in the area of the “special military operation.” Today it became known that despite the promises of the press service of the Head of Tatarstan, the mobilized soldiers were not returned to their regiment, but rather they were again assigned to “DPR” units. The Astra Telegram channel’s editorial office has contacted the relative of a mobilized soldier from Kazan who serves in the 1231st Regiment, who said “Everyone who appealed was already reassigned to a different unit. A different battalion was transferred to the 9th Army, I don’t know exactly which one. The commander of the regiment was suspended from command. Only one battalion is left, and they are required to assign people to different missions. They were also assigned to “DPR” units. And all of those who were on the frontline are not receiving combat-related compensation. The authorities say that they served in “DPR” units and “DPR” is not related to Russia’s Ministry of Defense.”

Russia's Commissioner for Human Rights Tatyana Moskalkova demanded Valery Gerasimov, the Chief of the General Staff, to investigate the complaints of the draftees from Tatarstan. "I sent a letter to <...> Gerasimov with a request to investigate the information that appeared on the internet that those draftees from the Republic of Tatarstan were sent almost without any weapons to perform combat assignments as part of the special military operation."

Draftees from the Irkutsk region that were complaining about being turned into an assault squad, even though they were promised defensive duties, have been left so far in their original capacity. The wives of the draftees confirmed that after the governor of the Irkutsk region was involved, tensions were relieved, and a moratorium was imposed on the reappointment of draftees.

Authorities fulfilled the requests of draftees from the Samara region who survived the Makiivka attack. According to Nikolay, the brother of a draftee from the 1444th Regiment, the unit is now supervised by a military prosecutor's office, and the servicemen were promised that they would be “looked after”.

According to pro-Russian blogger Andrey Morozov ("Fighting Cat Murz"), draftees from the 51st Airborne Regiment are breaking their arms and legs in order not to return to the front. While on vacation, the mobilized servicemen intentionally injure themselves. This is because, while working on the evacuation of the wounded in the combat zone, the Wagner Group mercenaries threatened them with death. Some of the draftees were shot in the legs: "People don't want to get a bullet in the back from their friendlies for something they can't influence." Furthermore, all military aid is funneled to the Wagner Group.

According to the VChK-OGPU Telegram channel source, a head of an organization involved in training people for mobilization in the RuAF was detained in the Moscow subway. On Feb. 11, police stopped Vladislav Tarasenko, founder of the Dobrovolets [Volunteer] Multidisciplinary Training Center, at the Novokosino subway station. During the search, an MRO-A grenade launcher was seized from him. Later the grenade launcher turned out to be a mock-up.

Yet there is good news: Artyom Borozna from Krasnoyarsk mobilized despite having a reserved occupation, and was able to return home after a long struggle.

A “war correspondent” from Buryatia [Russia’s constituent Republic], Aleksandr Garmaev, reported in his Telegram channel that employees of the Sila rodnoy zemli [Native Land Power] Ulan-Ude organization send clothes for Russian servicemen made of fabric resembling Ukrainian military uniform. His readers also joined in the criticism of the volunteers.

Children in the Teremok [small tower] kindergarten in Zheleznovodsk make postcards for war veterans and collect boxes with gifts for them: jam and honey. The Pozdrav' zashchitnika [Congratulate the defender] campaign is launched in a lyceum in the Moscow region. Primary school students of Lyceum No. 26 of Podolsk are preparing gifts for the Russian servicemen for the Defender of the Fatherland Day on Feb. 23. Meanwhile, St. Petersburg schools were ordered to buy models of grenades and machine guns for the new subject called "Basic military training." Now, in the Central District of St. Petersburg alone, 23 million rubles will be spent on the purchase of all necessary equipment.