mobilization briefs
June 24, 2023

Mobilization in Russia for Jun. 22-23, 2023 CIT Volunteer Summary 

Authorities and Legislation 

Access to the Priemnaya [Admission Office] online service that enabled bulk emailing to members of regional parlaments has been blocked in Russia. In particular, the service allowed to submit appeals urging officials to evacuate the regions affected by the war, to reinstate the requirement for the members of regional parlaments to declare income and assets, to prevent nuclear escalation, and to address multiple issues related to mobilization. The court ruled that the service had violated the law on personal data. The founders of the service denied these allegations, viewing the restriction as a yet another move to stifle civil society.

Head of the Shebekino municipal district Vladimir Zhdanov requested the regional electoral commission to postpone the elections to the municipal council due to the fact that all the residents have fled the district. The elections were planned for September, but now "a new date will need to be scheduled once the situation in the town stabilizes."

Public healthcare facilities of Saint Petersburg will be engaged to provide care to injured combatants. Members of the armed forces will be admitted to six healthcare institutions of the city including Mariinsky Hospital and the Dzhanelidze Research Institute of Emergency Medicine. Earlier, the Ministry of Defense announced that 5,000 beds would be made available for treatment of military personnel in 27 civilian hospitals in 11 regions in order to help the military hospital system manage the increased inpatient workload.

Meduza [international Russian-language online media outlet] has prepared a detailed analysis of the new law on exempting war participants from criminal liability, adopted by the State Duma [lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia] and approved by the Federation Council. Among other things, the publication draws attention to the fact that, according to the text of the law, active-duty military personnel participating in the "special military operation" can be pardoned for any crime committed prior to the official cancellation of mobilization. Meanwhile, convicted individuals, defendants, and suspects can only be pardoned for crimes committed prior to the law coming into effect, while military personnel can be exempted from liability even for crimes committed after the law was signed by the president.

Recruitment to the Armed Forces and Military Service Advertising

The Ministry of Defense has released another video featuring the signing of contracts between the agency and the commanders of "volunteer" units. One of these units, according to the words of its commander, is a certain Cossack battalion called "Siberia."

According to calculations by the "7x7" online outlet, the law on the "priority right" to housing for orphaned servicemen has been adopted or is planned to be adopted by authorities in at least eight regions. In this way, the authorities are attempting to involve orphans in the war with Ukraine. However, under Russian legislation, they already have the right to receive housing. But often, they have to wait for apartments for years.

In the Kamchatka region, employment centers have started recruiting unemployed people into UAV operation classes. There are 72 classes in the course, and preference is given to citizens under 35 years of age, regardless of education level.

In Saint Petersburg, librarians and teachers were sent to check whether the contract service advertising is still in place in shopping centers, schools and residential buildings. This is not the first time when public employees are engaged in recruiting contract servicemen.

Mobilized Soldiers and Volunteer Fighters

The names of Ivan Barakhtenko from the Irkutsk region, Erdeni Galsanov and Bilikto Bazarov from Russia's constituent Republic of Buryatia, Aleksey Andreev from the Oryol region, Aleksander Solopov from the Rostov region, Albert Yunusov from the Primorsky region, Oleg Bogrov from the Novosibirsk region, Almaz Fayzullin from Russia's constituent Republic of Bashkiria, Kirill Tsyshkevich from the Krasnoyarsk region, Aleksey Dometeev from the Yaroslavl region, Aleksandr Tkachenko from the Kursk region, Airat Zyalilovich from the Leningrad region and Aleksey Dubentsev from the Tver region were added to the list of draftees killed in the war.

Using open sources, Mediazona and BBC News Russian confirmed that 26,121 Russian servicemen were killed in the war, including 2,518 mobilized men. Over the past week, 593 names were added to the list of the killed, including 20 draftees.

Authorities in Kemerovo are not eager to tell about residents of the region who got killed in the war, as only about 10 notes about the killed have appeared since the beginning of the invasion. However, a correspondent of the Sibir.Realii [part of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty] online media outlet who visited the Central City Cemetery No. 5, where servicemen are mainly buried, has counted 105 graves of servicemen killed in Ukraine.

The Yesli Byt Tochnym [Precisely Speaking] project has analyzed the 2022 mortality data as published by the Federal State Statistics Service (Rosstat). Thus, the mortality from external causes (homicides, suicides, car crashes, accidents, alcohol intoxication, etc.) in Russia increased by 5%, or 7 thousand persons, as compared to the previous year, while the mortality rate for men under 30, as calculated by the project, rose by 33% as compared to the pre-COVID values. The absolute total number of deaths at all ages, however, declined by 22% since 2021.

During the war in Ukraine, authorities of at least 16 Russian regions stopped publishing obituaries of killed soldiers. This was concluded by the Vyorstka media outlet upon examining the social pages of governors and local administrations. Previously, the outlet revealed that federal authorities recommended governors of a number of regions not to publish obituaries.

In early June, Vice Speaker of the Krasnodar City Duma Gennady Ufimtsev announced that he would go to war as a volunteer fighter, however, local media noticed that he was still in the office.

Mobilized soldiers stationed on the Zaporizhzhia axes have informed the Ostorozhno, Novosti [Beware the news] Telegram channel about the losses incurred following the onset of the Ukrainian offensive. They claim that within two weeks, several hundred people have been lost and many of their fellow servicemen remain wounded at their positions, as evacuating them through mined areas using civilian vehicles proves to be difficult. Many of the mobilized are refusing to carry out "suicidal" orders. As a result, they are being sent to the Storm Z unit, which consists of convicts who have signed contracts with the Ministry of Defense.

A resident of the Pskov region believes that she has recognized her mobilized son in the video of a soldier who detonated himself with a grenade. She is urging the Ministry of Defense to acknowledge his death.

A mobilized soldier from the town of Tavda in the Sverdlovsk region has not received his salary and entitled leave for four months. He was conscripted at the end of October, sent for military training at the training center in Yelansky, then to the motorized rifle brigade in Samara, and from there, directly to the combat zone. Subsequently, it was discovered that the man is still not listed in any unit.

An informant at the Perm Military Institute of the National Guard told the Sota media outlet that cadets from the second to fourth years are being urgently assembled to be sent to an unknown destination: both they and their instructors are afraid of being sent to the war with Ukraine. As the informant notes, exercises in such a format have never been held before.

Sentences, Legal Proceedings, and Incidents

The Vladimir Garrison Military Court rejected claims by three mobilized men who tried to appeal decisions of military-medical commissions to declare them fit for military service. The cases concern illnesses and injuries that appeared after they were sent to the war with Ukraine.

A conscript from the Nizhny Novgorod region was sentenced to six years in a general regime penal colony for going AWOL. The man went AWOL three times. The last time a military commandant caught the soldier was on Apr. 14.

The Moscow Court sent 23-year-old Aleksandr Pletnev and 37-year-old Aleksey Gurikov to a pre-trial detention center until Aug. 22, accused of preparation of sabotage by a group of people (part 1 of Article 30 281 of the Russian Criminal Code). The nature of the "sabotage" is unknown.

Two Kazakhstan citizens suspected of setting fire to relay cabinets on railroad tracks near the Varshavskoye Highway were detained in Moscow. Reportedly, 25-year-old Eduard B. and 27-year-old Aleksandr A. confessed that they committed the arson for a reward of 30,000 rubles. They received the task via theTelegram messenger. A criminal case was opened against them under Article 267 of the Russian Criminal Code on the destruction of transport vehicles or ways of communication.

An arson attempt on transformers at the Vladykino railway station in Moscow has taken place. The fire was extinguished using a firefighting train. Judging by the published footage, the transformers remained undamaged.

A fire occurred on the tracks near the railway station in Kursk. The area of the fire amounted to 100 square meters. The version of arson is being considered.

Mediazona [independent Russian media outlet] reveals the first defendants in cases involving the violation of requirements for protecting state secrets. So far, no actual or suspended sentences have been imposed, with penalties limited to fines. The majority of cases are related to trips to Abkhazia, an unrecognized republic from which one can only exit to Russia.

Assistance

On Jun. 1, psychotherapeutic offices were opened in all inter district hospitals of the Leningrad region for war veterans, with three of them operating psychosomatic rehabilitation departments. At the moment, they are not in high demand among veterans but provide psychological support to the wives of military personnel.

Regions continue sending aid to the military in the "special military operation" zone. Food products, medicines, and essential items have been sent from the cities of Barnaul, Omsk, Noyabrsk, as well as from Yakutia (Russia’s constituent Republic), and the town of Spas-Demensk in the Kaluga region.

The Armenian community of Crimea, in addition to sweets, sent two ATVs to the military personnel. Six cars and special equipment worth more than 6,500,000 rubles [$76,800 ] will be sent from  Pavlovsky Posad town, Moscow region.Meanwhile, the administrations of the Biryulinsky and Kyzyl-Ozek settlements of the Altai constituent republic bought UAZ SUV vehicles for the military with donations from local residents.

At a closed session in the State Duma, the shortage of prosthetics and wheelchairs for war veterans was discussed. The leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, Leonid Slutsky, raised the issue, while the Deputy Speaker of the State Duma, Anna Kuznetsova, stated that State Duma members receive numerous complaints about low-quality prosthetics.

Children

The Minister of Education, Sergey Kravtsov, announced that a course on the rReasons of the "special military operation" will be developed for high school students, while in the Health and Safety lessons , they will be taught combat skills, handling weapons, and operating quadcopters. Additionally, in every school, a "muZeum" with artifacts from the "special military operation" zone will be established.

In Omsk city, children dressed in military uniforms were gathered near the church at Omsk State University to take part in a show dedicated to June 22, the day when Nazi Germany invaded   the Soviet Union during WWII. Children recited poems against the backdrop of the images of Christ, the Russian soldier and the letter "Z".

Due to an extremely negative reaction on social media, member from the United Russia party [Putin’s ruling party] Alexander Yanklovich, deleted a post about a four-year-old child being sent to the trenches to his father.

The journalists of Novaya Gazeta Europe [European edition of the independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta] discovered that since the start of the war, at least 200,000 events dedicated to the war with Ukraine were held at Russian educational institutions (schools, kindergartens and colleges), after studying almost 45,000 educational groups registered in the VKontakte social network. Most often, children write letters to the front, collect aid, make charms for the troops and dedicate "hero desks."

Other

Payments were awarded at the military hospital of the Ministry of Defense as promised by a number of artists for destroyed Leopard tanks. Names of the recipients of the four certificates for a total of 3,400,000 rubles are not reported.

Circulation of cash money has been growing at a record pace in Russia, due to payments to relatives of Wagner Group mercenaries who were killed in the war, reported by Bloomberg, calling it an unusual side effect of war.

Patients at a psycho-neurological institution were engaged in actions marking the start of WWII. The patients of the institution honored the memory of the deceased, discussed their heroic deeds, gathered at memorials, held a minute of silence, and recited poems. The patients include elderly and residents with chronic mental illness. In addition, in a number of cases, public releases of these actions were published before Jun. 22.