mobilization briefs
March 16, 2023

Mobilization in Russia for Mar. 14–15, 2023, CIT volunteer summary 

The State Duma [lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia] adopted in the first reading a bill on the right of commanders of military units to impose disciplinary arrest on warrant officers, sergeants, and soldiers without a court decision during mobilization and martial law. The same right will be reserved for the chief of the military police. The rule will also be applicable in wartime. The disciplinary arrest will be imposed for 10 days "for one or more gross disciplinary offenses." Punishable offenses include unauthorized abandonment of a military unit, evasion of military service, destruction of military property or damaging it by negligence, and performance of military service in a state of intoxication.

Following the Voronezh and Sverdlovsk regions, military enlistment offices started delivering draft notices in other regions of Russia. Military training will be held in the Tyumen region. They plan to attract about a hundred reservists. The men who are to participate will be given draft notices. Residents of the Penza region started reporting draft notices being delivered on Mar. 14. One of the subscribers of Govorit NeMoskva [independent media outlet]  told that a draft notice had been handed to her former classmate. Another man said  to local journalists that he had received a draft notice, too. The military commissar of the city of Penza confirmed that the residents of the region were again being given draft notices. That, he said, was for the “routine scheduled military training.” Distribution of draft notices was also announced in the Lipetsk region. There, it was explained by the need to check military service register data when digitizing the enlistment office databases.

Draft notices are being served in Chuvashia [Russia’s constituent republic], which summon reservists to the draft office for training. A photo of a notice received by a father of three from the city of Cheboksary is attached to the post. He is required to appear in front of a medical evaluation board the following day and proceed afterward to military training. Also, in Chuvashia, draft deferral certificates of state employees are being revoked under the pretext that they will be reissued digitally. Draft notices have also begun to be served in the Krasnodar and Rostov regions, purportedly to ensure the military service register data is up-to-date. A resident of Krasnoyarsk told “Govorit NeMoskva” [independent media outlet] that draft notices were served to numerous employees of one private company on Mar. 13.

Students in Novosibirsk have begun receiving notifications that summon them to the draft office. A subscriber of the Vyorstka media outlet reported that notices from draft offices are also now being served to students in Moscow.

Vyorstka journalists have counted a minimum of 11 regions where draft offices have started issuing notices for “data check-up.” The “7x7” online outlet counted 16 regions where draft notices are being issued. Men are being summoned to either “check-up military service register data” or to attend military training courses. According to Russian lawyer and human rights activist Pavel Chikov, notices are being served in 31 regions already (the list keeps growing).

Spokesman of the President of Russia, Dmitry Peskov, commented on the news regarding the issue of draft notices to citizens: “It is common practice. Naturally, all records need to be checked-up and updated. For this reason, the work is ongoing.” According to him, there are no discussions at this time in the Kremlin regarding a potential new wave of “partial” mobilization.

According to Zabaykalsky region military commissar Yuri Shuvalov, military training is not planned in the region yet. Apparently, the Kaliningrad regional military commissar's order, which is spread on social media and supposedly cancels deferrals from mobilization from April 3, 2023, for workers having reserved occupation, is false, according to local authorities.

Pavel Chikov wrote a post about a new wave of distribution of draft notices. The lawyer draws attention to the fact that reservist training is conducted only on the basis of a presidential decree. As of now, such a decree has not been published, thus, it is currently illegal to call up reservists for military training. Also, according to Chikov, this is not the second mobilization wave yet. It is possible that the authorities will try to avoid a new call-up.

The United Russia party [Putin’s ruling party] member Vsevolod Belikov stated at a meeting of the Legislative Assembly of St. Petersburg that local community workers distributed 68 thousand draft notices during the "partial" mobilization.

Maloyaroslavets District Assembly member Aleksandr Lependin, who became embroiled in a scandal because he remained seated during the national anthem, was handed a draft notice at an ethics commission meeting.

The Lenta retail chain required all employees to provide their driver's license numbers to facilitate the military service register data check-up.

The Russian Ministry of Defense published footage of special task forces of the Western Military District being trained in the rear area of the “special military operation”, a video with mobilized paratroopers and crews of upgraded BRM-1KM reconnaissance vehicles of the Central Military District conducting training exercises, and a video showing Msta-S self-propelled howitzer units in action. The units are composed of soldiers called up under Putin’s “partial” mobilization.

Information emerged on the following soldiers who lost their lives in the war: Yevgeny Malkov from Volgograd, Sergey Popov from Yaroslavl, Mikhail Golovkov from the Rostov region, Andrey Dmitriev from the Irkutsk region. At a meeting on Mar. 15, the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation announced that two chairmen of election commissions were killed in Ukraine: Grigory Chubko (precinct election commission No.1592 of Saint Petersburg) and Bimba Budaev (precinct election commission No. 227 of Buryatia [Russia’s constituent republic]).

A reporter from the Kholod [Cold] independent media outlet spoke to the wife of Andrey Safronov, a mobilized neurologist from the city of Vladimir, deceased while still on the territory of Russia; circumstances of his sudden death remain uncertain. One week after her husband’s death, the woman still has not been informed when his body will be brought back for burial and how to apply for survivor benefits.

35-year old draftee Vladimir Stepanov (not his real name) from the village of Yubileiny in the Irkutsk region told the Lyudi Baikala [People of Baikal] media outlet that mobilized soldiers of the 1439th Regiment in the “DPR” had not yet been moved away from the frontline, despite Governor Igor Kobzev’s promises.

Vladimir region Governor Aleksandr Avdeyev confirmed the authenticity of the numerous complaints received from relatives of the draftees who reside in the region. During a press-conference, the governor stated, “As a whole, yes, there used to be problems caused by various issues but now the supply chain is functional and the everyday life needs have been met; for example, there are no more complaints about food.”

The State Duma member Maksim Ivanov informed that two draftees from the city of Talitsa in the Sverdlovsk region went missing after an accidental detonation of ammunition in the Belgorod region territory near the Ukrainian border. Ivanov expressed anger at soldiers going missing outside the Special Military Operation zone and their fate unknown to their families for over two months. He asked the Western Military District Prosecutor to follow up and finally provide the relatives with an answer.

Moscow region resident Kirill Butylin has been sentenced to 13 years in a penal colony for setting a draft office on fire. A manifesto published after the arson stated that the goal was to destroy the military records of the potential draftees. The young man was found guilty of committing an act of terrorism, incitement of terrorism, and politically motivated vandalism.

The Tomsk Garrison Military Court considered the criminal case of the warrant officer Andrey Krokhalev accused of going AWOL for over a month during mobilization. The service member did not report to duty on Aug. 15. On Nov.18, Krokhalev returned to his unit on his own accord. The court handed the man a suspended sentence of five and half years in a colony with a two-year probationary period.

A lieutenant has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for fleeing a training center for the mobilized in the city of Kovrov, Vladimir region, in order to avoid being sent to the war. Ten days later he was apprehended in a bar “Slavyanka”. Earlier a different mobilized deserter lived in the same bar over the course of twelve days.

Cases have been filed against a highschool student and Dmitry Lyamin, a resident of the Ivanovo region, for setting fire to a draft office.

The Transport Division of MVD [Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs] in the city of Ufa reported that over the course of a year since the war began, seven acts of railway sabotage have been attempted in Bashkortostan [constituent republic of Russia]. Two of the seven cases occurred in 2023. All cases resulted in criminal charges of a “terrorist act”.

People turned out to show support for the family of Masha Moskalyova in the Tula region, who was sent to an orphanage after her father was detained under suspicion of “discrediting the Russian Armed Forces”. Court extended her stay at the orphanage until April.

Meduza [a Russian- and English-language independent news website headquartered in Riga, Latvia] published an extensive report about the participants in the “Mayakovsky readings,” who are being tried for anti-war poems and calls against reporting to enlistment centers.

Despite having waivers from enlistment, three residents of Achinsk, Krasnodar region, were mobilized in the first week when the mobilization was announced. Their relatives took legal action and won their cases — the mobilization orders were rescinded. However, the men are still on the frontlines.

A resident of Volgograd lost a lawsuit on illegal mobilization: he was sent to Ukraine with an injured leg. The consideration of the claim took place without the participation of the plaintiff since he received a severe concussion during combat activities.

In the Irkutsk region, fees from state employees to support the war were introduced. An application form was sent to the Lyudi Baykala media outlet by a teacher from one of the schools in the town of Usolye-Sibirskoye on condition of anonymity. According to her, other state employees also received such forms. The administration offers them to give part of the March salary "for the needs of the Special Military Operation."

A program for free rehabilitation of participants of “the special military operation” is being developed in the Krasnodar region. At the moment, 30 institutions have joined it. Meanwhile, the Volunteer Corps of the Zabaykalsky region has been created to support the participants in the war with Ukraine.

A resident of the Ural region who returned from the “special military operation” with a severe form of disability (we reported about him in early March), was offered to move into an apartment without electricity, water, and gas.

In the Bryansk region, members of the Bryansk Regional Duma want to make residents pay for air defense. Expenses are planned to be included in utility bills. The press service of the Bryansk Regional Duma called this information a fake and the publication on their website — a "hacker attack."

Tatyana Merzlyakova, Commissioner for Human Rights in the Sverdlovsk region, reported that the military commissariats had demobilized almost all soldiers from the Sverdlovsk region who have three and four children. Meanwhile, in the Primorsky region, the father of many children is going to be sent to the “special military operation” zone for the second time. The first time he came under fire, and suffered a shrapnel wound, concussion, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Members of the Legislative Assembly of the Kemerovo region amended the law on payments to the participants of the "special military operation" without holding sessions. Now the fighters of Rosgvardia [National Guard of Russia] will be able to count on 100,000 and 200,000 RUB [~1,300 and 2,600 USD] of social support.

Konstantin Khabensky [actor and artistic director of the Moscow Art Theatre] dismissed actor Dmitry Nazarov from the Moscow Art Theater in order to keep an exemption from mobilization for 29 employees. Nazarov told this version of what happened in January in an interview with Katerina Gordeeva [Russian journalist, documentary writer, and author]. According to him, “some people” came to the artistic director of the theater and hinted that they would take away the “exemption” from the theater staff if Nazarov, who openly opposed the war, did not leave.

Tatyana Tueva, a resident of Lysva, asked the editorial office of 59.RU [Perm region online media outlet] for help: she wanted to return her husband from the “special military operation”. The woman was left alone with children of 12 and 7 years old; one of them has Down’s syndrome. The father of the children, Aleksandr, was mobilized on Sep. 26.

In the city of Nazarov, Krasnoyarsk region, a demilitarized infantry fighting vehicle was installed at the site where the authorities had promised to equip a playground. Meanwhile, in Novosibirsk, school-age members of the Young Army [pro-Kremlin youth organization] played “military-themed riddles” with kindergarteners.