mobilization briefs
July 10

Mobilization in Russia for July 8-9, 2024 CIT Volunteer Summary 

Authorities and Legislation

The Russian Army will discharge from its ranks the Indian citizens taking part in the invasion of Ukraine, reports the NDTV Indian media outlet, adding that an agreement on the subject was reached between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Vladimir Putin. NDTV claims that Putin agreed to discharge all Indians from the army and facilitate their return home. Official sources have yet to confirm the decision. Earlier reports indicated that at least two Indian nationals, fighting on the Russian side, had died in the war, while dozens of others reported being forced and tricked into taking part in combat operations. According to Reuters, approximately 100 citizens of India ended up fighting in Ukraine. In May, authorities in India detained four individuals on suspicion of human trafficking.

In consecutive second and third readings, the State Duma [lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia] approved a bill which would exempt employees of the Investigative Committee and prosecutor's offices from regular conscription. If passed, they would be eligible for the draft exemption immediately after completing the relevant higher education. It would apply for the duration of their employment in those structures. Moreover, they would also not be required to undergo military training.

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

In the Leningrad region, authorities raised the value of the sign-up bonus paid to individuals who conclude a contract with the Ministry of Defense to 1.3 million rubles [$14,900], including a land ownership certificate. Earlier, authorities in Saint Petersburg [separate federal subject from the surrounding Leningrad region] had increased the value of their sign-up bonus to the same amount. In both cases, the bonus includes federal and municipal payments, as well as corporate contributions. Furthermore, the press service of the Leningrad region clarified that the authorities will subsidize the cost of utilities, wellness vacations, and tuition for military personnel.

In Tatarstan [Russia's constituent Republic], where the amount of the sign-up bonus was also recently increased, they are now offering to pay 50,000 rubles [$570] to anyone who "brings" someone willing to sign a contract. The money will be paid after the volunteer fighter departs for service.

The Mozhem Ob'yasnit [We Can Explain] Telegram channel has compiled a list of "leading regions" by the size of the sign-up bonus. Journalists note that municipalities are increasingly responsible for the rise in payments. Additionally, a "seasonal" factor has emerged—now the most lucrative offers are limited in time, making them similar to promotions in retail chains.

Mobilized Soldiers, Volunteer Fighters and Contract Soldiers

The list of mobilized soldiers killed in the war has been updated to include Daniil Meleshkov from the Belgorod region, Andrey Romashov from the Sverdlovsk region, and Sergey Okatyev from the Moscow region.

Military personnel who were evacuated from Pskov have likely been transferred to Sertolovo in the Leningrad region, where the Junior Specialists Training Center for Motorized Infantry Units is located. According to the readers of the Pskovskaya Guberniya media outlet, about 200 soldiers have been sent there, but they have not been informed of the reasons for this relocation. Among those transferred, there is one mobilized soldier complaining of a leg injury, and another who had been undergoing treatment at a psychiatric hospital for a concussion and traumatic brain injury. This second soldier is currently under investigation for not returning to the frontline due to health issues.

Egyptian national Mohammed Gamal, who signed a 12-month contract with the Russian Ministry of Defense in April 2023 to obtain Russian citizenship, is now unable to leave the Russian Armed Forces. Gamal entered into the contract under a decree by Putin that allows foreigners to enlist in the Russian military beginning from the fall of 2022 in exchange for simplified Russian citizenship without the need for a language and history exam. Having served on the frontline for a year, Gamal sought to terminate his contract, only to discover that it was actually open-ended and indefinite, which he had not been informed of. Appeals to the military command have been unsuccessful, and the Egyptian Embassy has offered assistance only if he renounces his Russian citizenship. As a result, Gamal is at risk of being charged with AWOL, and he is now undergoing an examination by a military medical board in hopes of securing at least a leave of absence.

Sentences, Legal Proceedings and Incidents

Aleksandr Tyumakov, a 33-year-old former Wagner Group mercenary, has been sentenced to seven years in a maximum security penal colony for murder and the burning of a corpse. According to the court, Tyumakov strangled his female acquaintance and then burned the car in which he left her body. He attributed the murder to a personal conflict with the victim. Her three children were left orphaned. The crime took place in the village of Anuchino in the Primorsky region [Russia's federal subject], where Tyumakov returned after participating in the war as part of the Wagner Group. He was deployed to the war directly from a penal colony, where he had served an almost 11-year sentence imposed in 2016 for robbery, destruction of property and murder.

Anton Osipenko, a resident of Voronezh, has been sentenced to nine years and ten months in a penal colony for allegedly attempting to join the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Osipenko was detained in the fall of 2022 at the Domodedovo Airport, where he planned to fly to Yerevan and reportedly intended to travel to Ukraine from there. Osipenko did not admit guilt and claimed he had been tortured in order to extract his testimony.

A court in the Khanty-Mansi autonomous region–Yugra [Russia's federal subject] has sentenced a resident of Nizhnevartovsk to seven years in a maximum security penal colony for attempted arson on a railway. The hearing was held behind closed doors. The defendant's name was not disclosed, and the court used the pseudonym Gorbenko R.P.  This is the first sentence under the sabotage article in the Khanty-Mansi autonomous region. According to the case materials, the accused, who has relatives in Ukraine, "expressed disagreement with the fighting" and allegedly decided to set fire to a transport infrastructure facility. In January 2023, he reportedly contacted a member of the Russian Volunteer Corps for instructions on making an incendiary mixture. He was detained by the Federal Security Service (FSB) officers.

The Krasnodar Regional Court sentenced a local resident to 12 years in a maximum security penal colony for setting fire to a relay cabinet controlling a railroad semaphore in Krasnodar. During the court proceedings, the defendant, whose name had not been made public, confessed to setting fire to the relay cabinet in April 2023 but claimed he did not intend to act against the state. Nevertheless, the court found him guilty.

Two Yaroslavl residents, both born in 2005, have been found guilty of an attempted arson of a communications tower. One of them received a sentence of six years and seven months in a penal colony and the other one was sentenced to 10.5 years in prison. The two young men were detained in the fall of 2023.

Nikolay Kolina has been sentenced to 14 years in prison for "financing terrorism." The young man was also fined 300,000 rubles [$3,430]. According to the court, Kolin donated 10,000 rubles [$110] to the Russian Volunteer Corps. The prosecution asked for a 21-year sentence and a 500,000 ruble [$5,710] fine.

A Moscow court has placed a Russian citizen Georgy Pirogov under arrest on treason charges. What exactly triggered the criminal investigation is unknown. Pirogov’s relatives said that he left Russia after Russia invaded Ukraine and settled in Georgia where he worked as an industrial climber. On July 6, during a business trip to Uzbekistan, Pirogov disappeared and his vehicle was later found in the city of Nukus. Pirogov’s plan had been to fly back to Georgia from Bukhara once his trip was completed.

Assistance

The Vyborg customs office has sent confiscated property to support participants in the invasion. Items dispatched to the combat zone included a minibus, three passenger cars, a quadcopter, thermal insulation panels and cigarettes, all confiscated for customs violations. In the first half of 2024, ten batches of such goods were transferred.

The Zdravie orthodox charity center in a church in the city of Nefteyugansk has launched a support course for families of alcoholics and drug addicts, combining it with support for Russian soldiers. Participants help make dry showers and trench candles.

Children and Educational System

The Vostok sniper training center will be opened in the Nadezhdinsky district of Vladivostok on an area of more than 850 hectares. Instructors with "combat experience" will train specialists for shooting at long and ultra-long distances of over 2 kilometers. The center will also offer programs for children and youth.

Miscellaneous

Since the beginning of the war, 3.45 billion rubles [$39.41 million] have been spent on shelters in Moscow and the Moscow region—ten times the amount spent in six frontline regions, according to the Agentstvo [Agency] independent media outlet.

Longreads

Novaya Gazeta [independent Russian newspaper] reported on a wave of crimes committed by Russian soldiers returning from Ukraine. The Govorit NeMoskva [NonMoscow Is Speaking] Telegram channel highlighted how the state becomes an "accomplice" in these crimes by allowing former war participants to remain unpunished or receive lenient sentences.

On July 16, the Lenin District Court of Orsk will begin hearings on the case of Ilshat Ulyabaev, a defendant in the "Baymak case," the first such case to reach the court. The Idel.Realii [part of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty] online media outlet outlines the evidence on which the "Baymak case" is based.