mobilization briefs
March 1, 2023

Mobilization in Russia for Feb. 27–28, 2023 CIT volunteer summary

The Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Culture are jointly working on the creation of propaganda teams, said Minister of Culture Olga Lyubimova. According to her, the teams will visit injured soldiers in the hospitals and will perform in the squares. In the meantime, the Russian State Circus Company went on a tour of the territories occupied by Russia. It is planned to give at least 200 performances there, Lyubimova said. Recall that the Russian State Circus Company has recently purchased helmets and body armor for 2.3 million rubles for business trips of its employees to the “LPR” and “DPR.”

Head of the Russia's constituent republic of Buryatia, Alexey Tsydenov, said that the partakers of the "special military operation” of the republic would be exempt from paying transport tax. The benefit is provided for a period of 2 years (2022 and 2023) and can be applied to one vehicle of the combatant’s family.

Ombudsman from Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Region Natalya Strebkova said that the Ombudsman office regularly received appeals from drafted men who were sent to the “special military operation” zone with chronic diseases. For example, one of the servicemen needed urgent medical care, but instead of a hospital, he ended up in a combat zone. The Ombudsman alleged that measures were being taken to provide such servicemen with medical assistance.

State Duma [lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia] member Maxim Ivanov reported on the emerging progress in the issue of “misplaced” certificates of injury in military hospitals, without which servicemen could not receive their due payments. The Duma member received nine appeals from the servicemen from the Sverdlovsk region. Yesterday, on Feb. 27, Ivanov sent an inquiry to the Chief Military Prosecutor of the Russian Federation with a request to conduct an appropriate investigation. As reported, two people have already received payments following the previously sent inquiry.

A member of the Gubernskaya Duma [regional assembly] of Samara, Maxim Fedorov, offered to cut off former Samara officials from pension supplements. He came up with this idea at a Duma meeting. He proposed to redirect the freed funds to the additional support of the families of draftees. Yet, the initiative was not supported by other Duma members.

A Volgograd office of the Russian Post is looking for a mobilization training specialist whose duties would include, among other things, "the elaboration, preparation, and amendment of mobilization planning documentation." It is required that the candidate has additional professional education in mobilization training.

​​A conscript from Crimea has committed suicide in the border area of ​​the Belgorod region. According to the command, 18-year-old Rustan T. from Sudak was at a border post in the Valuysky district, where he was supposed to guard the border. His body was found later by other soldiers. They claim that Rustan shot an AK-74 through the head when there was nobody nearby. At the moment, the police are investigating the circumstances of the death and this version of events.

Mobilized soldiers continue to die in the war. It became known that  29-year-old Artur Klipakov from the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous region — Yugra, 24-year-old Andrey Chervyakov from the Yaroslavl region, 43-year-old Denis Zykov from the Krasnoyarsk region, 33-year-old Andrey Anikin and 22-year-old Sergey Yegorov from the Volgograd region were killed in action.

The list of mobilized soldiers who were killed as a result of the strike on Makiivka now totals 133 people. Today it was supplemented by Timofey Spirkin. At the same time, a lot of soldiers are still listed as missing.

Novaya Gazeta Europe [independent Russian newspaper] looked into almost 10,000 publications on the VKontakte social network and found references to the search for 1,365 soldiers. And this is clearly an underestimation — not all people report their missing relatives on social networks. The real number of missing servicemen, according to military experts, is much higher — it goes into the thousands. On average, soldiers disappear 60 days after being sent to the front, and it takes months to find them. Nothing is known about 85 soldiers, even after six months of searching.

Complaints of mobilized soldiers about inadequate command do not subside. This time the appeal was published by the soldiers from Tyumen, whose military specialties were changed right on the frontline. For several months, the mobilized men of the 1641st Battalion were trained, but upon arrival at the front, their military specialties changed, and now they are sent to the assaults untrained. The soldiers asked the Military Prosecutor's Office and the Ministry of Defense of Russia to conduct an inspection "onsite, not on paper." Meanwhile, the men, who called themselves mobilized soldiers from the disbanded 352nd Regiment, published a video message to Yevgeny Prigozhin [Russian oligarch, the confidant of Vladimir Putin and owner of the Wagner Group] and asked to join the Wagner Group.

In their address to authorities, relatives of men comprising the “Oryol Volunteer Battalion” said that the volunteer fighters had signed contracts and were now considered contracted service members of the Russian Armed Forces. Despite an earlier promise that they would be able to terminate their contracts after three months, their command cited the presidential decree on mobilization to keep them in the military. While the decree remains in force, contracts are renewed automatically.

In a working settlement of Suzun in the Novosibirsk region, military prosecutors showed up at the door of an elderly woman searching for a runaway draftee who used to rent an apartment from her many years ago. The search warrant stated that the soldier had left the tent camp located on the grounds of the Novosibirsk Higher Military Command School on Oct. 21, 2022. On Dec. 28, a criminal case against him was brought for going AWOL during the period of mobilization. He is facing 5 to 10 years in prison.

A Kamchatka court sentenced Sergey Vladimirov, a Pacific Fleet service member, to eight years in a high-security penal colony for war-time desertion with a weapon and assaulting government security officers. As he was being detained, he discharged a pepper spray canister towards the Rosgvardiya [Russian National Guard] officers and made an attempt to escape.

The Perm Garrison Military Court sentenced a contract service member to five years behind bars for being absent without leave for over a month. In October 2022, the soldier did not return to his unit; however, he did voluntarily report back to the military the following November.

In St. Petersburg, the court sent Vladimir Mironov, the Alferov University graduate student, in custody until Apr. 25. On Feb. 26, Mironov was detained for breaking windows and drawing anti-war graffiti on the facade of a draft office in the Vyborgsky district, Leningrad region. The student was charged with hooliganism and repeated discrediting of the Russian Army.

In Moscow, the court sentenced Aleksey Nechushkin to four years in a penal colony for setting fire to his car in protest against the war in Ukraine. The man was found guilty of hooliganism.

According to the VChK-OGPU Telegram channel [the name is a reference to the VCHK and OGPU, which were the intelligence and state security services in the early Soviet Union], a conductor of Belgorod-Moscow train No. 72 was beaten by a serviceman. After she complained to law enforcement agencies about the beating, the police demanded that she withdraw her complaint. The incident took place on Feb. 22. VChK-OGPU also reports a mass brawl in military unit No. 20924 near Kolomna. There, on Feb. 24, at the Center for Unmanned Aerial Systems, servicemen got into a fight with each other; at least 3 people were injured.

In St. Petersburg, the police confiscated a commemorative knife from a Wagner Group mercenary, 47-year-old Sergey Z., who was returning home by train.

The mayor of the town of Baymak, Bashokortostan [constituent republic of Russia], Radmir Isyanbaev, visited his mobilized son Azamat on the front line. The mayor also brought two cars, personalized packages, generators, chainsaws, tents, sleeping bags, warm clothing, as well as letters and food from the residents of Baymak to the soldiers.

In the Tomsk region, the municipal center of folk art purchases items for mobilized soldiers. In the Asinovsky district of the region, the local "inter-settlement center" purchased 50 sleeping bags, 102 pairs of underwear, 100 portable flashlights, a thousand batteries, ten stoves, and four generators for 371,000 rubles. Normally, such items are purchased from the regional budget, but it seems that the authorities of the Tomsk region are no longer able to cope.

Masha, a year six student from the Tula region, drew an anti-war picture during an art lesson. After that, she was taken to the police several times, and since a criminal case was initiated against her father about "discrediting the RuAF" due to comments on social networks, now the girl may end up in an orphanage. Meanwhile, Anna Kuzhleva, a schoolgirl from Chita, spoke at the volunteers of the “special military operation" forum in the Zabaykalsky region dressed as an “elderly woman with a red flag. The girl read a poem calling elderly woman Anna Ivanova "a symbol of Russia" to thunderous applause.

Sergey Zakharikov, the head of the Mirotvorets [Peacemaker] youth military-patriotic association in the town of Pokrov, explained how he prepares children for war: “In the Mirotvorets, they are also prepared for new, ultra-modern areas of warfare — they have taught a UAV operator course since October.”

A teacher beat a student of the Moscow school number 2031 during a lesson in financial literacy. The injured student was diagnosed with a nose and head injury. According to the school principal, the teacher had already been fired, and the Investigative Committee initiated a check into the incident.

In the Perm region, it was proposed to involve pensioners in tailoring and manufacturing gear for military personnel as part of the Aktivnoye dolgoletiye [Active Longevity] project. The United Russia Party [Putin’s ruling party] produces trench candles for the front as part of the Chistaya strana [Clean Country] environmental project in Podolsk of the Moscow region. In the Ural region, residents make meat stew for soldiers. Meanwhile, employees of kindergartens from the town of Novy Urengoy raised financial aid and prepared and sent a UAZ car and necessary equipment for Russian servicemen.

In the Ilovlinsky district of the Volgograd region, a contest was held on Feb. 23, whose participants sent photographs of "defenders of the fatherland," many of which depicted children in military uniforms.

Correspondents of Novaya Gazeta [independent media outlet] traveled more than a thousand kilometers across Siberia to talk to ordinary residents, local officials, and relatives of mobilized soldiers about the way they feel about the “special operation,” their poverty and presents in the form of firewood given to mobilized soldiers’ families.