mobilization briefs
January 18, 2023

Mobilization in Russia for Jan. 16–17, 2023, CIT volunteer summary

During a conversation with journalists on Tuesday, Russian President’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov was asked whether it is possible to talk about continuing mobilization since this topic is constantly discussed by the public. "Yes, it is being artificially exploited both from abroad and from within the country. I suggest that you always keep in mind the relevant statements that President Putin has made in this regard," Peskov said. In addition, answering a question about rumors that Putin may declare a full-fledged war on Ukraine or continue mobilization tomorrow during events in honor of the 80th anniversary of the breakthrough of the siege of Leningrad, Peskov said, "It's all rumors. Don't listen to them."

Member of the Pskov regional assembly representing the oppositional Yabloko Party Artur Gayduk received a response from the Kremlin to his request to issue a decree on the completion of mobilization, which he sent in November last year. It follows from the response that on Oct. 28, "the notification and the draft of reservists have been completed," while the decree "On the announcement of partial mobilization" continues to be in force.

Chairman of the State Duma [lower house of the Federal Assembly] Vyacheslav Volodin expressed an opinion that it is necessary to have a military specialty and to have army experience to hold public positions. "In order to hold a civil service position, participate in the State Duma elections, occupy positions within the judicial system or prosecutor's offices, it is mandatory to have a military specialty and to have served in the armed forces," Volodin said about his legislative plans. It should be noted that neither Volodin himself, nor President Putin or Defense Minister Shoigu have served in the army.

Defense Minister Shoigu held a meeting on increasing the number of the Russian Armed Forces to 1.5 million servicemen.

The State Duma Committee on Defense refused to exempt Сandidates and Doctors of Sciences [academic titles] from mobilization. "The establishment of exemption from mobilization of all citizens with a Doctor's or Candidate's degree proposed by the draft bill does not correspond to the approach currently adopted in the legislation of the Russian Federation on mobilization," the conclusion of the Defense Committee states. The draft bill on exemption from "partial" mobilization of scientists was submitted to the State Duma in October 2022 by Communist Party member Mikhail Matveyev.

A draft law on deferral from mobilization for self-employed entrepreneurs, which we covered in yesterday's summary, has been submitted to the State Duma. It follows from the text of the draft law that self-employed entrepreneurs and sole participants of limited liability companies, where five or more people are hired during the 6 months preceding the start of mobilization and who do not have arrears in the payment of wages, taxes and other payments to the budget, will be granted a deferral. It is proposed to release the heads of farms without any additional requirements, as they "ensure food security" in the country.

The head of the Russia’s constituent Republic of Buryatia proposed to introduce a draft deferral from regular biannual conscription for employees of the military, instrument-making, and aviation plants of the republic.

In Novosibirsk, a draft officer changed the military specialty of a man from 999 (no military specialty) to 837037A (driver) at his sole discretion.

Scholarships for students from the families of mobilized soldiers will be introduced in the Ryazan and Amur regions. Payments will be made to students in colleges and technical schools. In the Amur region, scholarship support was approved by a regional government decree in the amount of 2 thousand rubles. Meanwhile, in the Ryazan region, the authorities are going to amend the regional law on education. Scholarships will be paid monthly.

Mobilized soldier Yevgeny Duz, 32, from the settlement of Zauralsky, Chelyabinsk region, was buried on credit — his family gave all the money for military gear. The guy was mobilized on Sept. 27, and two months later he was taken from the training center in Yelan to the hospital in a serious condition, with symptoms of COVID-19. On Dec. 30, the man died in the infectious diseases hospital of Chelyabinsk. His family has never received a death certificate. The wife of the deceased also did not receive appropriate payments from the Ministry of Defense.

Five servicemen were killed during the attack on Shebekino in the Belgorod region. During yesterday's strike by Ukraine, the positions of Russian troops were attacked. As a result, an administrative building was hit and five conscripts were killed (all of them were about 20 years old). Shrapnel wounds were received by two more military men, they were taken to a hospital in Belgorod. Recall that yesterday we reported that conscripts from seven constituent entities of the Russian Federation had arrived in the Belgorod region.

The names of five more mobilized men killed during the strike on Makiivka became known. These are Aleksandr Apeshin, Aleksandr Ryzhakov, Ilya Nikishkin, Aleksandr Kulikov, Aleksandr Damm. Thus, at the moment, the names of 67 victims are known. In the Bezenchuk Agricultural College, the Desk of the Hero of Russia, Dmitry Katkasov, who was killed in Makiivka on January 1, 2023, was opened.

The Mediazona media outlet, together with the BBC’s Russian service and a team of volunteers, continues to maintain a list of Russian soldiers killed in the war with Ukraine using open sources. The list already includes 644 mobilized soldiers, of which 49 are those killed on New Year's Eve in Makiivka. In total, there are 11,662 names on the list of confirmed deaths.

On Jan. 17 and 18, the last dispatch of mobilized residents of the Perm region [Russia’s federal subject] will take place from the training center in Yelan in the Sverdlovsk region. Mobilized residents of the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous region — Yugra will leave Omsk for Belarus. “Mobilized from Yugra will go to Belarus for training,” claim local residents on one of the social networks.

The VChK-OGPU Telegram channel reports a riot of an entire train of soldiers who were taken to the combat zone. On January 13, an unheated train of four cars (with about 200 soldiers) stopped at the Ulusarka station in the Lipetsk region. The soldiers refused to continue moving and demanded 4 tons of coal and water to start the boiler in the train. In order to calm the soldiers, the police were called. This information has not been confirmed by other sources.

Servicemen participating in hostilities continue to get into criminal reports. So, the VChK-OGPU Telegram channel spoke about a mass brawl of soldiers in a Moscow restaurant. One injured is known so far — a citizen of Moscow Aleksey. The man was hospitalized with an open fracture of the jaw. According to local residents, the initiators of the fight are serving soldiers of military unit No. 54164 (38th Airborne Control Brigade stationed in Medvezhi Ozera in the Moscow region). However, the servicemen were not detained but were simply handed over to their commander.

A scout orderly of the Special Forces Brigade of the GRU [Main Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Russia] was detained for sexual violence against his 14-year-old niece in Barnaul. According to sources of the ASTRA Telegram channel, the criminal case under Paragraph “B” of Part 4 of Art. 132 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (sexual violence) was initiated against a 22-year-old contract soldier of military unit No. 55433 (24th Separate Special Forces Brigade of the Main Intelligence Directorate from Novosibirsk).

A company commander has tried to pay off drunk driving without documents in the Bryansk region. Now the officer is being checked under a criminal article on giving a bribe; he could face up to two years in jail.

The number of casualties among the Russian soldiers increased to seven as a result of a grenade explosion in the village of Tonenkoye near Belgorod. The search for four more soldiers continues. We covered this incident in our previous summaries.

An IT specialist Nikita Biryukov has been reportedly detained in Moscow. Biryukov complained that he had come to a draft office with sick notes, but he was still called up within regular biannual conscription. The last mention of the uproar was a video showing a young man standing in a line of other conscripts in the uniform of the Armed Forces of Russia. As it turned out, on Dec. 29, 2022, Biryukov was put on the federal wanted list due to an absence without official leave and failure to appear at the unit for more than a month. Leaving the unit near Nizhny Novgorod, he arrived in Moscow and stayed at the Izmailovo Hotel. On Jan. 14, a CCTV camera found Nikita in the Moscow subway, and he was detained.

A mobilized soldier with diabetes is not allowed to leave the war. Sergey Krasnikov from Moscow is trying to get his command to demobilize him as he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes during the service. They don’t want to let the man leave the service, so he is going to sue the Ministry of Defense.

A court session over Vasily Gavrilishin accused of setting fire to a military commissariat [enlistment office] in Nizhnevartovsk in May 2022 was held in Yekaterinburg. First, Gavrilishin was charged with Part 2 of Art. 167 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (destruction or damage to property), but due to his cooperation with the investigation, the charge was reclassified to Part 2 of Art. 205 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (commission of a terrorist act). At the court session, the defendant pleaded guilty, but did not confess to committing a terrorist act.

Contract soldiers of the 136th Separate Guards Motor Rifle Brigade from Dagestan refused to follow the orders of the command during the war in Ukraine and returned to the unit's permanent deployment point in Buynaksk as became known from the materials of the administrative file of Zaur Batyrkhanov, a serviceman who complained about his discharge from the service. The exact number of contract soldiers who returned with him from Ukraine is not specified. Batyrkhanov was drawn up a protocol on a serious disciplinary offense, on account of which he was discharged from military service.

Volgograd residents are urged to take intensive courses of tactical medicine in real combat. Reportedly, 45 military students, "deeply motivated not to die", became the first attendees of the courses».

Owner of the Russkiy Rybnyy Mir [Russian Fish World] company, Yevgeny Isaev from Podolsk, handed over a thousand empty cans to the Russian Army. Just for the record, Isaev has officially earned more than 263 million rubles in 5 years. Another United Russia ruling Party member from Podolsk, Sergey Kulev, was inspired by his colleague's New Year's generosity and shouting "Putin is the best president!" urged other party members to participate in the collection of cans.

Kazakhstan tightens the rules for the entry and stay of Russians. According to the new procedure, which will come into force on Jan. 27, citizens of the member countries of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), including Russians, can stay in Kazakhstan for no more than 90 days within a 180-day period.