mobilization briefs
January 20, 2023

Mobilization in Russia for Jan. 18–19, 2023, CIT volunteer summary

The State Duma [lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia] rethought their decision to commence expanded conscription age range (to between 18 and 30 years) starting this spring. According to the head of the State Duma Defense Committee Andrey Kartapolov, the likelihood of such an increase this spring is “zero”. Just last week he stated that citizens of age 18 to 30 could be conscripted already this spring. This should be noted that the spring session in the State Duma began this week. A bill to change the conscription age range has not yet been submitted.

The Prime Minister of Russia Mikhail Mishustin stated that all supplies and gear for the country Armed Forces lacking based on 2022 plans should be provided in full no later than February 2023.

State Duma Deputy Chair Anna Kuznetsova suggested utilizing the property of the Russians who left the country to provide housing for orphaned children. A comment from Andrey Klishas, the ​​head of the Federation Council committee on Constitutional Legislation and State Building, has followed. “Russian legislation has no provision to use someone's property to solve social problems,” he said. “We need to understand how this can be done legally. Serious amendments to the Criminal Code would need to be made,” Klishas added. Russian President’s spokesman  responded to the question about property confiscation of those who left Russia, “No. This topic has not been discussed,” said Dmitry Peskov, adding that the Kremlin has not formulated their position on this yet.

The “Military Ombudsman” Telegram channel has counted 28 military bills that have appeared in the State Duma since mobilization was announced. Out of those, only 3 became laws, 14 are loosely scheduled for January-February, 5 are in the relevant committees, and 3 bills were rejected or returned for correction. All of them concern business, social deferrals, alternative civilian and military service.

Veterans of the “special military operation” can teach OBZh [basic personal security training] in schools, Minister of Education Sergey Kravtsov announced.

Member of the Rostov city council Pyotr Pyatibratov suggested that another two million Russian citizens should be mobilized. In his opinion, those who have not served in the army should be drafted first of all. This will instill a bit of order into the conscripts, he believes. “The second wave of partial mobilization should be more extended, allowing to list not just 300,000 but two or three million men,” Pyatibratov claimed.

The Perm 36,6 Telegram channel reveals that covert mobilization is still underway in the Kama river area. As reported by the subscribers of the channel, every week the military commissariats  [enlistment offices] recruit five to seven men to send to training centers. Thus, they steadily replenish the ranks of the mobilized without spreading panic among the population. This information was leaked by one of the subscribers who had been helping the local draft office to fill and send out draft notices since the beginning of mobilization. Authors of the channel are being pressured to delete the channel and abandon the project within a week; security forces are threatening to initiate criminal proceedings if this is not done.

The Ural Federal University designated specific officials responsible for handing out draft notices, a source close to the institution told the Sirena Telegram channel. The principal issued an order on the military registration of citizens and on exemption of reservists in 2023. The order applies not only to the employees but also to the students. Those responsible are tasked with collecting the draft notices, handing them to recipients and reporting any refusals to an appointed department. From now on, the military registration department will be involved in hiring, dismissal and transfers of all personnel employed by the university.

Air defense systems are being installed in Moscow. In several districts of Moscow, Pantsir-S1 surface-to-air missile and anti-aircraft artillery systems were spotted. One of them, according to local residents, is located on the rooftop of the main building of the Ministry of Defense. The second one was spotted on top of an office building on Teterinsky Pereulok street. Air defense systems are also being installed in the Losiny Ostrov National Park, where trees were cut down for these purposes, as well as in the fields of the Moscow Timiryazev Agricultural Academy.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Defense demonstrates how draftees are taught to capture enemy fortifications and trenches in Russia's Far East.

The Military Prosecutor's office of the Yaroslavl region has launched an inquiry after receiving a complaint from draftees against his commander [which we covered in yesterday's summary]. The wives of mobilized servicemen have reached out to journalists and are preparing to petition President Putin and Alexander Bastrykin, the head of the Investigative Committee. According to the women, their husbands have been fighting in Ukraine since Nov. 28, but their salaries are almost entirely spent on gear and equipment. Families are also raising money to help the fighters.

The wife of the commander of the 2nd Combined Arms Army, Ekaterina Kolotovkina, who previously gave a speech at a mourning rally in Samara, said that she was giving out shoulder patches with the Virgin Mary to those leaving for the war in Ukraine. According to one of the recipients, such a shoulder patch saved him from a HIMARS rocket.

There is a video from military unit 59292, located in the village of Kryazh near Samara. Lieutenant Colonel Kuliyev, head of the medical service, promised servicemen that a medical commission would be organized to evaluate their fitness for service. However, he placed these people on the list of those who would be sent back into the combat zone. The video was recorded on Jan. 13. The servicemen on record were mobilized. The soldiers came to the unit after fighting in Ukraine or after they were released from the hospitals of the Central Military District after treatment. Now the draftees are being sent back to the combat zone without a medical commission or any medical tests. We covered such practice in our previous reports.

Names of six more Samara region residents who were killed as a result of the hit on Makiivka have emerged: Nikita Gornik, Andrey Olbik, Artyom Ruchin, Aleksandr Chudov, Rasul Sakhipkireev, and Sergey Esliseev. Thus, 77 names of draftees killed there are known to date. Three mobilized soldiers from the Krasnoyarsk region were killed in the war as well: Pyotr Matonin, Valery Vozhakov, and Valery Fedchikov.

A 19-year-old student at a technological college attempted suicide to avoid going to military training. A few days ago, he found out that he was to be sent to the Avangard military camp. Being against the war, he didn’t want to go. After cutting his neck with a knife, the young man asked a passer-by for help and was taken to a hospital.

In Cheboksary, the Lenin district court ordered the arrest of Artyom Begoyan, 18, charged with destroying or damaging private property (Part 2 of Art. 167 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). The court’s press service informed the Mediazona independent news outlet of the fact. The hearing was held already on Dec. 17. We wrote about the detention of this young man in our yesterday’s summary; however, at that time it was reported that he was being charged under article 205 (terrorist act).

The VChK-OGPU Telegram channel editors have learnt about the death of a mobilized soldier traveling in a military trainload to the combat zone. On Jan. 18, at about 1 a.m., Andrey Zemskov, a serviceman from Tula, died suddenly on a train at the Otrozhka station. The fellow soldiers explained that he was sleeping when he abruptly jumped up, asking for a pill, after that he dropped to the floor in convulsions and died before the ambulance arrived.

In the Leningrad region, a man mobilized with a disease that could cause blindness was sent to the military medical commission only after two escapes from the military base. Meanwhile, the mobilized father of three minor children from Orenburg is being returned home from the “special military operation” zone. Last night, his wife was informed that the regiment received an order for his demobilization, although all the necessary documents were delivered to the unit on Dec. 5.

An employee of the local thermal power plant, Vladimir Budozhapov, was returned to Buryatia [Russia’s constituent republic] from the war. On Dec. 1, 2022, the Supreme Court of Buryatia demanded to cancel the mobilization of Budozhapov, since he had a reserved occupation at the enterprise. Vladimir's family spent more than two months trying to achieve their rights. Meanwhile, he received military training and got to the war in Ukraine. The Military Prosecutor's office finally intervened in the case of mobilized Krasnoyarsk citizen Artyom Borozna, who was sent to the war zone, although he had a reserved occupation at the enterprise and a court-approved granting him a draft deferral. We have already reported on his story in our summaries.

Since the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine, the Russian servicemen have been intimidated with long prison terms for refusing to fight. The BBC studied the cases of fugitives to understand how they were persecuted and punished during the war — before and after the law on going AWOL was tightened.