mobilization briefs
January 19, 2023

Mobilization in Russia for Jan. 17–18, 2023, CIT volunteer summary

Today, during the meeting with World War Two veterans and survivors of the Siege of Leningrad, President Putin promised that workers in the defense industry would be granted exemption from military service. “I believe that this issue will be resolved in the near future as well,” he stated.

A bill on granting deferment of conscription during mobilization to self-employed individuals introduced by the Novye Lyudi [New People] party was received with criticism by members of the State Duma [lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia], Kommersant [newspaper, which belongs to Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov] reports. In particular, chairman of the Duma Vyacheslav Volodin commented on the initiative rhetorically, “And who will defend the country?”.

Meanwhile, another bill seeking to confiscate the property of Russians who fled abroad is being prepared by the legislators, a source close to the Federal Assembly told RIA Novosti [RIA News, a Russian state-owned news agency]. Reportedly, no official instructions to draft such a bill have been issued to the committees, but a number of Duma members are working on this bill nonetheless. The proposal to seize the property of exiled Russians had come from the speaker of the lower house of Russian parliament Vyacheslav Volodin.

At the same time, officials of the ruling United Russia party claim that authorities should do their best to make the Russians who have fled abroad want to return. “Our goal is to make them return as soon as possible, excluding those who publicly insulted our country and our armed forces. It is important for the national economy, as well as for their own families,” secretary of United Russia’s General Council Andrey Turchak stated.

Russian Senator Andrey Klishas expressed doubts as to whether a yet another proposal made by Vyacheslav Volodin is in compliance with the constitution. The proposal called for a lifetime ban from working in public administration on citizens who did not complete their regular military service and had been declared unconstitutional as early as in 2014, Klishas pointed out in his Telegram channel. According to him, this new initiative raised by Volodin needs to be “considered carefully.”

On Jan.16, the head of Chuvashia [Russia’s constituent republic] met with the mobilized residents of the republic, who were sent off  to the “special military operation” area from Ulyanovsk. Governor of the Arkhangelsk region Alexander Tsybulsky met with the families of the participants of the "special military operation." Women, whose sons and husbands are at the forefront, came to the meeting with the head of the region. According to the press service of the regional government, in the near future, the Arkhangelsk regional branch of the Committee of the Families of Soldiers of the Fatherland will be created in the region.

Fathers of many children from the Zabaykalsky region, who were returned to their families from the “special military operation” area after the decision of the authorities to grant fathers of three or more children deferments from “partial” mobilization, are sent back to the war. The wives of the mobilized soldiers went to the law. Recall that earlier it became known about the cancellation of the exemptions granted to fathers of three by the instructions of the General Staff, while Andrey Turchak promised that draft deferrals  remained valid.

The names of five more mobilized soldiers who were killed as a result of the strike on Makiivka became known. These are Aleksandr Kiyaev, Gennady Chelnakov, Vladislav Shokurov, Aleksandr Zenkov and Aleksey Kachurin.

In the village of Novouglyanka, Lipetsk region, a 31-year-old deserter Dmitry Perov was killed during the arrest. At the moment of detention, the special forces ordered the serviceman to drop his weapons and lie down on the ground, but he opened fire and was killed by counterfire. Previously, Perov had escaped from the military unit with five magazines and grenades. The other day a man was noticed at one of the public transport stops in Voronezh. According to Dmitry’s brother, he left the military base in Ukraine and went to his mother in Voronezh. At the same time, Dmitry did not mention any problems in the army.

Mobilized soldiers from the Yaroslavl region claim that they are afraid of being accused of desertion due to leaving their positions on the orders of the commander. According to the servicemen, they left their positions during tanks and artillery strikes. The command did not support them, while the soldiers had only assault rifles and damaged guns. The order to retreat was given personally by the company commander, but then he retracted his words. Now the servicemen are to be charged with desertion and face up to 15 years in jail.

Eight servicemen from the Kaliningrad region who refused to fight in Ukraine and left the so-called LPR were charged with desertion. According to Kommersant, a group of military personnel left the field camp at the end of December 2022. With their service weapons, they reached the town of Podolsk in the Moscow region. After that, they went to the police office to hand over their weapons. At that moment they were arrested. Junior Sergeant Yevgeny Kravchenko, whom the investigation considers the organizer of the desertion, was placed in a pre-trial detention center until Feb. 27. The rest of the servicemen were transferred under the supervision of the command of the military unit in Chekhov-4 military town.

Mobilized soldier from Omsk Stanislav Rybin who put a knife to the throat of his commander, was sentenced to six years of maximum security penal colony. He was found guilty of charges of threatening to kill a person in connection with the performance of his official activities (Part 2 of Art. 119 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation) and on violence against a superior in conditions of mobilization or wartime (Part 3 of Art. 334 of the Criminal Code), according to a press release of the Omsk garrison military court.

The disseminated information about the search for four mobilized soldiers from the Moscow region, who left the military units without permission, is false with a high degree of probability.

The Abakan garrison military court sentenced private Belek Oorzhak to 2.5 years suspended imprisonment with a probationary period of 2 years for leaving his place of service without permission. The private, who was on a business trip in the “LPR”, left the field camp of the military unit without permission on June 24, 2022 and departed for his place of residence. At the same time, it is noted that Oorzhak reported voluntarily to a military commandant's office on Oct. 10, 2022.

In the town of Skopin, Ryazan region, a local resident was fined 50,000 rubles in a criminal case of draft evasion. As stated by the press service of the court, the accused received a conscription notice, but did not appear at a military commissariat [enlistment office]. Mediazona [independent Russian media outlet] reports that it may be Nikita Praslov, whose case was taken to trial in August.

The Investigative Committee is carrying out en masse inquiries in relation to young men evading military service. According to the Baza Telegram channel, only on Jan. 17 in one of the districts of Moscow, five such inquiries were registered. This concerns young people who received conscription notices during the spring and autumn conscription campaigns, but failed to appear at Moscow's military commissariats and did not provide any documents for their excuse. The inquiries are carried out under Article 328 of the Russian Criminal Code which penalizes military service evasion with a fine or imprisonment for up to two years.

Last night, a corporal shot his comrade-in-arms in a military unit in the Bryansk region. This happened in the 488th Guards Motorized Rifle Regiment, which is located in the city of Klintsy. Corporal Leonid G., 20, and Nikolay G., 22, were on guard at the unit's checkpoint. Eventually, Leonid, who was holding an AK-74 assault rifle, accidentally fired a shot. The bullet hit Nikolay in the stomach, causing his death. Currently, an investigation is underway. Improper handling of a firearm appears to be the cause of the incident.

Mediazona interviewed the residents of Tonenkoye village about the explosion in the Community Center building, where mobilized soldiers were stationed. According to them, the mobilized soldiers who had arrived in the village bought alcohol in a local store and drank hard.

The prosecutor's office approved the indictment in the case of arson of the Bakal Town Administration building in the Chelyabinsk region on Oct. 11, 2022. Aleksey Nuriev and Roman Nasryev charged with Part 2 of Art. 205 (terrorist act) and Art. 205.3 (training for the purpose of carrying out terrorist activities) of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. Both young men are known to hold anti-war views. According to the Zona solidarnosti [Solidarity Zone] Telegram channel, they face from 15 years in prison to life imprisonment.

In the Skovorodinsky district of the Amur region, on the Dzhiktanda — Taldan stretch, 22 freight cars derailed tonight, local time. The authorities did not comment on the reasons for the accident.

In Buryatia [Russia’s constituent republic], three teenagers were arrested on charges of setting fire to electrical panels on the railway. Now adolescents aged 17, 18 and 19 are accused under Art. 281 of the Criminal Code (sabotage); they face up to 15 years in prison. 18-year-old resident of the Ardatovsky district of Mordovia [Russia’s constituent republic] Artyom B. was detained and charged with Art. 205 of the Criminal Code (terrorist attack). According to the investigation, he set fire to the railway lines. In the Voronezh region, 17-year-old local resident Nikita was detained. He is suspected of "an attempt to damage a railway infrastructure facility (relay box)."

At the secondary school No. 6 in Vladivostok, the United Russia party has launched a project where children sew clothes for the “special military operation” participants. The pre-cut pieces of khaki-colored cloth and other necessary materials were provided to the school by the party representatives. The ASTRA Telegram channel spoke with one of the fathers. According to him, parents are not particularly thrilled, “Many will refuse to participate in such ‘lessons’”. In Belgorod, students at the Industrial College were required to weave camouflage nettings for the army. One of the Novosibirsk schools for special needs children announced a drive to collect empty food cans in order to give them a second life as “trench candles”.

In the Sakhalin region, a pilot program of teaching basic initial military training at schools has started. 26 schools belonging to 15 municipal districts now teach basic initial military training lessons.

The newly toughened rules on temporary stays on the territory of Kazakhstan will start applying to Russian citizens who arrived in the country after Jan. 27. Head of the Committee of migration service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan Askar Algongarov made a statement to that effect to the [Russian news agency] RIA Novosti.