mobilization briefs
July 2

Mobilization in Russia for June 30-July 1, 2024 CIT Volunteer Summary

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

The Voyennye Advokaty [Military Lawyers] Telegram channel has described the new procedure for recruiting suspects and the accused into contract-based military service. The procedure is outlined in a joint order by the Investigative Committee, the Prosecutor General's Office, the Ministry of Emergency Situations, the Federal Security Service (FSB), the Federal Bailiff Service and the Ministry of Defense. The order is marked "for official use," hence it is not publicly available. According to its regulations, the administration of pre-trial detention centers sends monthly lists of detainees to draft offices, excluding those unfit for service due to health reasons (service fitness category "D," unfit for military service), those over 65 years old, those suspected of extremist and terrorist crimes and those accused of crimes against the sexual integrity of minors. The draft office conducts an initial screening of candidates and, with the investigator's permission, conducts a medical examination of those willing to sign a contract directly in the pre-trial detention center. After determining fitness for service, the draft office submits a petition to the investigator to suspend the preliminary investigation. Upon receiving the petition, the investigator decides either to deny it or to suspend the criminal case. Once the necessary documents are received, the draft office coordinates the release date from the pre-trial detention center with the facility's administration. For suspects and the accused not held in pre-trial detention centers, the procedure for signing contracts is generally similar.

In general, the procedure for mobilizing suspects and the accused for military service is similar to that described above. The Kommersant daily newspaper, Voyennye Advokaty and the Baza Telegram channel have reported on such recruitment. Moreover, the VChK-OGPU Telegram channel revealed the identity of the first “volunteer” fighters who were released from pre-trial detention after signing contracts with the MoD. They are former investigators of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Andrey Chekirev and Andrey Shumkin, who will serve in the 752nd Motorized Rifle Regiment. Additionally, the former deputy commander of the traffic police of the Klinsky district in the Moscow region, Dmitry Pisarenko, is also preparing for release.

At the same time, in Russia's constituent Republic of Komi, it was reported that the Syktyvkar court refused to release from pre-trial detention Valery Serov, the mayor of Pechora, who was accused of bribery. Serov signed a contract with the MoD and planned to join the war effort, but the court denied the defense's plea for his release.

Mobilized Soldiers, Volunteer Fighters and Contract Soldiers

The list of mobilized soldiers killed in the war has been updated to include Ivan Shilnov and Rishat Sharafutdinov from Russia’s constituent Republic of Tatarstan, as well as Valery Kuznetsov from the Irkutsk region.

Soldiers from the 26th Tank Regiment, who were slated for deployment to forward positions immediately after hospitalization, have secured a return to the rear after posting a video address, according to the Astra Telegram channel, citing a source. Along with these troops, their wounded fellow soldiers were also sent back. Additionally, an appeal by brothers Yevgeny and Igor Valetov, mobilized soldiers from the 1009th Regiment now under the command of the 25th Brigade, has surfaced. In the recording, they claim they are being forced to participate in an assault on the town of Vovchansk despite recent injuries.

Chingiz Gataulin, a 49-year-old volunteer fighter from Yaroslavl, has complained that he is not receiving compensation for injuries sustained in the war. Gataulin went to the frontline as part of a "volunteer unit" because he did not have a Russian passport, only a USSR passport. In early 2024, he was wounded about a week before his contract ended. Upon returning home, he attempted to claim the appropriate benefits. However, it then emerged that he was not eligible because he had not signed his contract through the draft office and lacked a conclusion from the military medical board. After failing to receive injury payments, Gataulin requested changes to local legislation.

Sentences, Legal Proceedings and Incidents

In the Kaluga region, authorities have detained 33-year-old Aleksey Urbanovich, a mobilized soldier from the occupied Donetsk region who had gone AWOL. Urbanovich was detained for the rape of a 13-year-old girl diagnosed with mental retardation. Criminal charges have been filed against him.

A court in the Volgograd region has sentenced Dmitry Berezhnoy, a former Wagner Group mercenary, to eight and a half years in a maximum security penal colony for murder. According to prosecutors, on Feb. 6, Berezhnoy was drinking alcohol with an acquaintance. After hearing insults directed at the Wagner Group, he became enraged and, when his drinking companion fell asleep, beat him to death with a hammer. Before the invasion, Berezhnoy had been convicted of theft several times but was later granted a presidential pardon for his participation in the war. Berezhnoy stated the court recognized the victim's "unlawful behavior" as a mitigating factor. The judge found no aggravating circumstances.

A criminal case has been initiated against 28-year-old Senior Lieutenant Eduard Karpov, who submitted a resignation report on political and pacifist grounds after the beginning of the war with Ukraine but was never discharged. The officer faces up to three years of imprisonment for failing to execute orders.

Ruslan Orlovsky, a resident of the town of Temryuk, Krasnodar region, has been sentenced to six years in a maximum security penal colony for attempting to join the Armed Forces of Ukraine. He was found guilty of preparing for high treason and participating in the activities of a terrorist organization. The case was conducted by the FSB, and Orlovsky was allegedly detained while attempting to cross the state border.

A court in Moscow has sentenced two Kazakh citizens, Aleksandr Abram and Eduard Burdilov, to 13 years in a penal colony for railroad sabotage committed as part of a conspiracy to commit arson. The court also granted the civil claim of the Russian Railways [Russian fully state-owned railway company] and ordered the men to pay 387,000 rubles [$4,520] in damages. Abram and Burdilov were detained on June 22, 2023. According to reports at the time, the men confessed to committing the arson for a reward of 30,000 rubles [$350], received via Telegram.

In the village of Domna, the Zabaykalsky region [Russia's federal subject], a 15-year-old schoolboy was being strangled on camera, accused of espionage in favor of Ukraine. An unknown assailant grabbed the child by the throat and demanded he confess who he was spying for. The police apprehended the attacker, identified as a 19-year-old local resident with a history of assaulting neighbors. Following his arrest, authorities are considering his placement in a specialized medical institution.

In the Kemerovo region, a juvenile has been detained in custody on charges of participation in a terrorist organization. The name and exact age of the teenager have not been disclosed. According to investigators, from May to June 2024, he allegedly joined the "Freedom of Russia Legion" and gathered information about strategically important industrial facilities in the region.

In Moscow, anti-fascist and a key figure in the Bolotnaya Square case Stepan Zimin was detained due to his tattoo which reads "Russian warship, go f*ck yourself." He was brought in for questioning by an investigator. The probable cause for his detention appears to be a video posted by pro-government blogger Vladislav Pozdnyakov, creator of the extremist "Male State" social media platform. In the recording, an unknown individual harasses Zimin because of his tattoo.

A 42-year-old woman from Perm was detained last fall and sentenced to 18 months of probation for an attempt to set fire to a draft office in November 2023. According to her attorney, the woman was persuaded by scammers who promised her 500,000 rubles [$5,830] to commit arson at the draft office, which she intended to use to pay off her debts. The bottle containing flammable liquid that she threw at a ground floor window broke outside the draft office building upon impact with the glass, causing no damage to the building. As a result of her actions, her three underage children were placed in an orphanage.

Two Saint Petersburg residents have been detained under suspicion of setting fire to a communication tower in exchange for 40,000 rubles [$470] offered to them by an unknown person via Telegram. The tower sustained no damage and money was not paid out.

Criminal charges against Olga Ivanova and Larisa Mironova, members of a precinct election commission in the Lipetsk region, were dropped Đ°fter they admitted to stuffing ballot boxes during a special election for a seat in the State Duma [lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia] in September 2023. In exchange for dropping the charges, Ivanova and Mironova declared in court that they donated 50,000 rubles [$580] and 60,000 rubles [$700] respectively towards aid for "special military operation fighters" in Ukraine. The court considered these donations as mitigating circumstances and imposed fines of 25,000 rubles [$290] on one defendant and 20,000 rubles [$230] on the other.

Assistance

Since the start of 2024, the Saratov region government has spent 3.59 million rubles [$41,900] on the purchase of 520 funeral wreaths for those killed in the war with Ukraine. Contracts for at least 240 wreaths have already been fulfilled. As of now, the names of at least 1,174 natives of the Saratov region who were killed in the war are known.

The Zalarinsky court of the Irkutsk region transferred 52,000 rubles [$610] to purchase body armor for mobilized soldiers serving as "combat defenders of the Russian World at the forward positions of the special military operation."

In Bashkortostan [Russia's constituent republic], families of participants in the war who are missing in action were promised health resort vouchers. Additionally, the republic sent 14 vehicles confiscated by the Federal Bailiff Service from debtors and violators to support the war effort.

Children and Educational System

Starting from July 1, in the Nizhny Novgorod region, 17 schools and one college will open special classes dedicated to studying drones. The region is one of 30 Russian regions receiving state subsidies as part of the national project for this initiative. Students, including minors, are being prepared for the use of military technologies and possible participation in combat.

In the city of Kovrov in the Vladimir region, a photo exhibition titled "Women's Sorrow" has opened. The main exhibits feature photographs of mothers and wives of soldiers who were killed during the invasion of Ukraine. The exhibition was organized by the Defenders of the Fatherland Fund.

Longreads

A deserter grenade launcher operator told the Vyorstka media outlet about his service in the Storm-Z unit, detailing "meat assaults," incidents of drunkenness, concealment of losses, hazing, insufficient resources and incidents of friendly fire. Meanwhile, Novaya Gazeta Europe [European edition of the independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta] reported on how the Russian Army recruits foreigners, illegal and labor migrants and naturalized citizens.

Vazhnyye Istorii [IStories, independent Russian investigative media outlet] published an excerpt from the Public Sociology Laboratory's study on how Russians' attitudes towards the state helped them accept the war.