mobilization briefs
February 22, 2023

Mobilization in Russia for Feb. 20–21, 2023 CIT volunteer summary 

Commenting on instructions by President Putin, head of the State Duma [lower house of Russia's Federal Assembly] Committee on Defense Andrey Kartapolov stated that it is possible to introduce a two-week vacation every six months for all participants in the "special military operation" by order of the Russian Ministry of Defense; at the same time, however, he stressed that the State Duma is ready to legislate such a vacation.

Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Labor, Social Policy and Veterans' Affairs Yaroslav Nilov said that the State Fund for Aid to the Families of Fallen Soldiers and Veterans of the "Special Military Operation" will operate in every region of Russia. "I believe that in order for it to work, it will be necessary to adopt a special federal law, where the necessary legal foundations will be laid," the deputy added.

Mayor of Moscow Sergei Sobyanin signed a decree extending social support measures to families of contract servicemen and volunteers. Now they are promised the same support as the families of draftees. A list of benefits has been published.

VTB Bank cancels fees for transactions on the accounts of participants of the "special military operation," draftees, as well as their family members.

The New York Times reports that Putin may mobilize hundreds of thousands more Russians in the near future, citing sources in American intelligence. The Main Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine [GUR] reports that Russia is preparing to call up full-time students, which will probably happen before Apr. 1. "Notification points" have been established to assist military commissariats during the delivery of draft notices to full-time students, according to the GUR.

The German Foreign Ministry advised German citizens to postpone trips to Russia, while those who are already there should exercise caution. A few days earlier, Canada, France, and the United States called on their citizens to leave Russia and Belarus due to the start of the Russian offensive in Ukraine.

Universities in the Yaroslavl region have begun providing military commissariats [enlistment offices] with data about expelled students, according to social media reports. In an explanation provided by Yaroslavl State Technical University, this is a common practice. It has been in effect for more than one year and is based on federal legislation.

In Moscow, police college students were kept locked in the college assembly hall for an hour and a half, being coerced into joining the military and going to the war against Ukraine. With the excuse of a graduation rehearsal, the students were gathered in the assembly hall, where they were joined by the draft officers, ready to hand in the draft notices on the spot. The students refused to accept and sign the draft notices voluntarily. Instead, they called the police and were released shortly after the police arrived.

The Military Ombudsman project explains what to do when receiving a draft notice requiring to report to a military commissariat supposedly for a data check-up. In particular, it clearly states that call-in notices for any conscription-related activity (e.g., for a medical examination) need to be handed in no later than three days in advance of the due date specified in the notice. Therefore, a citizen who reports to the military commissariat for a data check-up cannot be given another draft notice due on the same day. The publication also looks into some other important legal aspects related to the distribution of draft notices.

Head of the city of Artyom (Primorsky region, a federal subject of Russia) Vyacheslav Kvon visited the “special military operation” area. Amidst the ruins of a building destroyed by a missile or a rocket, the mayor laid flowers to commemorate four service members from Artyom and other soldiers who were killed in the incident. Notably, there was no prior media coverage of this incident. The official has also agreed with local authorities for a memorial to be built as a tribute to the victims of the tragedy. Governor of the Yaroslavl region, Mikhail Yevrayev, also visited the war zone. He met with service members from his region in the occupied part of Zaporizhzhia and delivered aid and supplies.

More and more mobilized men are getting killed in the war. Among them are 24-year-old Aleksandr Kanov and 33-year-old Dmitry Meshcheryakov, as well as 31-year-old Aleksandr Semchenko from Yakutia [Russia’s constituent republic], Aleksandr Samoilov from the Novosibirsk region and Vadim Adiyatov from Bashkiria [Russia’s constituent republic]. Other than that, Aleksandr Yagodkin, previously listed as missing, became the 112th confirmed victim of the strike in Makiivka.

The Astra Telegram channel published the names of the conscripts who were killed yesterday when a fire erupted at their dugout caused, reportedly, by a failed attempt to light the heating stove.

The Lyubit Novosibirsk [To Love Novosibirsk] Telegram channel posted a video showing approximately 100 wooden caskets with death certificates attached. Names of Siberia and Far East regions written on caskets, including Buryatia [constituent republic of Russia] and Yakutia [constituent republic of Russia], are legible. Moreover, a truck carrying Novosibirsk plates is visible in the same room. Reportedly, the video was taken at the Tolmachevo airport [near Novosibirsk]. In particular, the video shows a close-up of one of the death certificates. The certificate was issued on Feb. 8 in the so-called DPR for Sergey Viktorovich Yunashev, born Aug. 23, 1983, who was killed in the war and whose identity had been confirmed. The news outlet Sibir.Realii spoke to his classmates. They said that Yunashev’d body would be transported on Feb. 25 to his native village in Khakassia. According to the document, the man was killed on Jan. 27 near Bakhmut.

Two instances of unlawful mobilization of fathers of 3+ children in the Volgograd region have emerged. Sergey Avdeev from the town of Kamyshin is being kept at his military unit. Nikolay Berezetskiy was returned home to his family but was then taken back to his unit on Feb. 3. Besides being a father of three, Berezetskiy holds a draft deferral certificate from his workplace. The wives of both men petitioned all possible authorities, but so far, their pleas did not bear fruit. The military draft office, as well as the prosecutor’s office in the Volgograd region, both claim that in order to become ineligible to be drafted, one has to have four or more children or present a certificate for either death of the spouse or annulment of marriage.

A woman from the Kalganskiy district told of her draftee son becoming sick with pneumonia in early January and suffering from a 40˚C [104F] fever. After her plea to the Ministry of Defense, the man was taken to a hospital. After his fever was treated, he was taken back to the front. In response, the Eastern Military District press service stated that the soldier had received all the medical treatment necessary.

The Belgorod Regional Court sentenced two local residents accused of preparing sabotage on the route of military trainloads to three and a half years in a maximum security penal colony. This is the first sentence in the case of sabotage (Art. 281 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation), initiated after the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Security services in Yaroslavl launched a criminal charge against 19-year-old local resident Valeria Zotova as, according to investigators, she was going to set fire to an aid collection point for the mobilized soldiers. Reportedly, a criminal charge was launched against the girl under the article on a terrorist act (Part 1 of Art. 205 of the Criminal Code).

When visiting the military commissariat after receiving a draft notice, 26-year-old Vadim D. from the village of Zelenchukskaya told the police officer on duty that he did not want to join the army and participate in the “special military operation” but was thinking of blowing up the commissariat. The man was detained on the spot; he was taken to the Investigative Committee, where he confessed. At the moment, he is facing a criminal case because of a false report about an act of terrorism, Part 3 of Art. 207 of the Criminal Code.

A man with a Molotov cocktail was detained in Luzhniki. During interrogation at the police department, he explained that he carried a bottle of flammable fluid with him to inhale it, as he was an inhalants addict. As a result, an administrative protocol was drawn up against the detainee.

In the Irkutsk region, an unknown person tried to set fire to the administration building of the village of Bokhan. This fact was discovered by a security guard after watching a video filmed by CCTV cameras. He noticed a black spot on the wall of the administration building of the Bokhan district. When the security officer scanned the video backward, he saw a stranger who approached the entrance on the night of Feb. 18 and tried to set fire to the wall. The fire flared up, but the building did not catch fire.

A 68-year-old resident of the village of Tyotkino, Kursk region, was accused of looting he took a water heater, a steam boiler, a microwave oven, and four heating batteries out of the house, which had come under fire. He might face a fine of up to two hundred thousand rubles and up to five years in prison under Art. 158 part 2 of the Criminal Code.

Servicemen from the Perm region complained that they had not received their wages since the start of their service. At the same time, as reported, their commander constantly tears up the reports of the servicemen and recommends that they forget about their wages.

As the Vyorstka media outlet found out, some men went to the war to escape from obligations — otherwise, they would face criminal penalties for non-payment of alimony. However, some of the mothers managed to benefit from this — for the first time ever, they received alimony thanks to the military payments of their ex-husbands. On the contrary, other women stopped receiving money due to red tape. As for the debtors, who went to the front, all the restraints imposed by bailiffs were removed from them. Moreover, it is impossible to withdraw the money earned during the war in favor of their children.

Mobilized personnel from the Samara region turned to their colleagues at the Togliatti automobile plant with a request to provide them with a Niva vehicle to perform military tasks. The servicemen will be happy to receive even an old variant.

The carriers of Krasnoyarsk will donate the proceeds for Feb. 24 to the front. The deputy chairman of the carriers association, Viktor Sidorov, announced that the money raised would be used to purchase UAZ vehicles.

Entrepreneurs in the Petrovsk-Zabaykalsky district of the Zabaykalsky region are providing firewood to the families of mobilized soldiers. A total of 120 families have been provided with firewood by them. The authorities are not allocating funds for this purpose, so the issue is being resolved with the help of local residents and entrepreneurs.

Children with physical disabilities, under the guidance of a teacher, congratulated the Wagner Group mercenaries on Defender of the Fatherland Day. It is unclear from which specific institution the children came from; in the video, the teacher says that it is located in the Perm region [federal subject of Russia].

According to CNN's calculations, after the mobilization was announced and until Jan. 25, thousand of Russians arrived at the US-Mexico border. It is noted that in February 2022, there were 769 of them, and in August of the same year, there were 1.6 thousand.