Rapper Vacio has announced that he received a draft notice from the military commissariat after recently attending a party described as "almost naked." The musician emerged from a special detention facility after facing two consecutive arrests. It has been revealed that he will serve in a military band formation. Vacio's lawyer stated that he is challenging singer SHAMAN [a stage name of Russian pro-war singer Yaroslav Dronov] and proposes that he "prove his loyalty to the Motherland in action by completing a military contract." SHAMAN has been one of the most active war propaganda figures among Russian artists since the beginning of the invasion, regularly participating in events supporting the war.
The list of mobilized soldiers killed in the war has been updated to include Kirill Nabrodov from Karelia [Russia’s constituent republic], Anatoly Savchenko from the Altai region [Russia’s federal subject], Vladimir Bulashov from the Tyumen region, Maksim Zaynutdinov from the Volgograd region and Sergey Nosov from the Krasnodar region.
Ex-convicts recruited from prisons for the war in Ukraine have lodged complaints to Putin, stating that promised salaries and compensation for injuries are not being credited, as well as combat veteran certificates are not being issued. Additionally, they claim that other promises made during recruitment are not being fulfilled. According to these men, other soldiers in a Storm-Z unit are facing similar issues.
Russian military authorities are planning to send off a serviceman with chronic heart failure from the 254th Motorized Rifle Regiment to the war. Although his military service contract expired in October 2022, a court has denied his discharge, citing the Presidential Decree on "partial" mobilization. According to the soldier, he was consequently detained and transferred to the 361st "Convalescent" Regiment, which he described as a base brimming with sick and wounded soldiers guarded by military police. Reportedly, its commanders regularly dispatch soldiers to units fighting in Ukraine after changing their service fitness category.
The Beri Shinel [Take Your Greatcoat, Let’s Go Home] Telegram channel discovered a post bringing attention to the situation in the military unit based in Kamenka, which we had mentioned in the past. The unit commanders often send sick and convalescent soldiers back to war. One of them is Roman Mikhaylov, a mobilized soldier who should have been assigned the partially fit service fitness category "V", due to a PTSD diagnosis. However, according to the "Brotherhood of Veterans of the 245th Regiment," on Dec. 13, authorities put Mikhaylov on a train headed for the front, along with other soldiers with similar diagnoses. He has not been heard from since.
The Astra Telegram channel reports that on Jan. 10, unidentified gunmen in military uniform opened fire in a residential area of Oleshky, an occupied town in the Kherson region. Presumably, they were members of the Russian Armed Forces. During the shooting, a 67-year-old pensioner, a local resident, was killed.
Contract serviceman Artyom Artemyev has been sentenced to seven and a half years in a penal colony on charges of intentionally causing grievous bodily harm and resisting a superior officer, coupled with violence and the use of weapons. While intoxicated, Artemyev instigated a stabbing incident at the temporary deployment point of his military unit near the city of Novocherkassk. He stabbed his commander four times as the latter was escorting him to the military police station.
The appellate court has affirmed the decision of the Suzdal City Court, which deemed the mobilization of 36-year-old local resident Mikhail Kornilov lawful. Despite having three children, he was deployed to the war in Ukraine. In response to complaints from Kornilov's spouse, the draft office stated that he allegedly voluntarily requested to be sent to Ukraine. Human rights activists from the Vladimir-based Military Lawyers Committee, handling this case, intend to pursue it to the Supreme Court.
A military court in Ulan-Ude has sentenced serviceman Timur Dashinimaev to six and a half years of imprisonment for going AWOL. It is reported that on July 1, 2023, he fled from the military unit but was apprehended by the police two months later.
New cases against military members found to have gone AWOL have been reviewed by the garrison military courts of the Southern Military District:
- The Novocherkassk Garrison Military Court has ordered two years and nine months of imprisonment for Damir Galliullin, who had left his temporary place of duty on May 2, only to come back on May 14. In court, Galliullin pleaded guilty and showed remorse for his actions, which, along with his participation in the war, was regarded as a mitigating factor.
- The same court has sentenced mobilized soldier Vladimir Vaigandt to five years and three months of imprisonment. According to investigators, on Jan. 20, 2023 the soldier went AWOL from his post on the frontline and fled to Starobilsk, where he was detained a few months later by the military police. Vaigandt requested permission to resume his military service, however, the court chose to impose a prison sentence.
- The Nalchik Garrison Military Court has ordered one year of probation for Sergeant Alim Bermamitov, who went AWOL to visit his parents but eventually returned to his unit voluntarily a few weeks later.
- The same court has imposed a sentence of two years of probation for mobilized soldier Arsen Shakurov, who fled from his unit to help his father care for his mother afflicted with stroke. The court did not deem this to be a valid reason for going AWOL, noting that the defendant’s sisters resided in the same locality with his parents. However, Shakurov’s participation in the war was regarded as a mitigating factor.
- The same court has sentenced contract soldier Anton Eroshov to five years of probation. Eroshov was sent to a military hospital due to an injury, from which he escaped to visit his sick parents. He later voluntarily reported to the military commandant’s office. Eroshov's participation in the war with Ukraine and his injuries were considered mitigating factors.
- The Makhachkala Garrison Military Court in Russia’s constituent Republic of Dagestan has sentenced mobilized soldier Magomed Kudakhov to five years of probation. He did not return to service after completing his treatment but instead went home to help his family. Kudakhov reported to the military investigation department on July 26, 2023, after being absent from service since Feb. 8. The court considered his participation in the war with Ukraine, his injuries and his awards as mitigating factors.
The Kurgan Regional Court has sentenced a 20-year-old student to five years in a penal colony on charges of working for the Ukrainian intelligence services. According to law enforcement officials, he allegedly planned to carry out sabotage on military and social infrastructure facilities, disseminate pro-Ukrainian propaganda materials online, and collect and transmit data on the locations of law enforcement agencies and military units.
The Smolninsky District Court in Saint Petersburg has remanded a 67-year-old man from Russia’s constituent Republic of Dagestan into custody on suspicion of attempting to cooperate with the intelligence of Ukraine. The man is suspected of allegedly contacting the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine and informing them of his intentions to provide information to the Ukrainian side and "carry out specific actions that could contribute to the military defeat of Russia."
According to Astra and the Sibir.Realii [part of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty] online media outlets, it has been reported that one of the individuals detained in October in Tomsk as part of a hacking case is Seymour Israfilov, an 18-year-old student-programmer at Tomsk State University of Control Systems and Radioelectronics. Investigators believe he participated in attacks on Tomsk administration resources and the Scientific Research Institute of Tomsk Polytechnic University on behalf of the hacking group Cyber Anarchy Squad.
The Presidential Grants Foundation will allocate funds to the winners of the first competition in 2024. Among them are numerous initiatives related to the war. For instance, the Memory of Generations fund is set to receive almost 29 million rubles [$329,900] for prosthetics of limbs for military personnel. However, this amount will only be sufficient to assist 20 "veterans," despite the fund having over 100 applications. Some projects focus on providing survival training in extreme and combat conditions, along with tactical medicine skills. Additionally, many initiatives aim to offer psychological support to military personnel and their families. The competition also saw a significant number of "patriotic" projects, with 64 projects set to be implemented in the "new territories," and a budget of 428 million rubles [$4.87 million] allocated for this purpose.
In the Samara region, similar to several other regions before, authorities are planning to grant the right for the killed or awarded participants of the invasion, as well as their family members, to receive a land plot from the state.
In Nizhny Novgorod, 42 students underwent basic military training at the Avangard Center for Patriotic Education from September to December 2023. The training was part of the "Ratnoye Delo 2.0" [Warcraft] program, for which the center received a grant of 700,000 rubles [$7,960] from Rosmolodezh [Russian Youth Agency].
The Sirena [Siren] Telegram channel has published an article discussing the involvement of ex-convicts from the Wagner Group in working with schoolchildren.
Omsk authorities plan to found a Council for the Preservation and Strengthening of Russian spiritual and moral values. The organization, led by Vitaly Khotsenko, the Governor of the Omsk region, will also include officials, clergy, police and law enforcement officers. The council's primary task is to instill a sense of patriotism among the region's residents and combat ideas that foster a negative attitude toward state institutions.