mobilization briefs
February 23, 2023

Mobilization in Russia for Feb. 21–22, 2023 CIT volunteer summary 

The State Duma [lower house of Russia's Federal Assembly] passed a law securing an increased pension for retired servicemen who have rejoined the Armed Forces. Prior to the law being passed, retired servicemen returning to service at a position with a rate of pay lower than the one from which their pensions were calculated received a reduced pension.

State Duma member Andrey Gurulyov commented on the president's initiative to provide 14-day vacations to servicemen fighting in Ukraine, "If the war is ongoing, it will not be possible to get a vacation immediately. During any breaks or restoration of combat capability, vacations will be provided. A tank crew is three people. Placing one of them on leave makes the tank not ready for combat."

Governor of the Zabaykalsky region Aleksandr Osipov plans to expand the list of tanks for the destruction of which monetary rewards will be paid. The rewards are already set for the destruction of the German Leopard and the American Abrams. As of now, it is unknown which tanks will be added to the list and who will finance the payments.

The Governor of the Khanty-Mansi region instructed to set up a network of special sites throughout the region to assist the families of the servicemen participating in the "special military operation." And the Governor of the Novgorod region promised that he would allow veterans of the war in Ukraine to sell hot dogs in the central square of Novgorod, "Yes, we will encourage and distinguish them! That is, no one can sell hot dogs on Sofia Square in Novgorod. But they can! They are heroes; we must not forget about them."

Governor of Primorye [Russia’s constituent entity] Oleg Kozhemyako claimed that residents of the region engaged in the defense industry will be entitled to preferential rental housing at prices significantly lower than the market rates.

In 2022, the Commissioner for Human Rights in Tatarstan [Russia’s constituent republic] received more than 4 thousand complaints from mobilized men and their families, as ombudsman Sariya Saburskaya reported at a meeting of the State Council of Tatarstan.

Three women from the Tyumen region are struggling for their husbands to be sent back home from the war, even though the men were exempted. The men, each of whom is a father of three children, were mobilized at the end of September. The instructions of the General Staff exempting fathers of three children from military service were issued only on Oct. 16, when the men were already deployed to the “special military operation” zone. The wives started campaigning for the return of their husbands. The draft board canceled the mobilization order issued by the draft office, and its resolution should have been sent to the military unit. However, the battalion denies having received the resolution. There is nothing else that can be done by the women, so their husbands have to carry on with the war.

The list of mobilized killed in the war is growing. Among the new names are Maksim Toropov and Maksim Teter from the Omsk region, Anatoly Ildukov from Tatarstan, Ilnur Gubaidullin and Aleksandr Dolganov from Bashkiria [Russia’s constituent republic]. Moreover, Pavel Tsyganov, Nikolay Igonin, Aleksandr Voronkov and Aleksey Fomin were added to the list of victims of the strike that hit Makiivka on the first night of this year. This list now counts as many as 116 names.

According to The Moscow Times, authorities in the Russian regions are limiting the amount of bodies of troops killed in Ukraine that can be released daily, so as not to stir social discontent. The outlet spoke with sources among officials and morgue employees who confirmed this information.

In a border-neighboring district of the Bryansk region, a service member from Moscow have committed suicide. In the Voronezh region, a soldier ended up in a hospital after an ammunition explosion at a Ministry of Defense field camp near the village of Novaya Melnitsa.

In the Belgorod region back in August, a serviceman sold an AK-74 assault rifle to a hunter. The police didn't find out about the transaction until Feb. 20, when the two men were detained while attempting to hide the weapon in the forest. The authorities filed a criminal complaint under article 222 [of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation], illegal acquisition and sale of firearms. Both the service member and the hunter face up to five years in a penal colony.

According to the FSB [Federal Security Service], the agency has prevented an act of sabotage at a segment of the Sverdlovsk railroad close to Nizhnevartovsk (Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Region). The authorities published photographs taken at the location where they arrested the suspect.

It only took a few hours for Karelia residents to raise 15 thousand rubles to pay a fine to a grocery store clerk who expressed her anger about government officials and their children not fighting in the war and demanded that the war casualty numbers be published. During the year since the beginning of the full-scale invasion into Ukraine, various organizations helped raise at least 32.4 million rubles to help those who voiced their opposition to the war pay fines imposed on them by the government.

In the Vladimir region, the Raduga [Rainbow] kindergarten, several schools, and other organizations sent cookies, chocolate, waffles, tea, coffee, sugar, and other treats to participants of the so-called special military operation. In Samara, to honor the Defender of the Fatherland Day (Feb. 23), yet another batch of aid for the “special military operation” participants is being collected. Anyone there can also contribute to an all-Russian care package drive called Korzina dobra [Basket of good].

The head of one of Mordovia's [Russia’s constituent republic] districts handed over food packages to the families of the draftees. The widows of the draftees from Vladivostok, who were killed in Ukraine, were offered sausages for the Defender of the Fatherland Day. For some reason, the post about this was later deleted. In the Kirsanovsky district council of the Orenburg region, families of draftees were presented with congratulatory certificates from the bottom of their hearts. And on the eve of Feb. 23, officials from the Kaliningrad region presented holiday edition newspapers to the hospital patients.

About 26,000 items of warm clothing for the troops were knitted by caring residents and volunteers in the Perm region as part of the all-Russian campaign Warmth for a Hero, which was timed with the Defender of the Fatherland Day.

Relatives of four drafted men from the Yadrinsky district of Chuvashia [Russia’s constituent republic] turned to the local administration with a request to help them heat their houses. Employees of the Yadrinsky forestry delivered the firewood and helped to chop it.

The Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Vladimir region held "patriotic events" in schools. The department published a photo of children in bulletproof vests and helmets. The students of School No. 51 in Ufa city also tried on military gear. This opportunity presented itself at a school meeting with a veteran of the war in Ukraine.

The patriotic and military center KORDON TARKHANKUT received a state grant for the project "Do aZ I Do!" in the amount of 3 million rubles. Within the framework of the project, elements of military training are carried out with children at schools. The Chaykovsky Committee of Veterans of the War in Afghanistan and Chechnya continues its tour of the kindergartens in the town. A father and a daughter who were training at home came to the children's competitions in the timed assembling and disassembling of assault rifles.

The physically disabled children who congratulated the Wagner Group and whom we reported about in yesterday's summary turned out to be from the town of Kungur in the Perm region. The journalists found out that the students of the Kungur boarding school and the deputy director for academic work Natalia Melkova were filmed in the video. The director of the boarding school Nina Dyachenko said that it was a children's initiative to record the congratulations.

A master class on making camouflage nets was held near the Luzhniki stadium, apparently for those who did not get to the rally concert. On Feb. 22, patriotic rallies were held throughout the Russian Federation, and not just in Luzhniki. Military commissars gave speeches in the regions, the names of those killed in the “special military operation” were read to schoolchildren, and the children themselves were urged to sing songs of Shaman [a stage name of Russian singer Yaroslav Dronov best known for his song “Ya russkiy” (I'm Russian)].

Two residents of the city of Barnaul filed a lawsuit against the military commissariat, the border departments of the FSB, and the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation, demanding to recover damages and moral damages for the fact that one of the plaintiffs was not allowed to travel abroad. The lawsuit is still pending.

The Kholod independent online outlet reported how Russian health care had changed since the beginning of the war, why doctors were encouraged to undergo accelerated retraining, and why many people considered it to be dangerous.