mobilization briefs
January 22, 2023

Mobilization in Russia for Jan. 20–21, 2023, CIT volunteer summary

Mobilized Russians will only be able to return home after the end of the war or on Putin's order, according to Dmitry Gusev, member of the State Duma [lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia] and member of the working group on mobilization under the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation. "Victory is the first condition for the mobilized soldiers to return home. The second is an order of the Supreme Commander [Vladimir Putin]. And that's it. As far as I understand, they'll remain in the Armed Forces until the end of the ‘special military operation’," Gusev said in an interview to the pro-Kremlin media outlet, adding that "there are provisions for the rotation of those mobilized."

Russia could declare a full mobilization instead of a partial one if the armed conflict expanded beyond the territory of Ukraine, General Viktor Sobolev, member of the State Duma said. In that case, he claimed, draft deferrals won't apply to anyone. Sobolev went on to say that the "partial" mobilization was  over at the moment and there absolutely couldn’t be a second wave. "We simply don't possess a mobilization deployment base for that," Sobolev concluded.

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow called to "mobilize parishioners" to collect things for the military. "If we say that the Church is with its people, then every parish must help those who are in the line of fire. We need to mobilize our parishioners so that they collect things and products," said the patriarch at a festive meal in the Epiphany Cathedral. He also called on parishioners "if possible" to go and support the military personnel themselves.

Enterprises and organizations in Russia continue to prepare for mobilization in 2023. At the Kogalym-NPO-Service company, they are drawing up lists for the reservation of employees and approving the order of delivery of draft deferral certificates during mobilization and wartime. Subscribers of the Mozhem Ob’yasnit [We can explain] Telegram channel from several cities reported on the condition of anonymity that, at work, they were getting deferral reservations and lists of people eligible for mobilization. In one of the medical institutes, employees were issued documents for deferral, dated Feb. 15. "When it was handed over, they said that this copy should be presented if you get approached on the street," the Mozhem Ob’yasnit Telegram channel’s interlocutor said. The readers of the channel  working in the Ministry of Emergency Situations noted that personnel departments updated information about employees who were "on special account" — those who were eligible for mobilization and who should be deferred from it. A subscriber from Omsk drew attention to the fact that in the area of training grounds, where the mobilized soldiers were trained in the fall, Governor Alexander Burkov returned alcohol sales restriction until Mar. 1.

Although the Russian Ministry of Defense did not directly comment on the appearance of air defense systems in Moscow, today they have announced a “drill on S-300 air defense systems repelling air attacks in the Moscow region” on “important military facilities.”

The VChK-OGPU Telegram channel informs about preparation for yet another air defense site in the capital. Huge number of trees were cut down at the entrance to Izmailovsky Park about 500 meters from the Izmailovskaya metro station for these purposes. A subscriber of the SOTA Telegram channel spotted the air defense system on top of the Moscow Police [officially the Main Directorate of Internal Affairs of the City of Moscow] building located at 38 Petrovka, Moscow, Russia. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty explains where the new installations of air defense systems were seen using interactive maps and offers the experts opinions (including one of the CIT) why they could be placed there.

According to the specialists of the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), the deployment of air defense systems in Moscow and the Moscow region could be a result of psychological operations (PsyOp) by Russian authorities to accustom the population to the idea that the war may drag on. ISW experts do not believe that the Kremlin can really be afraid of AFU strikes on Moscow.

A resident of the village of Balakhta in the Krasnoyarsk region told journalists how she had buried her son. Mikhail Kilseev, 30, was drafted at the end of September. Despite having a reserved occupation the man decided to be called up to the armed forces after receiving a draft notice. His mother wrote a letter to President Putin asking him to return her son to his family. On Dec. 24, he was killed. After that, the woman changed her attitude to the war in Ukraine.

The Dozor v Volgograde [The Watch of Volgograd] Telegram channel collected cases of relatives successfully returning illegally drafted servicemen home. A Krasnodar resident saved her husband by appealing to the media and the public. Despite having multiple spinal injuries. We wrote about this case earlier. A resident of Chekhov, Moscow region, Natalia managed to return her husband and father of three children from the war. She had to go to Belgorod to bring relevant documents in person. A bank employee from Moscow was mobilized, despite holding a reserved occupation. His wife was not afraid to come to an assembly point and attract the attention of police officers and a prosecutor. After her complaints and long disputes, a deferral document was "accidentally" found in a stack of papers. The man was immediately allowed to return home.

Women from  Russia’s constituent Republic of Tuva asked government officials to not to send their men to Ukraine and to turn back the ones, who had already been sent there.

Chechen kids, who had lost their fathers in the war, were given Sony PlayStation consoles and candies. The gifts to the families of those killed from Chechnya [Russia’s constituent republic] were posted in the Instagram account of the Dari Dobro [Give Good] charity campaign, which is supervised by the daughter of Ramzan Kadyrov [head of the Chechen Republic] Aishat, Minister of Culture of the Republic of Chechnya. According to the Instagram account, almost 50 families have received such gifts.

Names of another two mobilized soldiers killed as the result of the strike on Makiivka on New Year’s Eve have become known. They are Roman Krivich and Yevgeniy Almazov.

Head of the LDPR [pro-Kremlin political party] faction of the legislative assembly of the Rostov region Yevgeniy Fedyaev was prohibited to speak up during the next two sittings of the assembly. This sanction was imposed by the local representatives` ethics committee for the open criticism of state officials in a Telegram channel Yevgeniy Fedyaev claimed that state employees had been forced to transfer money to a pro-government fund for the aid to the mobilized soldiers in order to reach their performance criteria. “Assisting the army is a proper and necessary measure, but it should be self-imposed and from a pure heart”, asФ the representative shared his opinion. In support of his statement he posted a photo taken in a Lenin khutor [farmstead] in the Aksay district [of the Rostov region] with provision, medicines and letters prepared by the locals for Russian soldiers.

Volunteers from the city of Yoshkar-Ola are collecting aid donations for residents of Mari El [Russian constituent republic] fighting in the war against Ukraine. Servicemen are asking to help with any warm clothes, volunteers report. A few soldiers from Mari El got frostbite, being unable to buy warm clothing in Donetsk and Luhansk. “Winter items are very expensive there,” volunteers explain in the announcement on their social media group page. “This is why we are pleading to the public for help. Look around your home and you might notice something you no longer need.”

Boots were stolen from a mobilized Belgorod resident during a hospital treatment. Governor of the region Vyacheslav Gladkov himself promised to assist in solving the problem. Another mobilized soldier, who is in the war zone now, lost 460 thousand rubles by giving his phone to a fellow soldier to buy groceries in nearby stores. The police launched an investigation; the soldier is wanted.

Tomsk Gorseti company [city networks] figured out how to make a stove out of a "trench candle" by improving this "simple" product. The "upgrade" is made by using steel scraps. “The plasma cutting process of one set takes 44 seconds,” employees of the enterprise proudly report.