mobilization briefs
January 24, 2023

Mobilization in Russia for Jan. 21–23, 2023, CIT volunteer summary

The “partial” mobilization decree, which was signed by Putin on Sept. 21, 2022  is still in effect because it contains measures other than the draft, said Russian President’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov. Peskov did not elaborate on the specifics of these measures, citing secrecy. “Besides the call-up of citizens for military service, partial mobilization included other measures as well, which are necessary to meet the objectives of the Armed Forces. It all concerns the implementation of duties of military servicemen. To that extent this [decree] is still in effect,” said Peskov.

The Sota Telegram channel points out draft updates to two presidential decrees prepared by the Ministry of Defense. The decree on additional guarantees to persons contributing to the war in non-combatant roles adds a new category — personnel tasked with objectives related to fortification equipment along the border and defensive positions. The list of recipients in the decree on additional aid was expanded to include construction workers employed by either state or private organizations that are involved in the construction of fortifications.

Starting Jan. 23, MinTsifry [the Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media of Russia] started accepting requests for deferrals from [regular biannual] conscription into the army in the spring of 2023. To be eligible for a deferral, the individual must be under 27 years of age, have a college degree in IT, and be employed with an accredited IT company for 11 months out of the past year. In case the term of employment is less than 11 months, a man is eligible for a deferral if he has accepted a job offer within a year of graduation. This deferral applies only to those who are not reservists and are subject to [regular biannual] conscription.

Journalists of the Siberia.Realities [part of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty] media outlet spoke to the wives of mobilized fathers having three or more children from the Zabaykalsky region. According to the women, despite Governor Osipov's promises to bring these men back home, nobody addressed them or their mobilized husbands about the issue. Tatiana, the wife of a draftee said, "Quite on the contrary, our men are being prepared to be deployed into the combat zone. And those locals who are stationed in military units in the Zabaykalsky region will be transferred to the Rostov region. My husband told me this during our call today. They are telling us outright lies to do everything quickly behind their backs."

Pro-Russian war correspondent Alexander Sladkov shared his thoughts about the inevitability of a second mobilization wave, as well as his "dreams" about the competent organization of this process and some reforms needed in the army. According to him, the second wave is needed at least to "cement [what Russia has learned from] the lessons of the first [wave] of mobilization, and to rotate draftees at the front who were mobilized during the first wave."

According to the NewsTracker local news agency, several residents of Stavropol received draft notices from the military commissariat [enlistment office] at once. Starting Jan. 10, young people aged 26 to 36 received draft notices demanding to appear at the military commissariat in at least three districts of Stavropol. According to the young people, all notices were left in mailboxes and not handed over personally as required by law. Thus, the military commissariat clarifies the data of men of military age and those who are in reserve.

Migrants from Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan who have received a Russian passport are not allowed to leave the country. It is reported by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Several men tried to leave Russia for their homeland after the start of mobilization. At the border they received a ban on leaving. For example, Bekbolat from Kyrgyzstan who received a Russian passport was not released to Bishkek on Dec. 22. The border guards explained to him that he was included in the mobilization list and did not have the right to cross the border until Feb.12.

A mobilized soldier from Novosibirsk filed a lawsuit against a draft office and draft board for the failure to provide a medical examination. The case will be considered by the garrison military court of Novosibirsk.

In early October 2022, a resident of the Oryol region assaulted the head of the local administration, who handed him two draft notices in a row. During the trial, the defendant admitted his guilt and was sentenced to a fine of 150 thousand rubles.

Another two mobilized soldiers from the Samara region, who had been killed as the result of the strike on Makiivka, were buried; they are Vadim Oshuev and Maksim Kopeyko. Also, it has become known of other mobilized soldiers killed: Yakov Okhlopkov from Russia's constituent Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), Maksim Kolesov from Vologda, Mikhail Oslyakov from Rostov, and Rafis Talkhin from Russia's constituent Republic of Bashkortostan.

Reportedly, in the Voronezh region, police officers died due to colliding with a truck transporting mobilized personnel. On Jan. 22, district police officer Danil Enin lost control of the vehicle and drove into oncoming traffic, where he crashed into a KAMAZ truck with mobilized servicemen. As a result of the accident, the district police officer and his passenger, district police officer Denis Kruglyakov, died on the spot. According to preliminary reports, the mobilized were left unharmed. Also, in another accident in the Voronezh region, six Russian National Guard employees were injured due to a collision of two KAMAZ trucks.

Residents of Zheleznogorsk, Krasnoyarsk region, were frightened by an unidentified masked person walking around the town holding an assault rifle. The security measures at all local schools and daycares were increased, and the access to these educational facilities was closed for the general public. The authorities later identified the suspect as a local 19 year old female who purchased a toy rifle at an online store. She had received her rifle at a pickup facility and was carrying it home, the prosecutor’s office states. At this moment, the young woman is being questioned at a local police station. According to her, she made the purchase for her personal collection.

Russia’s Ministry of Defense has published the combat footage of the work of 2S19 Msta-S self-propelled howitzers crews manned by mobilized soldiers. Mobilized armor crewmen are training to use T-72B3 tanks in the Zabaykalsky region. Also, the training of the Central Military District mortar crews is taking place in the rears of the “special military operation.”

Olga Tsukanova, the coordinator of the Council of Mothers and Wives human rights organization, was detained at Samara airport. Tshukanova was planning to fly out to Moscow to submit the appeals in regards to the violations of servicemen’s rights. The authorities held her at a local police station for 3 hours and then let her go without creating any documentation of the event apart from the official notice ordering her to come to the prosecutor’s office on Jan. 23. It is worth noting that Tatiana Butskaya, a member of State Duma [lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia], made an official request to the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation asking to take measures against the Council of Mothers and Wives earlier on Jan. 14. According to Butskaya, the human rights organization spreads fake news about the Russian Armed Forces.

A military serviceman suspected of deserting has been apprehended at a Moscow subway station. The man entered the Maryina Roshcha subway stop but wasn't allowed to proceed to the platform after face recognition cameras flagged him as a “passenger on the wanted list.” The detainee was identified as a platoon commander at a Moscow region military unit based in the town of Naro-Fominsk. In early December, he abandoned his place of service. A criminal case was brought against him and a federal warrant was issued for his arrest. The man now faces five to ten years in prison.

Several Pantsir-S1 surface-to-air missile and anti-aircraft artillery systems have been spotted during the recent days atop buildings in central Moscow as well as along the Rublyovskoe highway in the Moscow region. The Agenstvo [Agency] news outlet found out whom, most likely, the Pantsir-S1 surface-to-air missile and anti-aircraft artillery  systems were protecting: they are guarding against a possible UAF strike against President Vladimir Putin personally and those close to him. The conclusion was made after an air-defense system showed up near the president’s Valday residence, an area with no other potential targets. In addition, all three Pantsir-S1 systems observed in Moscow were placed so they covered the airspace above the Kremlin.

After mobilization, many enterprises of the Belgorod region need to be replenished due to a shortage of personnel. Even students are applying to the job openings. Specialists who come to fill positions of the mobilized are being officially full-time employed.

The Ministry of Culture began to check the presence at work of employees of the leading Russian museums: The State Tretyakov Gallery, Pushkin Museum, Peterhof, etc. Journalist Kseniya Korobeynikova has published information about such checks and about the intensified tracking of working hours. She suggests that this might be about finding out if someone is working from abroad, or about the hidden registration of men for mobilization.

Students of Svobodinsky Agricultural Technical College in the Kursk region were forced to weave camouflage nettings for the needs of the front. Meanwhile, school children in Kuvakino village in Chuvashia [Russia's constituent republic] had to watch a propaganda documentary "Heroes of Operation Z" at a lesson.