mobilization briefs
July 31

Mobilization in Russia for July 28-30, 2023 CIT Volunteer Summary

Authorities and Legislation

The government has approved a new procedure for sending draft notices:

  • Registration and removal of Russian citizens from military records can now be done without their personal report to a draft office;
  • Citizens can update their information in the military registry either in person at a draft office or through the Gosuslugi public services portal;
  • Draft notices will be delivered in person, by registered mail, or electronically;
  • Notifications about issuing draft notices will be delivered through the Gosuslugi portal;
  • An electronic Draft Registry with personal accounts will be established in Russia.

It is worth noting that after receiving a draft notice, citizens will be prohibited from leaving the country, and after 20 days, they will be restricted from driving a vehicle, taking out loans, registering as individual entrepreneurs or self-employed, and conducting real estate transactions.

Deputies of the State Duma [lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia] will now be required to notify Chairman of the State Duma Vyacheslav Volodin, as well as Russia’s Ministry of Defense Sergei Shoigu, or Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov, about their intention to visit military units in occupied territories, reports the TASS [Russian state-owned news agency], citing their sources. Earlier, a similar initiative was reported by RBC [a Russian media group].

Governor of the Rostov region Vasily Golubev has announced that the agreement for the establishment of the Donbas Community will be signed in late August. It is expected to include the Voronezh and Rostov regions along with the "DPR" and "LPR."

Chairwoman of the Federation Council [upper house of the Federal Assembly] Valentina Matviyenko has stated that the wording "authorized representative" was replaced with “legal representative” in the amendments to the law "On Military Duty and Military Service" due to negligence of lawyers in the Ministry of Defense. Matviyenko referred to the incident as "bewilderment" and promised that it would be corrected by the Fall Session of the Federation Council.

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

A contract-based military service ad has appeared in Blagoveshchensk, Amur region. Meanwhile in Krasnoobsk, Novosibirsk region, a mobile office for contract service recruitment has been opened.

Volunteer fighters from Bashkortostan [Russia's constituent republic] who will serve under contract with the Ministry of Defense are being trained to use artillery weapons at a training range in the Samara region.

Conscripts undertaking training at the training center of the Novosibirsk Higher Military Command School were baptized in a lake located on the school’s training ground. It is reported that the conscripts will be taking the oath on July 30.

Mobilized Soldiers and Volunteer Fighters

The list of mobilized soldiers killed in the war has been updated to include Igor Mishanov from the Nizhny Novgorod region, Mikhail Vikhrov from the Astrakhan region, Mikhail Dikker and Aleksey Dmitriyev from the Rostov region, Aleksandr Shpagin from the Lipetsk region, Ivan Mokhovoy from Chuvashia [Russia's constituent republic], Aleksandr Sterlikov and Vyacheslav Solodilin from the Orenburg region, Andrey Sayetgaliyev and Maksim Gabdulbarov from the Novosibirsk region, as well as Denis Klochkov and Denis Vasilyev from Sevastopol.

Many relatives of men mobilized from the Irkutsk region left angry comments on the post of Governor Igor Kobzev arguing that their loved ones had not been allowed to take a leave for almost a year, whereas ex-convicts from the Wagner Group had returned to their families after only six months of service. All complainants received a standardized response sent on behalf of the government, claiming that "rotation of combat unit personnel will be granted at the discretion of the command as soon as the tactical situation permits."

A member of the Legislative Assembly of the Kamchatka region sent an appeal to the Kamchatka region governor regarding the complaints of the Kamchatka battalion volunteer fighters and their relatives about the lack of gear and the absence of the promised three-month training. Moreover, despite promises, the soldiers have been placed under the command of the "DPR" authorities and are now being sent to forward positions as assault troops alongside the Storm-Z unit. In addition, it is reported that 18-19-year-old girls who joined the battalion as orderlies are being coerced into signing contracts in the Rostov region to serve as motorized riflemen.

The Kamchatka region authorities confirmed that the servicemen have indeed been assigned to the 110th Motorized Rifle Brigade (formerly the 100th Brigade of the "DPR"). The authorities have allegedly established communication with the brigade's command and now promise to send some gear for the servicemen. In response to their request to be returned to their "original" brigade, the authorities replied that the 110th Brigade is also part of the Russian Armed Forces.

Only with the intervention of Natalya Komarova, Governor of the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous region–Yugra [Russia's federal subject], the soldiers of the 1307th Regiment managed to get leaves. Previously, their complaints about the lack of leaves and the cruelty of their commander had no result. Now the personnel will be given leave at least once every two weeks, and in some cases at least once a month.

Former convicts from the Storm-Z unit recorded a video to call attention to the poor conditions in hospitals. They also complained about the military police visiting hospitals and sending wounded soldiers back to forward positions with unextracted bullets or shrapnel.

The Novaya Vkladka [New Tab] media outlet has discussed the challenges faced by military hospitals with healthcare officials and practitioners from the Kemerovo region. According to them, there is a shortage of medical personnel to treat soldiers. There were not enough in the region to begin with, and with war breaking out, the flow of patients increased, while many doctors were sent to the occupied territories. On top of that, every other soldier comes back with an alcohol or drug addiction. 

Sentences, Legal Proceedings, and Incidents

The Vladimir Garrison Military Court issued yet more verdicts on charges of going AWOL. Private Aleksandr Sokolov was sentenced to 2.5 years in a penal settlement. He had been fighting in Ukraine, when he went on leave, but did not return from it. The court also sentenced Sergeant Nikolay Bogdanov to a similar sentence, when he left his unit for more than a month. Mobilized soldier Kirill Kurichka received 4 years in a penal settlement. He left his unit in November, but was only caught in April. Private Ivan Zubkov also received 4 years in a penal settlement. He left his unit in December and was arrested already in January. In total, 13 criminal cases against refuseniks have been submitted to the Vladimir court in June 2023, marking an absolute record for the entire war period.

The Novosibirsk Garrison Military Court reviewed two criminal cases involving the leave of mobilized soldiers from their positions in the combat zone. Gennady Shpomer left his positions and returned home on Jan. 5, 2023, and on Jan. 17, 2023, he reported voluntarily to the military commandant's office. The court found him guilty of going AWOL and sentenced him to three years of conditional imprisonment with a probation period. In the second case, Artyom Artamonov was accused under the same article for leaving the tent camp on Jan. 26, 2023, and going to his family. On Feb. 7, he surrendered to the commandant's office, following the advice of the military unit command. The court sentenced Artamonov to a two-and-a-half-year suspended sentence with probation. Both convicts are required to "prove their correction by their behavior."

Nine mobilized soldiers from the Saratov region, who were serving in the 1199th Regiment, did not return from their leave and are now considered to have deserted. Additionally, one mobilized soldier from the 1198th Regiment, who failed to return to the unit after sick leave, has been detained. The video of the arrest was published by regional deputy Aleksander Yanklovich, a vocal supporter of the war.

A former serviceman, previously convicted for murder and theft, was arrested again, this time for smartphone theft. However, instead of initiating a criminal case, he was taken to the military commandant's office for dispatch to the "special military operation."

Human rights activists from the Military Lawyers Committee in the city of Vladimir managed to have a man, who permanently resides outside of Russia, removed from the military rolls without his personal presence at the draft office.

In Sevastopol, a man was arrested for throwing a Molotov cocktail at the building of the military commandant's office. According to Krym.Realii [part of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty] online media outlet, the man intended to attempt self-immolation.

A suspect in the case of an explosion at the Kuibyshev oil refinery in Samara was arrested on charges of sabotage. The man is a native of Ukraine and worked at the refinery. According to the Federal Security Service (FSB), three explosive devices were planted at the refinery, two of which were defused; the damage exceeded 30 million rubles.

A 67-year-old resident of Novosibirsk was charged with three criminal offenses: participation in a terrorist organization, civil disorder, and incitement to extremist activities due to comments about setting fire to a military commissariat [enlistment offices]. He faces up to nine years in prison. Previously, two searches were conducted at his place and his card was blocked. The man explained that he wrote these posts after his daughter "slept in a bomb shelter in Kyiv."

In the Sverdlovsk region, a high school freshman was charged with inciting terrorism because of social media posts calling for arson attacks on military commissariats.

In Crimea, a Russian language teacher was detained for allegedly attempting to set fire to a military commissariat. Reportedly, the 51-year-old woman came to the Feodosia military commissariat in the evening and threw a Molotov cocktail at the building. The bottle fell on the pavement and did not damage the building. The woman was apprehended by passing tourists.

The "Ukrainians" inciting Russians to anti-war offenses may be FSB agents. Such a conclusion was made by journalists from the Vot Tak [Like This] media outlet after analyzing the criminal cases of arson against Valeriya Zotova and Mikhail Balabanov.

In the Arkhangelsk region, the Investigative Committee summoned a 9-year-old girl and a 10-year-old boy for questioning as witnesses in a criminal case against their mother, who is suspected of "discrediting the army."

In Buryatia [Russia's constituent republic], people were evacuated from a store because of a toy in Ukrainian costume. A woman from Selenginsk found a lost toy outdoors, left it at a store and posted its photo in the village residents’ group chat to find the owner. However, on seeing the toy in the store, someone called the FSB and OMON [riot police].

Assistance

An armored vehicle and individual parcels were sent from Mendeleyevsk in Russia’s constituent Republic of Tatarstan to the soldiers in the war zone. Thermal goggles, spare car parts, medication and foodstuffs were sent from the Krasnodar region. Meanwhile, boxes for money donations for the war appeared in the stores of Zakamensk in Buryatia.

In Bashkortostan, public transportation benefits for the children of war participants were prolonged till the end of 2024. Meanwhile in the Vologda region, mobilized and contract soldiers and volunteer fighters will be eligible for receiving lumber for their needs after returning from the war.

The Yagody Karelii [Berries of Karelia] company from the town of Kostomuksha refused to help the Russian servicemen in Ukraine citing the fact that the company was suffering losses.

Children

The head of the Zakamensky district gifted a smartphone to a teenage volunteer who had donated his savings to Russian soldiers. That was the third time the boy had taken part in raising funds for military personnel. He had previously contributed his savings and sent aid parcels, as well as participated in weaving of camouflage nets.

Miscellaneous

The village of Mulino in the Nizhny Novgorod region is one of the main training bases, where Russian soldiers are prepared for the war. A recent report by The Insider, an independent Russian investigative media outlet, highlights how the servicemen continually terrorize local residents, who, in turn, ask the governor to adopt a "dry law" and prevent military personnel from leaving the base.

After the explosion in Taganrog, the authorities of the Rostov region have initiated checks on warning systems in response to complaints from local residents that air raid alert sirens had not sounded during the recent incident. At the moment, only two municipalities in Gukovo and Millerovsky district have carried out the checks.