mobilization briefs
February 10, 2023

Mobilization in Russia for Feb. 8–9, 2023, CIT volunteer summary 

In response to the initiative by the Chairman of the State Duma, [lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia] Vyacheslav Volodin, the State Duma Committee on Security and Corruption Control has prepared the amendments introducing legal liability for “discrediting the combatants, including the volunteer fighters.” Chairman of the committee and member of the United Russia party [Putin’s ruling party] Vasily Piskaryov said that the changes would be applied to article 20.3.3 of the Code of the Russian Federation on Administrative [Misdemeanor] Offences and to articles 207.3 and 280.3 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation.

The State Duma has passed the law on the requirement for reservation of a time slot for crossing the state border. The new law only applies to trucks “utilized for international shipping,” although initially, the law was meant to apply to all types of vehicles. The law will take effect on Sept. 1, 2023.

The RBC media outlet writes that the first batch of the new uniforms, dubbed Semitzvet [Seven-Colors], will be ready for delivery in a week and publishes the first photos of the uniforms. Experiment and design bureau Gardarika, owned by the 22-year-old son of the former Chairman of the Government of the Yaroslavl region Dmitry Stepanenko, is executing the state defense contracts for the uniforms production. The first batch consisting of more than 5,000 sets, will be sent to the area of the “special military operation” soon.

In 2023, St. Petersburg authorities planned to spend 500 million rubles from the city treasury on payments to soldiers crippled in the war. This amount is enough for 500 to 1000 disabled soldiers, depending on their disability group.

After a public response, the withdrawal of the mobilized soldiers of the 1231st regiment from Tatarstan [constituent republic of Russia] from the combat zone began on the night of Feb. 8. According to one of their relatives, “It’s written in [social media] groups that the withdrawal will take two days, but they should be returned to Donetsk with a support platoon. It’s a pity that they did not react three days earlier, there would not have been so many losses.”

Following the 1st battalion of the 1444th regiment, mobilized soldiers from the 2nd and 3rd battalions recorded their appeal. They demanded to return them home to the Samara region. The soldiers spoke about the absence of marks on their military cards, which did not allow them to receive due payments, constant transfer of the unit, including to the front line, and complete lack of supplies. The soldiers also spoke about a strike at their place of deployment. Despite the fact that no one was killed, all their belongings were destroyed. The mobilized soldiers turned to the high command with a request to pay attention to their problems.

A petition was started on the VKontakte social network asking Putin and the Governor of the Samara region, Dmitry Azarov, not to reassign the mobilized soldiers of the 1444th Regiment to separate military units and not to reset their term of service. The petition also points out that certificates of deployment in the “special military operation” zone are no longer being issued to the draftees. By the time this summary was released, the petition had gained 106 signatures.

40 days after the Ukrainian strike on the vocational school in Makiivka, local residents set up a makeshift memorial at the scene where dozens of mobilized Russians lost their lives. Earlier, the agreement to build a memorial in Makiivka had been announced by the head of the Samara region Dmitry Azarov.

Sergey Saprykin was mobilized last fall, having to leave his wife alone with their six-year-old son, who suffers from epilepsy and needs nursing care 24 hours a day. It was not until Ksenia Sobchak [Russian socialite and public figure] raised awareness of this family’s struggle that the draft board made a decision to allow the man to return home.

The list of the mobilized soldiers who were killed in the war in Ukraine has expanded. 26-year-old Nikolay Sherstobitov from the Perm region [federal subject of Russia], 26-year-old Denis Grudinin from the Yaroslavl region, 33-year-old Nikolay Travnikov from the Krasnoyarsk region, 30-year-old Ivan Ovlashenko from the Rostov region, 42-year-old Aleksandr Portnov and 36-year-old Yevgeny Isaev from the Novosibirsk region, 54-year-old Oleg Makarov from the Irkutsk region, as well as 22-year-old Yan Aliev and 43-year-old Maksim Shkenev from the Sverdlovsk region were killed in action.

The Russian MoD reports that mobilized soldiers from the Primorsky region have arrived in the occupied territory of the Zaporizhzhia region after training. At the same time, the ministry demonstrates the off-duty life of another group of soldiers from the Primorsky region who have been dislocated in the Zaporizhzhia region for more than two months. Volunteer soldiers from Chuvashia [Russia’s constituent republic] decided to show their living conditions on their own initiative.

The municipal court in the town of Baltiysk in the Kaliningrad region sentenced Yury Yatsentyuk, Ukrainian by nationality, to six months of forced labor for an attempt to cross the Russian-Polish border in order to evade draft. The man, whose parents live in Ukraine, received a draft notice not long before his failed attempt to leave Russia.

The Tomsk Garrison Military Court sentenced Sgt. Pavel Potapov, a contract service member, to two years of probation for going AWOL during mobilization.

Rosinfomonitoring [the Federal Financial Monitoring Service of the Russian Federation] placed three Buryatia teenagers, aged 17, 18, and 19, on its terrorist list. The youths are suspected of setting fire to railroad electric switchboards.

25 draftees deemed unfit to serve have been living at a military unit in Omsk for half a year and, in spite of decisions in their cases being reached, they remain there in limbo. While not being sent to the war, they are not allowed to go home either. Journalists told the stories of some of these draftees.

Novaya Vkladka [an independent Russian media outlet] published a story of Stanislav Rybin, a mobilized man, who attacked his commander with a knife and was sentenced to six years in a maximum security penal colony for this. We wrote about this story in summary for Jan. 17-18.

Pskov region authorities continue to send doctors to the war zone. This time a cardiologist, an intensivist, a surgeon, and nurses have gone there. At the same time, Pskov officials went to a job fair in St. Petersburg to invite medical students to the Pskov region to eliminate the shortage of personnel in the region.

Yesterday, we reported that the widows of the killed soldiers from the "DPR" were presented with fur coats. Today, it became known that after filming, women's fur coats were taken away. Journalists of the Mozhem Ob'yasnit [We can explain] Telegram channel recalled what other officials gave to the wives and mothers of the deceased soldiers.

Schoolchildren from the town of Vyazniki, Vladimir region, knit camouflage nets for participants in the war in Ukraine. Meanwhile, in schools of the Sverdlovsk region, reviews about the "Talking About Important Things" lessons with the participation of children are filmed. Schoolchildren are asked to tell on camera what they have learned, and they mostly tell pre-written and memorized texts. In the Krasnodar region, students and teachers are ordered to participate in the "We are together" campaign in support of the Army.

After the start of mobilization, a virtual temple appeared in the VKontakte social network. Tens of thousands of people pray in it for Russian soldiers there. This is the place where relatives of the Russian military gather to share worries and to support each other. A priest conducts online prayers and online memorial services. More details are in the Vyorstka media outlet.

The face recognition system will be introduced on Russia’s borders with China, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, and Poland. We reported yesterday that Kazakh authorities imposed a ban on foreigners residing in the country on an internal passport [document issued for use inside the country of origin]. To clarify, this rule applies only to the cases of obtaining permanent residency in the country. No international passport is required for a temporary residence permit.