Mobilization in Russia for Feb. 25–26, 2023 CIT volunteer summary
Deputy Chairman of the Government of the Zabaykalsky region [Russia’s federal constituent entity] in charge of housing and communal services, Aleksey Sergeykin, visited the “special military operation” zone. He pointed out that entertainment shows held for servicemen close to the frontline were a great success. “Wartime concert companies are still very much in demand,” he said. Meanwhile, Governor of the Zabaykalsky region Aleksandr Osipov gave a public speech on Lenin Square in Chita on Feb. 26 on the occasion of celebrations. He claimed he had just returned from the “special military operation” area, asked everyone to forgive him, and reflected on whether public celebrations during wartime were viewed as appropriate by the soldiers on active duty. Member of the parliament of the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous region [Yugra, Russia’s federal constituent entity] Yevgeny Rebyakin visited Mariupol and delivered a Niva off-road vehicle to the Russian military. The vehicle had been purchased with money donated by residents and businesses of the region.
New names of mobilized soldiers killed in the war with Ukraine became known: Vasily Gladkov from the Novosibirsk region, Sergey Dedyulya from Surgut, Dmitry Kotsebo from the Bryansk region, and Bulat Badmaev from Buryatia [Russia’s constituent republic].
The list of soldiers killed as a result of the strike on Makiivka on Jan. 1 was also replenished with new names of Dmitry Lentin, Aleksandr Arapov, Andrey Sniger, Aleksandr Sorokin, and Aleksandr Fedotkin. Thus, to date, we know the names of 132 victims.
In yesterday's summary, we reported about a new video message from Irkutsk mobilized soldiers of the 1439th Regiment, who announced that they were sent to the assault without training. Today, on Feb. 26, the Head of the Irkutsk region, Igor Kobzev, stated that he had taken the situation "under control." “Regarding a video message recorded by our mobilized guys of the 1439th Regiment. I turned to the Military Prosecutor's Office of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation for clarification. They identified a person responsible for working with our military personnel. Individual conversations were held, and in the near future, the guys will be transferred to a new duty station,” he reported in his Telegram channel. Let us recall that after the previous appeal by the military personnel of the 1439th Regiment, the Governor held a meeting with "wives of mobilized soldiers"; however, the soldiers’ relatives did not know about the meeting. After the meeting, it was reported that the servicemen’s problem was being solved, however, as it became known later, mobilized soldiers of the 2nd Battalion had still been sent to the assault.
Elena Trifonova, author and editor of the Lyudi Baikala [People of Baikal] independent media outlet, shared her impressions of communicating with the mobilized soldiers from the 1439th Regiment, who told her that they were sent for assaults [though they were promised to be assigned to the Territorial Defense Forces].
In the Belgorod region, an armed, mobilized soldier is wanted. According to resources of the ASTRA Telegram channel, the 30-year-old corporal was mobilized into military unit 53359 in Nizhny Novgorod in Oct. 2022. On Feb. 24, around midnight, he took a Kalashnikov assault rifle and left the unit in the Graivoronsky district of the region.
At night, an unknown person tried to set fire to the building of a draft office in Sosnovy Bor, Leningrad region. One of the four Molotov cocktails flew into the window of the Social Insurance Fund office, located in the same building as the draft office, the other one did not catch fire. Two more bottles crashed into the metal window frame. The draft office was not damaged, but the plastic siding of the ceiling with an area of two square meters burned out in the office of the Social Insurance Fund.
In St. Petersburg, authorities detained a suspect in an attempted arson at the main warehouse of Rosgvardia [Russian National Guard] located in the city’s Krasnogvardeysky district. According to the police, the man was also plotting to set fire to the official vehicles of the traffic police. The detained 39-year-old named Aleksey already figures as a witness in another case brought on Jan. 19, where an unknown person drilled a hole in a glass window and poured kerosene into a room containing Rosgvardia uniforms. Bottles with a flammable mixture of acetone and benzene were found in the detainee’s backpack. While at the police station, the man reportedly told of another one of his crimes: on Feb. 20, he set fire to two Ministry of Internal Affairs vehicles on the Tikhoretskiy Prospect.
The Dozhd’ [Rain] TV channel [an independent opposition channel operating in exile] found 24 boarding schools in Russia where Ukrainian children were taken. In 21 of them, the children are undergoing “military and patriotic preparation.” Already in August, about 400 children were taken from the occupied territories in Ukraine. Dozhd’ researched the social network pages of these organizations and found out that the Ukrainian children, together with Russian children also there, were participating in a variety of “patriotic” activities, including listening to the Ministry of Defense Spokesman Igor Konashenkov, who reported “eliminated nazis,” making trench candles for the frontlines, staging military-themed plays, learning to handle Kalashnikov assault rifles, writing letters to Russian soldiers at the front, and visiting wounded soldiers in hospitals. The actual number of children left without parental care and taken out from Ukrainian territory is much higher than 400.
Meanwhile, in the Russian Classical School in the city of Volgograd, in addition to singing Cossack songs, children are taught to hold weapons in their hands and aim at the enemy.
One year ago, during the first week of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, over 5,000 schoolteachers in Russia supported a petition against the war. However, at the end of Mar. 2022, the petition creators hid the names of the signatories: it became clear that it was unsafe to express one's opinion. The Idel.Realii [part of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty] online media outlet published its own investigation on how military propaganda works in schools.
A military and patriotic CrossFit event was held in the town of Krasnogorsk, Moscow region. While the adults competed in weight lifting and press-ups, the children were engaged in training on Kalashnikov assault rifle shooting led by fighters with letter Z on their shoulder patches. Parents took pictures of their kids with assault rifles in their hands for family albums. The event included a master class on weaving camouflage nets and making trench candles. In the end, both adults and kids were doused with cold water.
Against the backdrop of the flow of news about military events in schools and kindergartens, the Myagkaya Sila [Soft Power] movement has created a petition on change.org demanding to stop the militarization of children. Currently, just over 1250 people have signed it.
The authorities in Novosibirsk will spend 1.5 million rubles on the Turetsky Choir concert for families of mobilized servicemen. The concert "I'm 60, and it's great!" will be held on Mar. 4 at the House of Culture of Railway Workers. Tickets for the performance are also available for purchase at prices ranging from 3.2 to 6.5 thousand rubles.