mobilization briefs
February 7, 2023

Mobilization in Russia for Feb. 5–6, 2023, CIT volunteer summary

An expert group on the evaluation of proposals for the punishments for Russian emigrants who, in the opinion of authorities “discredit” the army will be formed in the State Duma [lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia]. Chair of the Committee for Culture of the State Duma Yelena Yampolskaya has told the Izvestiya [News] pro-Kremlin newspaper about this initiative. At the same time, according to the Chair of the Committee for State Building and Legislation of the State Duma Pavel Krasheninnikov, legally speaking, the committee cannot support the idea of confiscation of emigrants’ property yet. “This is currently a topic of discussion. Of course, we are against this. Legally we cannot support this. If this turns into some kind of global story, then we will need global-sized amendments. We will review such amendments then,” he said. He added that, at the moment, such amendments do not exist.

The Governor of the Kursk region, Roman Starovoyt, decided to take the leadership of the volunteer Narodnaya Druzhina [People’s Retinue] of the region.

Governor of the Primorye region, Oleg Kozhemyako, said in his Telegram channel that the residents of the region donated two automobiles to be sent into the area of the “special military operation”. Electric generators, drones, optic sights, and other equipment, together with letters with “kind words from the little patients of Regional Clinical Hospital No.1” will accompany the SUV and the armored truck. Meanwhile, the doctors are sending a batch of warm thermal underwear.

Perm’s mobilized soldiers, contracted soldiers, and volunteer fighters will be granted a grace period for paying rent for the municipal property. The mayor’s office has signed the necessary decree.

A group of men mobilized from Tuva [Russia’s constituent republic] has recorded a video address, complaining about threats and violence from the “DPR People's Militia”. According to them, they were not properly registered in the Russian Armed Forces and were beaten by the so-called “DPR People's Militia”, who fired on them and said that they were not going to return home alive anyway. The mobilized men managed to record the bullying on the phone. In particular, the video shows a man being beaten in front of his service comrades. They also managed to capture the speech of one of their abusers, who threatened to have them executed by firing squad and described a practice allegedly common among separatists in 2014 and 2015, where offenders were shot and their bodies were dumped into a quarry, just like those of servicemen from the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Governor of the Republic of Tuva Vladislav Khovalyg reacted to the video. He wrote in his Telegram channel that he was preparing a detailed appeal to the Russian Ministry of Defense. He has also asked Vitaliy Khotsenko [head of the “DPR” government] to check the legality of the “People's Militia’s” actions. “This is an egregious case, which discredits the position of mobilized men”, wrote Khovalyg. He has already sent his representatives to Ukraine. Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Sholban Valeryevich Kara-ool flew to the scene as well. In comments to the governor’s post, relatives of the mobilized men plead for them to be returned home.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Defense continues to publish footage of the training of soldiers. According to the Ministry, the crews of T-90M tanks and drone operators are being trained in the rear zone of the "special military operation". Meanwhile, mobilized men from the Primorsky region are being trained in the occupied part of the Zaporizhzhia region.

Information continues to arrive about the deaths of mobilized soldiers in the war in Ukraine. Vasily Maksimov, a 36-year-old employee of the Zabaykalsky Regional Drama Theater, was killed at the front. He was mobilized in Nov. 2022 and served as a tank commander. It also became known about the deaths of the mobilized father of three Ruslan Kotov from the Rostov region and Dmitry Tuchin from the Omsk region. 24-year-old Dmitry Piskun, a mobilized man from the Krasnoyarsk region, was also killed. The funeral of Sergey Blinov took place in Suzun, of Yury Kasimov in the village of Verkh-Chik, Novosibirsk region, and of Vladislav Ponomarev in Zmievka, Orel region. During the so-called “special military operation”, a mobilized resident of the village of Burmakino, Yaroslavl region, Yury Cherenkov was also killed.

Blogger Rustem Adagamov posted a video from Tatarstan showing men unloading wooden boxes from a truck and removing coffins from them. Surnames and dates of death are visible. According to the driver, there were 11 coffins in the van. He unloaded some of them in the villages of Kandra and Subkhankulovo, and brought the rest of them to Zainsk.

In the Amur region, a criminal case was opened against a mobilized man for trying to get сustodial carefor his sick mother. Sergey Stenkin, a 28-year-old resident of the village of Solovyovsk, was mobilized in September. His mother, a person with a third-degree disability, tried to appeal the decision of the military commissariat [enlistment office]. But Sergey was not given a draft deferment. In October, he did not return from his leave: Sergey went to Novosibirsk to apply for custodial care for his mother, but did not have time to submit all the documents in one day. Now he faces up to 10 years in prison. However, his lawyer intends to ensure that Stenkin is released, because he was forced to leave the unit due to difficult life circumstances.

A Ukrainian war veteran charged with murdering a Chechen War veteran. In October 2022, a garrison military court in Kursk sentenced the military service member Sergey Korshunov to 8 years in a high-security prison colony, a first murder sentence imposed on a soldier who returned from the war in Ukraine. The court established that as the service member and a colleague were drinking at his home, the latter called his wife by the name of Korshunov’s spouse, leading Korshunov to stab him to death.

A St. Petersburg court deemed unlawful a conscription of a young man into regular military service. The 22-year-old conscript was appealing the decision to call him up into the army in spite of his medical conditions. During the court proceeding, a military medical examination was conducted, which confirmed that the young man belonged to the fitness category “C,” i.e. having limited ability to serve.

A teleconference between the mobilized and their relatives was held in the Novosibirsk region. The relatives requested to discuss the possibility to exclude travel time to and from the “special operation” zone from the servicemen leave allowance.

There is a motion to deem illegal a reservation from mobilization for employees of 14 large companies through the court in Omsk. Local prosecutor Pavel Popov filed an administrative lawsuit against the city and regional mobilization draft boards, as well as against the regional enlistment office, to challenge their decisions. The claimant believes that deferral was granted illegally since the organizations in question do not participate in implementing Russia’s state defense order.

A design for a future monument to the “heroes of the special military operation” was chosen in Aginskoye village in the Zabaykalsky region. According to the authorities, about 30 thousand people participated in the voting. Two memorial plaques were opened in Lipetsk Gymnasium No. 69 in memory of a volunteer Roman Popov, and a mobilized Andrey Lobkis, who were killed in the war with Ukraine. Both of them previously studied in this gymnasium.

An apartment mortgaged by a mobilized was sold by the bank for debts. Olga Vinogradova bought a place with her husband, who was mobilized in the fall. In November, she learned that her apartment was put up for auction.

The 161.RU media outlet released a publication about a mobilized man from Bataysk who was killed near Donetsk. media outlet has talked with the wives of mobilized soldiers from the Zabaykalsky region on how they spent 150.000 rubles (~$2100) of the regional payment they received and whether it helped them much.

The issuance of biometric foreign passports valid for 10 years was suspended in Russia, allegedly due to “increased demand and a shortage of required chips.” However, an investigation by the Sota Telegram channel showed that, in reality, there is no shortage of electronic chips. Thus, the suspension of the issuance of this type of foreign passport may not be a forced measure but a political gesture.

The wives of the participants of “the special military operation” from Omsk were photographed wearing their husbands' military tunics. In that way, the women supported the "Wives of Heroes" photo project, which was launched in Samara by the wife of the commander of the 2nd Combined Arms Army, Yekaterina Kolotovkina. We wrote about a similar action in the Arkhangelsk region in a recent summary.

The exhibition entitled Zavetam Verny [Faithful to CoVenant of Our ForefaZers] is held at the Victory Museum in Moscow. It glorifies the "exploits" of those participating in the war in Ukraine. The exhibition was developed by an advertising agency for a presidential grant of 19.4 million rubles.

Free tattoos in the form of propaganda symbols are made in the Obereg [Amulet] salon in Bratsk, Irkutsk region. Tattoo artist Sergey Pereguda offers to ink the letters Z and V for free, “For me, they symbolize everything that is ours. It means that we do not give in to the West.”