mobilization briefs
February 9, 2023

Mobilization in Russia for Feb. 7–8, 2023, CIT volunteer summary 

The Ministry of Labor and Social Protection will increase the number of vacancies that can be filled by citizens who choose to perform alternative civilian service. According to Rostrud (The Federal Service for Labor and Employment), more than 1,000 young men perform alternative civilian service instead of mandatory military service in the Armed Forces every year. The Ministry of Labor and Social Protection plans to update the list of vacancies in Feb. 2023 and include 150 occupations and 785 enterprises, as opposed to 127 occupations and 1,034 enterprises in the current list.

Tuva’s [constituent republic of Russia] mobilized soldiers who were beaten up by the People's Militia of the so-called DPR are getting transferred to the 55th Brigade in which most of the Tuva’s mobilized men serve after their complaint to the head of the republic. Head of the Republic Vladislav Khovalyg explained that the transfer is “not a fast affair” but that he is hopeful that a “rapid solution” will be found.

Yet another video address in which mobilized soldiers claim that the commanders of the so-called DPR are trying to form an assault infantry unit from among their ranks has been published. The footage shows the servicemen of the 640th Howitzer Artillery Regiment. According to the men, they were mobilized at the end of September, and during the three months that followed they were trained in reconnaissance, fire support and adjustment of fire. They arrived in the area of the “special military operation” in January. For a month, the mobilized men lived in the fields, awaiting the promised vehicles and cannons. Instead, they were sent to join the “DPR’s” units where the artillery specialists were getting retrained to become assault infantry. After their very first assault mission it became clear that the commanders were “indifferent to the personnel” and were not allowing for the bodies of the killed comrades to be picked up. It is worth noting that Aleksandr Kots, a “military correspondent” from the pro-Russian Komsomolskaya Pravda has already covered the situation with the 640th and the 641th howitzer artillery regiments in the middle of January.

Another video had been published by Russian mobilized soldiers, in this case under the command of the so-called LPR. The mobilized from Mari El [Russia’s constituent republic] claim that the local command uses them as “expendable material,” “does not consider them human,” and “sends them to slaughter.” The men are not provided with decent food and equipment, and they are improperly placed on the defensive line.

Employees of the Voronezh confectionery factory received bulk draft notices. 20 people got papers with a proposal to appear in the draft office, the Vornadzor [Surveillance of thieves] project reported. In the HR department, the Voronezh residents were informed that they were being summoned to the draft office to receive a mobilization order.

The Perm Garrison Military Court considered a lawsuit against the commanders of two military units in the Kirov region. A soldier stated that he was not allowed to quit the military, although he filed a report back in May 2022, while the contract would expire in September. "He believed that since mobilization was over, which had been publicly announced by the President of the Russian Federation, the actions of the defendants were illegal”, they said in the Perm Garrison Military Court. “The court rejected the claim because the Decree of the President of the Russian Federation ‘On the announcement of partial mobilization in the Russian Federation’ establishes an exhaustive list of grounds for the discharge of military personnel who are in military service under contract. None of them applies to the plaintiff.” The court concluded that there were no grounds for recognizing the commanders’ actions as illegal.

The law on mobilization creates a situation in which it is impossible to “leave the war”. As a result, volunteer fighters and contract soldiers cannot leave the Armed Forces. Read more in the interview of Valentina Melnikova, head of the Union of Committees of Soldiers' Mothers.

24-year-old corporal from Bashkiria [Russia’s constituent republic] Marcel Kandarov appealed against his sentence for having refused to go to war. In May 2022, he was supposed to be sent to the "special military operation" area, but being reluctant to participate in hostilities, he did not report for active duty. Kandarov went into hiding but was caught in September 2022. In January 2023, Kandarov was found guilty of evading military service for more than one month during mobilization. He was sentenced to five years in a penal colony.

Junior sergeant Dmitry N., who on February 4 escaped from a hospital in the Arkhangelsk region where he was recovering from an injury, gave his account of what had happened. The serviceman confirmed having left the hospital for a short period of time while still under treatment, but insisted he was not intending to flee. “I did not try to escape; I just needed some rest. A local friend invited me to his place and I did not make it back in time to the hospital. I woke up to find cops who took me in. A bit of bad luck.”

The Sluzhba Podderzhki [Helpdesk] Telegram channel shares the story of a young mobilized man who spent some time building a tent camp in Belarus but managed to flee, pretending he was going out for a drink with his friend. He made his way to Moscow and eventually left for Georgia.

Mikhail Gilyov from the Vladimir region and Yevgeny Orekhvo from the Yaroslavl region died in the war.

Paratrooper Nikolay Kartashov received a suspended sentence last December for going AWOL from his unit. He fled from the combat zone in Ukraine and returned to his home in the Rostov region. When the verdict came into force, the prosecutor told Kartashov to report to his military unit, and he ended up being sent back to the war again. After a while, Kartashov reached out to his relatives and informed them that he had been taken prisoner. Mediazona [an independent Russian media outlet] spoke to the paratrooper's mother and brother. A video of him being interrogated has been released on Ukrainian channels.

Draftees Mikhail Gilyov from the Vladimir region and Yevgeny Orekhvo from the Yaroslavl region were killed in the war.

The Russian Ministry of Defense continues to post reports about draftees undergoing military training. This time, the Ministry showed how the crews of BMD-4M airborne IFVs are trained in the rear areas of the "special operation" zone. Another video demonstrates the training of servicemen from the Tula region and other regions of Russia's Central Federal District at the training ground in the Ryazan region.

Another group of draftees from the Omsk region was sent to Ukraine. Vice-Governor Oleg Zaremba addressed the servicemen with words of encouragement. The part of the Russian-Ukrainian border in the Kursk region will be fortified. Draftees will arrive at positions equipped 6 km from the border in the near future and will be involved in building fortifications. In the meantime, First Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council [upper house of Russia's Federal Assembly] Andrey Turchak together with Governor Roman Starovoyt checked the construction of fortifications and visited servicemen at a training center.

Meanwhile, some servicemen are being sent from the combat zone to a tank-production plant in the Zabaykalsky region to assemble vehicles and perform test runs. This was announced by the State Duma [lower house of Russia's Federal Assembly] member General Andrey Gurulyov.

The VChK-OGPU Telegram channel posted about yet another arrest of a suspect in the arson of a railway relay case. The case on a Moscow railroad track had been opened and set on fire, totally destroying the equipment inside. In hot pursuit, a 16-year-old college freshman was detained in Moscow. In the Penza region, the police are still looking for an unknown person who set fire to a railway electric switchboard. Arson forced the suspension of train service until Feb. 9.

Three Bryansk region residents were criminally charged with preparing an act of terror. According to the VChK-OGPU Telegram channel’s sources, the accused are Maksim Sh., 22, Nikolay T., 23, and Daniil K., 19, all from the town of Unecha in the Bryansk region. According to the prosecution, the accused were planning to set fire to an office of [Putin’s] United Russia party as well as a draft office. The men are currently in detention.

21 fur coats were gifted to widows of the soldiers from the so-called DPR who were killed. Yevgeny Skprinik who is being referred to as an associate of the “DPR defense minister” and former separatist commander and military blogger Igor Strelkov (Girkin) broke the news.

Some draftees from the Sverdlovsk region who were called up last year as part of the “partial” mobilization are yet to receive payments due them for September and October, reported Maksim Ivanov, the Russian State Duma delegate representing the Sverdlovsk region. “In less than 24 hours, relatives of 64 draftees sent me personal messages. Most of them have not received money for the first weeks of their service,” stated Ivanov.

In order to avoid being drafted, a Tyumen resident decided to formally record his paternity of children whom he previously abandoned. The man claims that four of his children whom he once left in the care of their mothers must not abandon him, their father, in this difficult situation. Having clarified that he is not paying child support to his ex-lovers since he has to take care of his new wife and a young son, the man is nevertheless sure that they would be supportive in the circumstances.

Children from Buryatia [Russia’s constituent republic] are sending knitted Cheburashka [fictional character from Soviet children's books] toys to the front, while kindergarten No. 32 in Pskov is decorating boxes with humanitarian aid with representations of Cheburashka in military uniform. In the Perm region, children will learn to make tanks from improvised materials, while in the town of Uryupinsk, children are crafting trench candles for the Russian Armed Forces. Residents of the town of Vyazniki in the Vladimir region are also crafting such candles from empty tin cans for those participating in the invasion of Ukraine. Meanwhile, Russian Orthodox churches in the Samara region are supplying the Russian Army with “consecrated and prayed-in” trench candles made of church wax. Residents of Khabarovsk have sent entrenching tools. A local businessman provided the means for their purchase while schoolchildren and officials decorated them.

Firewood, which had been collected for the military in a large-scale campaign last weekend, disappeared in the Korenevsky district of the Kursk region. “We cut it on Saturday, but there wasn’t anything left when we arrived to start loading it on Monday”, wrote the district head.

170,000 rubles were collected in the city of Chita at a concert for the 85th anniversary of the birth of Vladimir Vysotsky [famous Soviet singer-songwriter, poet, and actor]. The funds were used to buy quadcopter drones for servicemen from the region participating in the war. In the meantime, children were dressed in military uniform by school teachers in the Lev Tolstoy settlement in the Lipetsk region.

Kazakhstan will no longer allow foreigners, including Russians, to register for long-term stays using their country’s internal passports. From now on, an application for an extended residence permit will require an international passport with a validity of at least 180 days.