mobilization briefs
January 14, 2023

Mobilization in Russia for Jan. 12–13, 2023, CIT volunteer summary

President Putin issued a number of instructions following the meeting of the Council for Civil Society and Human Rights. Among them there is a proposal to exempt from military service prosthetists, orthopaedists and medical doctors with other specializations called up during the “partial” mobilization. It is also proposed to increase the production of prosthetics to meet the needs of citizens who have lost limbs during the war; to ensure provision of medicines to the injured; to establish a center for distribution of medicines, rehabilitation and socialization of the “special military operation” [hereinafter SMO] veterans; to build a system of targeted support for the SMO veterans and their families. Other than that, the President endorsed the Council’s proposals to introduce criminal liability for those calling for discrimination or taking discriminatory actions against Russian citizens living abroad. Meanwhile, Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov wants to make Russians who left want to return. However, he only wants back those emigres who are not “enemies” of Russia.

At the same time, speaker of Russia’s State Duma [the lower house of the Federal Assembly] Vyacheslav Volodin proposed that Russians who criticize their country after fleeing abroad should have their property confiscated. Volodin’s initiative has already been backed by the Spravedlivaya Rossiya [Just Russia] faction of the State Duma. According to Forbes, up to 700,000 citizens have left Russia since mobilization was announced.

Furthermore, the Council for Civil Society and Human Rights will be discussing the possibility of introducing a legal term “traitor” into the Russian legislation. This was announced by a member of the Council Kirill Kabanov. The Council will formulate its opinion on this novelty in the near future and will discuss it with the legislators. For more information on Kirill Kabanov, check out this post on the Sota Telegram channel.

Chairman of the Investigative Committee Aleksandr Bastrykin said that migrants who received Russian citizenship must fight in Ukraine, "It is advisable to consider the priority of sending naturalized citizens to participate in the special military operation." He also said that in the first half of 2022, more than 60,000 migrants from Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan received Russian citizenship.

Messages about fathers of three losing their exemptions from mobilization appeared. This was reported by State Duma member Nina Ostanina with reference to deputy head of the Human Rights Council Irina Kirkora. Military Commissar of the Zabaykalsky region Yuriy Shuvalov also stated that the exemptions introduced by the General Staff of the Ministry of Defense on Oct. 4 were revoked by the General Staff's order on Dec. 21, 2022. Decisions regarding the return of mobilized servicemen having three children are now reviewed by courts in the Zabaykalsky region. In Dagestan, a father of three was denied exemption from military service (we covered this story in yesterday's summary). The government of occupied Sevastopol also confirmed that the exemptions for fathers of three are revoked. According to existing laws, an exemption from service is granted if a family has four or more children under the age of 16 or there are three children and a wife whose pregnancy period is at least 22 weeks. Russian lawyer and human rights activist Pavel Chikov summarizes, "After the mobilization began, the General Staff issued instructions on granting exemptions to [fathers] of three children. The Defense Ministry called it a gesture of goodwill. The instructions were for officers' eyes only and have not been officially published. Apparently, at the end of December, this decision was indeed canceled also without official publication." According to the Voyennyy Ombudsmen [Military Ombudsman] Telegram channel, if the information about the cancellation of the exemptions is true, the updated instructions of the General Staff worsen the legal situation of those already drafted and cannot be applied retroactively. An article by the iStories independent Russian investigative media outlet discusses the introduction and cancellation of these exemptions providing comments by lawyers.

The Russian Ministry of Defense hotline informed the Daily Storm news outlet that the question of whether fathers of three are eligible for draft deferrals is “still being worked through.” Meanwhile, the secretary of the general counsel of [Putin’s] United Russia Party Andrey Turchak stated in his Telegram channel that the eligibility for “exemptions  from mobilization for fathers of three or more children is preserved! The corresponding instructions released in October by the General Staff still are and will continue to be in effect. We worked through this question with the Ministry of Defense to end all the speculations on that matter.” TheOstorozhno [Beware] Media news outlet reports that when asked about the cancellation of the exemption policy, President’s spokesman Peskov answered, “Nothing is known!”

Russians over thirty who haven’t served in the army will be sent to military training. The member of the State Duma Defense Committee Victor Sobolev made a statement to that effect. According to him, Russians outside of normal conscription age will be sent to military training so they can “acquire a military specialty and avoid becoming cannon fodder.” Sobolev emphasized that the country needs “trained military reserves..  Yesterday we wrote that he proposed that “all young people” in Russia acquire a military profession.

The head of the State Duma Defense Committee Andrey Kartapolov called the above-mentioned statement by Sobolev “unrealistic dreams.” While the authorities are involved in a public debate within themselves, the “Military Ombudsman” explains how military training meets are conducted.

Pavel Chikov writes that there are growing expectations for the “second wave” of mobilization and analyzes its signs. Among them, he highlights a recent high-level leadership shake-up in Russia’s Defense Ministry, reports from Ukrainian authorities, statements by Bastrykin and Sobolev, new vacancies advertised by draft offices, and so on.

Students and employees of the Russian State Social University [RSSU] are forced to urgently come to the university for verification of military registration information. This applies to all students and employees of the RSSU liable for military service. According to students, such activities are being held at the university for the first time.

The consequences of publishing the notorious video message of the Russian draftees, which we mentioned in our summary the day before yesterday, have become known. The wife of one of the mobilized soldiers of the 392nd Motorized Rifle Regiment who were transferred to unequipped trenches told the Vashi Novosti [Your News] media outlet that they were sent to the frontline as punishment for the outcry. There is no confirmation of this information from more authoritative sources so far.

There was a report about another HIMARS strike on positions of mobilized soldiers. This time, gunners from the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous region [federal subject of Russia] came under attack. There is no information about losses in personnel, however, the servicemen have lost a significant part of their property and are now asking the authorities for help.

The Gorizontalnaya Rossiya [Horizontal Russia] media outlet contacted the relatives of the mobilized Samara residents who came under fire in Makiivka. They told how they had to look for information about their relatives themselves.

Meanwhile, the lists of those killed as a result of the strike on the vocational school in Makiivka are being updated. The following Russian servicemen were reported killed: Ivan Yevtyukhin (b. 1998) from Novokuibyshevsk, Sergey Gusenkov (b. 1984) from the village of Padovka, Denis Kuzin (b. 1976) from Tolyatti, Nikolay Rtishchev (b. 1976) from the village of Vyazniki, student of the Novokuibyshevsk petrochemical technical school Artyom Yagnenkov (b. 2000), Aleksey Borodikhin (b. 1974) from Samara, Evgeny Brykalov (b. 1993) from the village of Staraya Racheika, as well as Nikolay Lisichkin (b. 1991), Anatoly Pochinyaev (b. 1974), Aleksey Lyaplyaev, Dmitry Burmistrov and Denis Ivanov. Thus, to date, the names of 54 RuAF soldiers killed as a result of the strike on Makiivka are known. Two more mobilized soldiers from the Krasnoyarsk region — Oleg Kargapolov and Daniil Shapovalov — were also reported killed.

The Vyorstka media outlet analyzed the distribution of funding from the Presidential Grants Fund based on the results of the first tender in 2023. 1845 projects will receive 4.3 billion rubles from the budget. 210 projects related to "patriotism", support for the families of mobilized soldiers, military affairs and directly the war in Ukraine will receive approximately 11% of the grant fund — more than 478 million rubles. Among these are Muzh na chas [Specialist by the hour], Pravomobil [Rightomobile] for the “DPR” and teaching children to shoot.

In the Moscow region, the commander of the department of a motorized rifle company, who had gone AWOL, was detained. According to the Ostorozhno, novosti [Beware the news] Telegram channel, Stanislav G., a 37-year-old resident of Pushkino, was mobilized in early October. After two weeks of preparation, he was appointed commander of a motorized rifle company. But he did not want to participate in the "special military operation" and went AWOL. In November, a criminal case was initiated against him under the article for going AWOL. The day before yesterday, the security forces detained Stanislav, and now he faces up to 10 years in prison.

Contract soldiers, who had refused to take part in the hostilities, are being sent to the places of their permanent deployment, as reported by the VChK-OGPU Telegram channel based on the verdict of a Military Court regarding a case of one of such contract soldiers. Such a contract soldier decided to “take some time off at his mother's in Novosibirsk” before returning from the war zone and arrived at his military unit with a delay of several days.

A 32-year-old man with reserved occupation and the court's judgment to exempt him from the mobilization was mobilized in Krasnoyarsk. The local district military commissar and the military commissar of the city both refuse to sign corresponding documents referring to the lack of authority. Meanwhile, there are no such problems in the neighboring district of Krasnoyarsk.

The Russian MoD demonstrated footage of “combat work” of mobilized soldiers as part of Msta-SM2 155mm self-propelled howitzer squads and 2S12 Sani 120mm heavy mortar squads within naval infantry units of the Pacific Fleet. And another group of mobilized soldiers was sent to the combat zone from the training facilities of the Automobile and Armored Vehicles Engineering Institute of Omsk.

School students from Kaluga are forced to knit camouflage nettings and raise money for soldiers. Meanwhile, in a Kursk church, several parishioners weave camouflage nettings to church hymns.

A phishing attack on Telegram users with fake “lists of mobilized soldiers”, which we mentioned, in summary, the other day, appears to become the most massive one for the whole time of messenger history.