Vladimir Putin has instructed the federal government to extend by March 1 the Far Eastern and Arctic Mortgage program to participants of the war against Ukraine and family members of fallen soldiers, regardless of their age and marital status. Moreover, the loan limit is to be increased to 9 million rubles [$98,300].
The government announced that the lump sum payments received by volunteer fighters as compensation for injuries will not be considered when assessing their families' eligibility for monthly child birth and upbringing benefits.
Denis Manturov, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Industry and Trade, has announced that Russia will allocate 100 billion rubles [$1 billion] over three years for the development and production of UAVs. He specified that this funding will be used for the production of hundreds of thousands of FPV drones and tens of thousands of heavy drones.
The list of suspects in the "Baymak case" has expanded. Currently, according to the Aspekty [Aspects] publication, the number of detainees has reached 53 people. On Feb. 5, a court in the city of Ufa remanded Yunir Khisametdinov in custody, while Yunir Islamgulov, who had already served 10 days of administrative arrest, was detained again on the same day. At the same time, the court closed the case against activist Ildar Yumagulov. The case against him for "organizing a public event" was initiated on Jan. 25. The activist left the republic due to political persecution.
In Bashkortostan [Russia's constituent republic], Rifat Dautov, who died after being detained by law enforcement, was laid to rest. Dautov's sister, Zaliya Akhmadeeva, stated that police and OMON [riot police] were present at the funeral, allegedly "maintaining order." The Vyorstka media outlet detailed the persecution of protest participants in Bashkortostan and the efforts of relatives to assist them.
Yaroslav Ryazanov, who was detained on Feb. 3 at the rally of mobilized soldiers' wives in Moscow, was released from police custody after 48 hours. The hearing for his administrative case has been postponed until Feb. 16. Another man detained at the rally, Vladimir Salautin, was arrested for seven days under the charges for "petty hooliganism." The judge refused to reschedule the hearing or Salautin's release. Law enforcement officers claim Salautin used foul language during his arrest. According to the defendant, he was grabbed from behind and his hands were immediately twisted; he tried to break free, not realizing they were policemen.
As reported by the Ostorozhno, Moskva [Beware, Moscow] Telegram channel, Russia’s Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu and Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin visited the integrated military service recruitment center on Yablochkova Street in Moscow. During their visit, officials were informed that over 20,000 people had signed contracts for military service at this center in 2023.
The Ministry of Defense plans to use conscripts for peacekeeping missions. The ministry drafted amendments to the order, which defines the procedure and conditions for secondment of Russian Armed Forces military personnel. If the amendments are approved, conscripts could be sent on long assignments, ranging from 30 days up to 1 year, to "assist [...] in resolving crises and containing armed conflicts during peacetime." Legal experts do not expect these amendments to result in the deployment of conscripts directly to combat zones, although the legislation does allow for such a possibility. Secondment orders must be obeyed and soldiers who refuse may face administrative or criminal charges.
For half a year a Kursk region resident has been contesting the draft board decision to mobilize him. While his district enlistment office deemed him unfit to serve due to vision problems, the regional military commissariat accused him of faking the diagnosis and attempting to evade military service. The man was sent for a second examination where the very same doctor gave him a lighter diagnosis that would not prevent him from serving. According to the young man, the doctor changed his mind under pressure from the military commissariat. He tried to sue but lost the case. Currently he is trying to achieve justice by creating publicity.
Journalists from the Idel.Realii [part of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty] online media outlet] collected all information of Udmurtia [Russia’s constituent republic] residents killed in the war known to date. In total, the journalists are aware of 570 killed soldiers. About 30% of them were younger than 35. At least 105 were listed as contract soldiers, 100 as mercenaries, 12 as mobilized soldiers, and 21 as volunteer fighters of various categories.
A Moscow resident who was sent back to the front without completing his rehab has been granted a one month leave after a post by the Ostorozhno, Moskva [Caution, Moscow] news outlet that also reported the news quoting the soldier’s attorney. After being wounded, the man has been unable to walk without crutches.
According to the Astra Telegram channel, in the Kursk region, on Feb. 5, Sergeant Gennady Amosov fired his assault rifle at his fellow soldier Sergeant Ivan Zakharov who died on the spot. Amosov has been detained. The official version is that he shot Zakharov because of "bad blood" between them.
A court in the Altai region [Russia's federal subject] has sentenced Aleksey Lisin to three years in a penal colony on charges of robbery with violence. According to the court, on Set. 12, 2023, Lisin assaulted a man and stole his cell phone and other personal items.
The same court has sentenced Tamerlan Meyriev, a contract soldier who fought in Ukraine, to 200 hours of compulsory labor for making murder threats. Meyriev’s participation in the war was considered a mitigating factor.
In the Tyumen region, a mobilized soldier was convicted of multiple offenses simultaneously. In May 2023, while under the influence of alcohol, he stole a car and got involved in a traffic accident a few hours later. At the time of the incident, he was already two weeks overdue for returning to military service. In the end, he was charged with three crimes and sentenced to seven years in a penal colony.
The Tula Garrison Military Court has sentenced a mobilized soldier to six years in a penal colony for going AWOL. According to investigators, the man left his unit in January 2023 and was detained by military police in October of the same year. About 400 military personnel attended the verdict announcement, as reported by TASS [Russian state-owned news agency].
The Borzya Garrison Military Court has sentenced soldier Vitaly Tretyakov to two years and two months in a penal settlement for failing to execute orders during combat. According to the court, Tretyakov verbally and in writing refused to participate in combat operations and to deploy for combat and special tasks. This is at least the fourth verdict issued by the Borzya court in a week on charges of failing to execute orders.
In Buryatia [Russia's constituent republic], a court has sentenced soldier Tsyrenzhap Gylykpylov to three years in a penal colony for going AWOL. On June 17, he failed to report for duty to his unit, but on July 27, he returned and resumed his duties. However, according to the court's verdict, he again failed to report for duty on the same day, and on Aug. 18, he appeared at a military commandant's office.
The Kaliningrad regional court has arrested a man accused of inciting sabotage on the railway in the Kaluga region. According to investigators, no later than March 2023, the accused, while residing in the city of Neman in the Kaliningrad region, allegedly agreed to join a group involved in sabotage acts. He reportedly found a contractor and supplied him the coordinates for setting fire to relay cabinets.
The Federal Security Service (FSB) has reported preventing an assassination attempt on "one of the leaders" of Russia-annexed Crimea. The intelligence service has detained three people who, allegedly in coordination with the Security Service of Ukraine, were reportedly "preparing to detonate a vehicle belonging to one of the representatives of the Crimean authorities."
In Chuvashia [Russia’s constituent republic], the FSB has announced the initiation of a criminal case of treason against a 20-year-old resident of Mordovia. In a video released by the FSB, the suspect claims to have allegedly met a man who worked for the "Freedom of Russia Legion" and agreed to "carry out terrorist acts at Russian enterprises" in return for a reward. He is also facing a charge related to an act of terror. The Serditaya Chuvashia [Angry Chuvashia] Telegram channel identified the young man in the video as Artyom Begoyan. Begoyan, along with other youths, was previously detained on suspicion of committing arson on the railway. He entered into a pretrial agreement and confessed. However, it now appears that he has been charged with an additional crime.
A center for "psychological and physiological rehabilitation of participants of armed conflicts" will be established in the village of Krasnaya Gorbatka, Selivanovsky district, Vladimir region.
The Officers' House of the Western Military District and a public organization of disabled individuals held an "Active Wheelchair" event aimed at "soldiers of the ‘special military operation’ undergoing treatment in district hospitals." Athletes from the federation demonstrated basic techniques to soldiers who had lost limbs, including movement and braking, and how to navigate ramps and stairs. Meanwhile, in the city of Buinsk, Tatarstan [Russia’s constituent Republic], children are involved in crafting crutches for wounded soldiers using shovel handles.
Arthur Parfenchikov, the head of Karelia [Russia’s constituent republic], announced the fundraising of "gifts" for the Russian soldiers in celebration of Feb. 23 [Defender of the Fatherland Day]. Similar initiatives ahead of Feb. 23 are underway across the country, including in the Ulyanovsk, Penza, and Sakhalin regions, as well as in Tatarstan. In the Arkhangelsk region, authorities have begun collecting aid for Russian soldiers from students.
Roman Starovoyt, the Governor of the Kursk region, has ordered an investigation at the Electroagregat plant, where workers are reportedly being demanded to donate part of their salaries to support the military. According to him, such extortion is "unnecessary" and discredits the efforts of volunteers.
Authorities in the Belgorod region have reported an increase in teenage crime in the region in 2023, attributing it to several factors including poor emotional state of children against the backdrop of the war, distance learning, "information warfare against Russia," and lack of parental control.
In suburban kindergartens, children are forced to learn militaristic songs. The source of journalist Valeria Ratnikova from TV Rain [independent Russian television channel] suggested that preschools might be compelled to participate in patriotic events to secure funding. Schoolchildren in the Omsk region are also learning pro-military songs.
The Ministry of Education has approved educational standards for the Fundamentals of Security and Defense of the Motherland, set to replace Fundamentals of Life Safety in schools starting Sept. 1, 2024. The course will include basic military training, combat first aid and basic drone operations.
The Higher School of Economics has established the Institute of World Military Economy and Strategy under the leadership of Admiral Avakyants, former Pacific Fleet commander. The institute will focus on researching "the new role of nuclear weapons."
In the Sverdlovsk region, a 42-year-old woman died of a heart attack after she learned about her husband’s death at the war from his commanding officer. The family had three children. However, the draft office stated that there were no official records of the man's death.
Oleg Kozhemyako, the Governor of the Primorsky region, has announced the formation of a volunteer militia unit comprised of the war in Ukraine participants. This new unit will assist in maintaining law and order and combating poaching. Additionally, the volunteers will work in schools and ambulance stations. Former military personnel will receive regional bonuses to their basic salary.
On Jan. 20, in the Vladimir region, a reenactment dedicated to the Russian invasion of Ukraine took place "under conditions of secrecy" at the Sergeytsevo training ground in the Kovrovsky district. The event involved tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, cars, and other equipment, as well as over 50 individuals armed with grenade launchers and firearms.