mobilization briefs
January 31

Mobilization in Russia for Jan. 29-30, 2024 CIT Volunteer Summary

Authorities and Legislation

The federal government has adopted a resolution to proactively provide electronic certificates to participants of the invasion of Ukraine, who suffered injuries or became disabled. They can now order rehabilitation equipment without the need for submitting any paperwork and are even entitled to request delivery services. The regulation encompasses all military personnel, including volunteer fighters.

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

The military investigation department for the Tyumen region commented on the results of the raids on naturalized migrants who had failed to register for military service. According to investigators, the raids allowed regional authorities to add 499 men to the military rolls in 2023 and a further 17 in January 2024. Furthermore, 68 foreign citizens agreed to sign contracts with the Ministry of Defense in order to avoid deportation in 2023, and another 12 did so in January 2024.

Yevgeny Tokmakov, the head of a contract military service recruitment facility in Kazan, stated that over 9,000 individuals enlisted in Russia’s constituent Republic of Tatarstan in 2023. According to Tokmakov, the recruitment targets for contract-based military service remain the same in 2024.

Mobilized Soldiers, Volunteer Fighters and Contract Soldiers

The list of mobilized soldiers killed in the war in Ukraine has been updated to include Yevgeny Pavlov from the Omsk region, Sergey Getalov and Mikhail Krutko from the Rostov region, Aleksandr Grebenuk from the Krasnodar region, and Daur Kaziyev from the Astrakhan region.

For the first time in Russia, the name of a sailor who died during the airstrike on the Novocherkassk large landing ship on Dec. 26, 2023, has been officially announced. An obituary for senior contract sailor Igor Meshcheryakov from the Rostov region was posted on the website of the Shakhtinsky Road Institute, the college from which the sailor graduated. Earlier, journalists found out the names of four sailors declared "missing in action" after their relatives posted information about their search online.

Dmitry Kholin, a mobilized member of the Gubernskaya Duma [regional assembly] of the Samara region, has returned from the war and currently heads the governor's administration. According to the Kommersant daily newspaper, Kholin's appointment may be related to the decision to "promote a patriotic agenda" following a scandal involving the family of the former regional government chairman Viktor Kudryashov. Kudryashov was arrested for abuse of power, while his son, who had gone to Georgia, is under investigation for allegedly financing the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The specific grounds on which Kholin was able to demobilize have not been reported.

Former convicts who served in the war in Ukraine as part of a Storm-Z unit from April to October 2023 have recorded a video address to President Putin and the head of Chuvashia [Russia’s constituent republic], Oleg Nikolaev. In the video, the individuals claim that the Ministry of Defense deceived them and did not fulfill the contract conditions stated during recruitment. They allege that they did not receive their full salary, and payments for injuries sustained during their service are also not being provided. Additionally, families of those killed in action are reportedly facing challenges in obtaining death gratuity payments. The ex-convicts further emphasized the absence of promised regional bonuses from the head of the republic.

The Commissioner for Human Rights in Buryatia [Russia's constituent republic], Yulia Zhambalova, disclosed that a serviceman who suffered a blast injury from a mine explosion during the war in Ukraine was initially diagnosed with pelvic shrapnel wounds and spinal fractures. However, after a surgery, the records of which were lost, military hospital doctors in the city of Chita assessed his injury as a "minor impairment." Following Zhambalova's appeal to the prosecutor's office, the conclusion was overturned.

Sentences, Legal Proceedings and Incidents

Journalists from the Vyorstka media outlet investigated over a thousand verdicts in bribery cases, spoke with servicemen and uncovered how corruption manifests in the Russian military, revealing the amounts and reasons for payments made by Russian soldiers during the war. Soldiers bribe commanders to avoid entering combat zones, while staff officers demand money for processing injury-related documents. However, the most sought-after "service" in the Russian Army is securing days off and leaves.

According to the Baza Telegram channel, a Russian soldier has been accused of the extrajudicial killing of a resident of the Kherson region. Nikolay G., a resident of Liubymivka in the occupied part of the Kherson region, went missing on Dec. 22, 2022, after being detained by soldiers. A year later, investigators revealed that the man had been murdered. The deputy commander of a unit was detained on suspicion of the crime and confessed to the murder. He stated that in the early days of 2023, he took Nikolay to a training ground near Nova Kakhovka, where he shot him with an assault rifle and buried his body the next day. According to the detained individual, the victim was suspected of providing information to the AFU about the locations of Russian troops. A criminal case for murder has been initiated against him.

In another case, a 19-year-old resident of Yekaterinburg, who had previously reported a group rape by participants of the "special military operation," withdrew her statement after learning about her pregnancy. Among the reasons cited, she mentioned her inability to cope with the moral pressure exerted on victims during investigative measures. Military investigators issued a resolution canceling the case. The victim later revealed that a police officer suggested talking to the men before their deployment to the frontline and promised that they would "apologize." One of the soldiers, who did not assault the victim, asked her to withdraw the statement in exchange for a monetary reward. Although she refused the money, she also withdrew the statement under pressure, claiming that the soldier discreetly placed 300,000 rubles [$3,350] in her bag. Subsequently, Federal Security Service (FSB) agents stopped her as two soldiers complained that she and the police officer extorted 600,000 rubles [$6,700] from them, threatening to file a rape complaint. A criminal case for bribery has been initiated against the police officer, and he has been detained.

The Borzya Garrison Military Court has sentenced soldier Aleksandr Chulkov to two years in a penal settlement for failure to execute orders during combat. According to the court, Chulkov verbally and in writing expressed his refusal to go on a deployment to participate in combat.

The same court has sentenced soldier Ivan Egunov to six years in a penal colony for failing to report for duty at his military unit after completing medical treatment. It is worth noting that he was discharged from the hospital on March 7, 2023, and on Aug. 18, military police detained him.

In the city of Cheboksary, a court has arrested a female teacher for two months, suspected of setting fire to a school, as reported by the regional Investigative Committee. A case has been initiated against the woman on charges of an act of terror. During interrogation, she allegedly stated that she had acted on the instructions of unidentified individuals who called her. She was fired from school.

Aleksandra Novikova, a member of the Kamchatka regional parliament, has been found guilty under the charges of "discrediting the Russian Armed Forces" and fined 30,000 rubles [$340]. The basis for prosecuting Novikova was a repost of a complaint from a Kamchatka serviceman who blamed the governor of the Kamchatka region for inadequate conditions and insufficient training.

A court in Bryansk has sentenced Dmitry Prokhorenko, an IT company employee, to 13 years in prison for treason and setting fire to a relay cabinet. According to law enforcement officers, the man provided information about the activities of a military unit to foreign mercenaries fighting on the Ukrainian side.

Children and Educational System

T-invariant, an independent media outlet, shared stories of Russians who lost their jobs at schools due to their anti-war sentiment. They also interviewed experts about the prospects of other educators who oppose the official point of view and discussed the future of secondary education during wartime.