mobilization briefs
February 25, 2023

Mobilization in Russia for Feb. 23–24, 2023 CIT volunteer summary 

The list of Russian mobilized men killed in the war against Ukraine is growing by the day. Among those newly added are 45-year-old company captain Fyodor Katenin from the Leningrad region and 24-year-old Yaroslav Udalov from the Yaroslavl region.

Moreover, three more names have been added to the death toll from the New Year's night strike in Makiivka: Alexey Sprygin, Yevgeny Alyamov, and Vitaly Lemza, who until recently had been considered missing. Therefore, as of today, we have identified 123 troops killed in Makiivka, while the number of deaths Russia’s Ministry of Defense acknowledged in its statement of Jan. 4 would only total 89.

One year into the war, at least 15,136 Russian service members lost their lives. This is the number of Russian military casualties that were verified by Mediazona  [an independent Russian media outlet] and BBC News Russian through open sources. Thus, the overall loss Russia sustained in the war against Ukraine has now surpassed the officially confirmed number of deaths of Soviet troops during the ten-year war in Afghanistan. Among those killed, at least 1,214 were mobilized soldiers. It should be mentioned that only a week ago, Russian casualties corroborated by publicly available data amounted to 14,709, with 1,121 of them being mobilized soldiers.

Many regional media outlets maintain lists of residents of their specific regions who were killed while serving in the war zone. Today, these outlets are assessing the impact of this war as well.

In particular, on the anniversary of the invasion, the Idel.Realii [part of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty] online media outlet launched an online database that provides access to names and basic personal details of all soldiers from all regions in the Volga Basin who have been killed in the war, according to Idel.Realii, as of Feb. 23, there were 3,312 citizens from these regions whose death was in some way acknowledged by the Russian authorities.

On the first anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Omsk Civil Association Telegram channel published data on the killed Omsk residents. The list of the residents of Omsk and the Omsk region who were killed in the war as of the evening of Feb. 24 includes 238 names (according to Mediazona and BBC News Russian — 212 names).

At the time of the first anniversary of the invasion, the It's My City media outlet managed to confirm the deaths of 97 mobilized soldiers from the Sverdlovsk region. The outlet has been keeping the list since October based on statements from the authorities and reports from relatives of the killed. It is important to note that this list does not include contracted soldiers, volunteer fighters, and mercenaries of the Wagner Group. According to Mediazona, a total of 568 residents of the Sverdlovsk region were killed in the war.

The Lyudi Baikala [People of Baikal] independent media outlet count residents of Buryatia [Russia’s constituent republic] and the Irkutsk region who were killed in the war in Ukraine. There are 747 names on its list today (according to Mediazona and BBC News Russian — 655 names).

The 72.RU online media outlet showed what the cemetery for the Tyumen military turned into a year after the start of the "special military operation." Last summer, sector 28 included only a row of six graves. Now it takes time to get around the site.

In a conversation with Lyudi Baikala, a mobilized man from the Irkutsk region named “terrible,” the situation at the front: “I saw dozens of corpses, all of them were my fellow soldiers. No one knew for how long they had been there. Some of them had been lying there for a long time. No one seemed to want to take them out." The man added that less than half of his unit survived.

A video showing the interrogation of Nikita Fomichyov, who was taken prisoner by the UAF, has hit the internet. He said that since the beginning of the war, the 155th Naval Infantry Brigade of the Pacific Fleet was replenished seven or eight times with draftees as well as conscripts who were forced to sign contracts. Fomichyov says that the bodies of those killed are being stored for 3 to 4 months at a warehouse in order to delay paying compensation to their relatives. Recall that there have already been multiple reports of a large number of casualties suffered by the 155th Brigade. Late last year, marines even complained to their governor about mass casualties among their fellow soldiers. It is important to remember, however, that POWs are under pressure from their circumstances, and their words do not always reflect reality.

12 draftees from Langepas, a town in the Khanty-Mansi autonomous region, were able to spend their leaves at home. The town mayor Sergey Gorobchenko met with them and wrote about it in his Telegram channel.

A draftee who hit a fellow soldier while intoxicated at a military unit in Ingushetia [Russia’s constituent republic] has received a suspended sentence. According to the court’s sentencing statement, the draftee Dmitry Romanov, while drunk, entered a conflict with a fellow soldier who made a disapproving remark. Romanov hit his opponent, a soldier of an inferior rank, in the face several times. The draftee conceded his guilt and confirmed the circumstances of the incident. As compensation, he paid 20 thousand rubles to his victim. Romanov was facing from 3 to 10 years in prison, but the court only sentenced him to probation.

A contract serviceman is accused of going AWOL because of the refusal of the command to grant him a leave. According to Junior Sergeant Ivan Medvedev, his command ignored his numerous requests to grant him a leave required for extra medical treatment after having been injured back in March and for taking care of his ailing conservator. The servicemen left the military unit on his own in Dec. 2022. The command of the regiment, in their turn, transferred the case file to the military investigation department, which initiated criminal proceedings against Ivan Medvedev in accordance with art. 337.5 of the Russian Criminal Code (going AWOL during the mobilization period), which provides a 5 to 10 years imprisonment. Ivan Medvedev turned himself in at the investigation department accompanied by his lawyer on Feb. 23 and then turned back to his military unit.

A section of the railroad was blown up in Crimea. According to preliminary reports, a railroad section 12 kilometers away from the Simferopol railway station, in the vicinity of the village of Poshtove, was damaged by the blast. Traffic on the branch line was stopped due to the inflicted damage. Three trains were delayed in total: one train from Sevastopol to Saint Petersburg with 166 passengers and two suburban trains.

Later, the ATESH guerrilla group claimed responsibility for blowing up the railroad section in Crimea. A photo of allegedly an explosive device that damaged the railway track was published in the group’s Telegram channel.

A year nine student was detained for intending to set fire to a military commissariat [enlistment office]. On Feb. 23, at 10:30 p.m., the student was detained in Tobolsk. Someone denounced the boy, telling the police that he was going to set fire to a military commissariat. A lighter and a Molotov cocktail were allegedly found with the schoolboy during the arrest.

An arsonist of the military commissariat in Bratsk was accused of "terrorism." The charge against Dmitry Mikheev, arrested for setting fire to the commissariat, was reclassified: first, he was charged with "destruction of property," and now — with "a terrorist act." Thus, Mikheev faces up to twenty years in prison under the new article. The military commissariat in Bratsk caught fire on Jan. 9, and the policemen who were nearby during the extinguishing denied the fact of arson. According to them, the fire was caused by faulty electrical wiring.

On the first anniversary of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, not only the number of KIAs is being counted. Starting from the first day of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, protests began in Russia; at first, they were massive and were brutally dispersed. Then, single picketers with “No to war” and “For peace” posters began to protest all over the country, and they were detained every now and then. Protocols on “discrediting [the Russian Army]” are drawn up, and cases of “fake” are initiated against people who write about the war on the Internet — they face up to 15 years in prison. Mediazona [an independent Russian media outlet] recalls how anti-war activists have been trying to protest against the war for the whole year since the beginning of the invasion.