Russia’s Federation Council [upper house of the Federal Assembly] passed bills raising the upper conscription age limit to 30 and prohibiting conscripted men from leaving Russia after receiving their draft notices. According to Valentina Matviyenko [Chairwoman of the Federation Council], all exemptions that were allowed under the previous legislation still remain valid. For more information on these new laws, check out our summary of July 24-25. The Vyorstka media outlet revealed dissent between the Ministry of Defense and the political departments of the presidential administration with regard to the extension of the conscription age limits, but eventually Putin chose to support the Ministry of Defense.
Our previous summary highlighted opinions expressed by lawyers of the Prizyv k Sovesti [Call to Conscience] project and by human rights activists of Shkola Prizyvnika [Conscript School] on the amendment replacing the term "authorized representative" with the term "legal representative." Legal experts of the Voyennye Advokaty [Military Lawyers] project also presented their viewpoint, which is essentially consistent with the views shared by their colleagues: apparently, there is no reason to expect that lawyers will be banned from representing the interests of conscripts.
The mayor of the city of Omsk signed a decree doubling daily travel allowance up to 8480 rubles [$92] for civil servants who undertake business trips into the occupied areas. The decree also allows civil servants to be reimbursed for "additional non-disclosed expenses incurred on business trips."
Authorities of Tatarstan [Russia’s constituent republic] will be offering compensation to organizations providing accommodation and meals to refugees from Ukraine and the border regions of Russia. Earlier, compensation was only granted for accommodation of refugees from the occupied areas.
In Saint Petersburg, ads of contract-based military service and limb prosthetics services were noticed posted next to each other. Meanwhile in Volgograd, a contract service ad was placed on the other side of a billboard that promoted having a large family.
Governor of the Nizhny Novgorod region Gleb Nikitin has announced the names of the new volunteer battalions formed in the region: "Gorky," "Seraphim of Sarov," and "Ivliyev." According to the Governor, Zakhar Prilepin [a Russian author, political and social activist] contributed to their establishment.
The list of mobilized soldiers killed in the war has been updated to include Igor Kakov from Khakassia [Russia’s constituent republic], Yevgeny Strelnikov from the Khanty-Mansi autonomous region–Yugra [Russia's federal subject], and Mikhail Dziubenko from the Lipetsk region.
Mediazona [independent Russian media outlet] and BBC News Russian, together with volunteers, managed to verify the names of 28,652 Russian fighters killed in Ukraine. 1229 names have been added to the list over the last three weeks.
The Council of Mothers and Wives movement, organized by female relatives of mobilized Russians, decided to cease its operations after being labeled a "foreign agent." This has been announced by head of the movement Olga Tsukanova.
The mobilized from Chuvashia [Russia’s constituent republic] assigned to the 291th Regiment are complaining about being left on positions in the Robotyne area, Zaporizhzhia region, with no fire support or supplies. The mobilized only have assault rifles and spades, while they are under constant artillery and mortar attacks. According to the servicemen, they lost 24 persons out of 100 within a few days (three killed and 21 wounded). Heavily wounded soldiers are left to die on the battlefield and those with minor injuries have to find their way to evacuation points on their own.
A resident of the city of Izhevsk has complained that her husband, who was wounded in the war, is not receiving the necessary medical assistance. After being wounded, the man spent six months in a hospital in Moscow, where his legs were "pieced together," and now he can only walk with crutches. However, upon returning to Izhevsk, the situation with medical care worsened due to a critical shortage of doctors.
The number of illegal weapons and ammunition smuggling cases from the combat zone continues to rise. On July 27, a Russian military member was arrested in the Stavropol region for illegally transporting ammunition from the "DPR". The authorities found two grenades, 241 rounds of ammunition, a knife, and an unknown, presumably explosive, substance. In another incident near the city of Krasnodar, the police stopped a KAMAZ truck, which was found to contain hidden compartments with firearms and ammunition. The driver and two passengers claimed to be members of the BARS (Special Combat Army Reserve) volunteer unit and stated that they were headed to a training ground in the city of Novorossiysk by the order of their commander. However, upon investigation, it was revealed that they had no military service records. The men were arrested for the illegal transportation of weapons.
A former convict Wagner Group mercenary, who had returned from the war in April, abducted and assaulted a nine-year-old girl in the Samara region. The man was unable to provide a motive for his actions. Alexander Bastrykin, the head of the Investigative Committee of Russia, has personally taken charge of the case.
According to the Kemerovo Regional Court's response, information regarding the whereabouts of Vladislav Kanyus, who was convicted of the murder of his former girlfriend Vera Pekhteleva, has been classified as confidential. Previously, human rights defender Alyona Popova claimed that he was recruited for warfare in Ukraine from the prison. The judicial process regarding the murder case is still ongoing, as it must go through the cassation stage. However, this process is now impossible to conduct since the court is unable to deliver the cassation appeal to the convicted individual.
A taxi driver from Komsomolsk-on-Amur has been sentenced to 18 years in a maximum security penal colony for his involvement in the arson attack on a building belonging to the Rosgvardia [the National Guard of Russia]. Surpassing the prosecution's demand of 17 years, the court opted for a more severe punishment.
The suspect involved in the arson attack on the administration building in the Volgograd region has been sentenced to two and a half years in prison, facing charges under two criminal articles; "Hooliganism" and "Intentional destruction or damage to property." The incident occurred during the night of Sept. 22 to 23, 2022, when the individual hurled two Molotov cocktails through the window of the Kamyshin city administration building.
The Pervomaysky District Court in Izhevsk has sentenced a local resident to one year and four months of freedom restriction for a deliberately misleading terrorism act report. Seeking to avoid being mobilized, the individual had reported an imminent explosion at the military commissariat. Taking into account the time already spent in custody, the person has been released. However, the court ruled to impose compulsory medical measures in the form of outpatient treatment by a psychiatrist.
A resident of the Oryol region was arrested for an alleged attempt to join the "Freedom of Russia Legion." According to a RIA Novosti [Russian state-owned news agency] report, he even submitted applications to the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) and the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to seek clarification on the procedures for leaving the country.
A resident of Ulan-Ude, Buryatia [Russia's constituent republic], who vandalized a bust of a USSR hero with paint, has been accused of preparing an act of sabotage. According to the investigators, in July the accused was planning to set fire to a railway relay cabinet. He claimed to have received instructions from an unidentified individual through a messaging app. Detailed photographs of the railway section and associated infrastructure were allegedly sent by the accused "to the contact for approval of the plan."
The Astra Telegram channel found out that two posts by a 17-year-old teenager in Khakassia in chats for 5 and 115 participants became the reason for his detention reported by the Federal Security Service (FSB). According to investigators, the teenager called for joining the Azov Regiment. Astra found no such posts in the specified chats.
The OVD-Info independent human rights project published a summary of anti-war repression as of July 2023. According to their report, since Feb. 24, 2022, a total of 19,474 people have been detained during anti-war actions, 636 people have found themselves under criminal prosecution, and 7,430 administrative cases under the article on discrediting have been initiated.
In Perm, an enterprise of the military-industrial complex plans to expand the production of body armor, helmets, combat protective kits and other uniforms for the military.
In the Nizhny Novgorod region land plots of up to 20 acres for private subsidiary farming are planned to be distributed to current and former military personnel free of charge. Both participants in the current invasion and those military men who have been fighting in the units of the "Donetsk People's Republic" and the "Luhansk People's Republic" since May 2014 can get a land allotment.
According to the Central Bank of Russia, more than 217,000 participants in the war with Ukraine and their family members have been granted deferred loans from banks. The total value of payment holiday agreements reached 85.2 billion rubles [$ 926 mln] in the period from October 2022 to June 2023.
Schoolchildren of the Melovsky district of the "LPR" were sent to Kostroma to take the In Ze Army field training courses.
Molodaya Gvardiya [the Young Guard, the youth wing of the United Russia party] will start training volunteers in social-psychological and first aid skills in the Khanty-Mansi autonomous region. The training will be conducted by both "experienced" members of Molodaya Gvardiya and war veterans. The best-performing individuals are planned to be sent to the occupied territories after the training.
The public branch of the Central Victory Museum in the town of Irbit, Sverdlovsk region, is preparing the Strength in Truth project and is requesting relatives of participants in military conflicts and the "special military operation" to bring personal belongings, military uniform items, awards, document copies, and photographs from their home archives to the museum. The Museum of War in Ukraine has already been opened in Saratov, featuring exhibits such as fragments of HIMARS MLRS, Western weapons samples, photographs of Russian soldiers' wives, and a book with the names of 437 residents of Saratov region killed in the war. In the village of Nizhny Tsasuchey in the Zabaykalsky region, a local entrepreneur is building a monument to honor the "special military operation" participants using his own funds.
In the first three months of 2023, refugee status was granted to only two individuals in Russia. According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs data, the number of refugees in Russia during the first quarter of 2023 amounted to 276 people, which is 30% lower than the previous year and one person less than at the end of the fourth quarter of 2022.
The Vyorstka media outlet has published a study on how the war has affected pre-election campaigning in Russian regions and occupied territories. It was found that, except for the occupied territories, the war theme is not the main focus in pre-election materials. Some candidates do not mention the war at all, while others only visit volunteers or collect aid for the military.