mobilization briefs
March 29, 2023

Mobilization in Russia for Mar. 27–28, 2023 CIT volunteer summary 

Members of the Spravedlivaya Rossiya [A Just Russia] faction in Russia’s State Duma [lower house of the Federal Assembly] suggested that wives of the military personnel engaged in the “special military operation” with children under 18 should be entitled to claim an additional paid 7-day leave. The authors of the proposal call for amendments to be made to the Labor Code of the Russian Federation. Faction leader Sergey Mironov explained that the benefit would allow wives of the military “to spend more time with their children, as well as the free up time they need for solving everyday problems.”

In the Novosibirsk region, 4.2 billion rubles from the emergency reserve fund were spent on the war, according to Governor Andrey Travnikov. This is 30 times more than what had been spent on fighting COVID-19. A proportion of this amount was allocated for the construction of three military training camps which hosted units of mobilized soldiers drawn from across five Siberian regions. Other costs were associated with the acquisition of military equipment, gear, weapons, and payouts to members of service and their families. Lastly, funding was provided for the construction of “one hundred public facilities'' in Russian-occupied areas — Mariupol and the Bilovodsk district of the Luhansk region — over which the Novosibirsk region announced to have assumed “patronage.”

Servicemen participating in the “special military operation” were granted a deferral on loan payments for the total amount of 69.3 billion rubles, according to the Central Bank of the Russian Federation.

Families of all deceased members of the armed forces from the Sverdlovsk region will be eligible for a lump sum payment. While initially only relatives of the mobilized soldiers were entitled to this benefit, it is now applicable to families of all military personnel, including contract soldiers, volunteer fighters, National Guard members, and mercenaries of the Wagner group.

The issuance of documents for obtaining land in Crimea is scheduled to begin on Apr. 7 this year, according to the head of the local occupation administration Sergey Aksyonov. The parcels of land will be located near the sea on the peninsula's western shore.

In Volgograd, officials will be trained to organize and conduct mobilization events at the budget expense. A bid opening for advanced training of "mobilization organs' employees" appeared on the public procurement website. Also, officials will be taught to ration supplies for civilians during mobilization, martial law, and wartime. By 2023, two regional administration officials who were suspected of keeping state secrets will gain these skills and knowledge.

An advertising campaign for enlistment by contract has been launched in the Moscow region. A relevant advertisement appeared in the Telegram channel of the head of the Odintsovo district Andrey Ivanov. In Tomsk, the Mayor's office also decided to advertise enlistment by contract and posted an explanatory guide on its Telegram channel. "Now, when military commissariats of the Tomsk region select candidates for military service under contract, those who want to defend their homeland have especially many questions," the Mayor's office wrote.

Two mobile centers where one can enter into a contract with the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation opened in Ufa. These are tents with posters: "Your time has come! We are waiting for you, brother!" As discovered by journalists, signing a contract at the mobile centers is [technically] impossible — one needs to go to a military draft office.

Ads promoting military service and mercenary opportunities also air on regional TV channels. On a television network in Rostov, one can be a witness to campaigns for contract service and joining the Wagner Group, while in Krasnodar and Tyumen — only ads for the Wagner Group aired.

Officials at a recruitment center for military contract service in the Yaroslavl region tried to explain the active campaigning for the ongoing recruitment of contract soldiers on the websites of the city and district administrations. According to the center's supervisor, the president [himself] has ordered the task of recruiting, and the process will continue for a year. Those who signed a contract will not necessarily be deployed to the area of the "special military operation."

According to the Ministry of Defense, over fifty people appeared at the mobile recruiting center for military contract service of the Ministry of Defense in Iskitim, Novosibirsk region. Seventeen of which, allegedly, have turned in applications requesting to enter into service. The total population of the city is about 55 thousand people.

In Samara, draft offices enhance security measures. According to the head of the regional police, Igor Ivanov, the number of squads on the streets is also increasing. At the same time, they are activating and patrolling the places where mobilized soldiers are being trained.

The Saint Petersburg government held a meeting where the upcoming [regular] Spring conscription campaign was discussed. According to the city government, authorities are planning to conscript 3,000 people. Officials also promised that conscripts would not be dispatched into the combat zone. The city’s head draft officer complained that city residents were in no hurry to serve in the military. According to him, the previous conscription campaign was not too successful: there had been deficiencies in serving citizens their draft notices, and, in most cases, draft dodgers had not been pursued. At the end of the previous campaign, about 5,000 people were not served their draft notices.

The Russian Ministry of Defense showed footage of T-80 and T-72 tank crews training for urban combat.

The following names have been added to the list of draftees killed in the war in Ukraine: Aleksey Kulakov from the Irkutsk region, Igor Trofimov from the Tyumen region, Fidan Yusupov from Bashkortostan, Vladimir Grebennikov from the Rostov region, Yuriy Kodochigov from the Belgorod region, Amrid Gadzhaliev from Dagestan [Russia’s constituent republic], Roman Krasnoyarov from Buryatia [Russia’s constituent republic], Yevgeniy Cherepakhin from Volgograd, and Dmitriy Muzhev from the Vladimir region. Aleksandr Muraviev, 53, a volunteer lance-corporal from Buryatia, died from a heart attack.

In a meeting with the Samara region governor, President Putin discussed the New Year’s night strike on a vocational school in Makiivka. According to the President, “the entire country grieves” the deaths of the service members. Let us point out that the Ministry of Defense has not updated the number of people killed since Jan. 4, when they stated that 89 people were killed. According to the count done by CIT volunteers, no fewer than 136 servicemen were killed there.

The servicemen of the Shtorm [Storm] unit, who complained about retreat-blocking units near Donetsk, were moved from their positions near Vodiane to Donetsk; now they are being interrogated by the military prosecutor's office, their relatives report. Two of the soldiers who starred in the video appeal left the unit and disappeared. They have allegedly already been put on the wanted list for going AWOL. The Guardian newspaper journalists stated that they were able to identify eight Russian soldiers shown in the video appeal.

Commissioner for Human Rights Anatoly Kharkovsky received 387 complaints regarding the participation of residents of the Rostov region in the war. The Commissioner’s annual report says, “The applicants pointed to the insufficient supply of mobilized soldiers, problems with training, and organization of medical examinations.” Recently, people have been complaining about problems with the payment of soldiers' food allowance, with regional payments to mobilized soldiers, including those who were injured and wounded.

A large number of mobilized soldiers have problems with payments; some of them have not been paid for several months. A correspondent of the Sever.Realii [The North.Realities] [part of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty] online media outlet talked to the soldiers’ wives, who are currently left without husbands and with no means of support.

Head of the Gavrilov-Yamsky district of the Yaroslavl region Andrey Sergeichev reported that about 180 residents of the district had gone to war. The population of the district is about 26,000 people. Yaroslavl residents were offered to hand over their cars to the participants of the "special operation". The All-Russian collection of vehicles was organized by the activists of the Narodnyy front [People's Front] movement. They collect UAZ and Niva SUVs, motorcycles, and all-terrain vehicles to be sent to the front. Meanwhile, local authorities of the Lipetsk region provided the families of Russian soldiers fighting in Ukraine with free tire fitting.

At the initiative of the State Duma [lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia] member Maxim Ivanov, points for receiving personal parcels for military personnel have opened at factory checkpoints in Asbest and Sukhoy Log. There is a promise that "not a single box will be lost, and not a single can of stewed meat will go by."

In one of the residential complexes in Yeysk, the administration announced that starting from Apr. 1, residents will see a "charitable" charge of 180 rubles in their utility bills for participants of the “special military operation.” Meanwhile, 210,000 rubles are being collected at the Mordovia State University to help those fighting in Ukraine. Funds are transferred to the card of State Assembly member Natalia Andryushechkina, who works as an assistant to the university rector and is also the chairman of the local student union. The Сity Hall of Iskitim in the Novosibirsk region offers residents to transfer money for the support of mobilized soldiers to the account of the resource center, which is headed by the director of the municipal house of culture.

Children of "special military operation" participants from Chuvashia [Russia’s constituent republic] will receive free trips to a summer camp. Almost 19 million rubles will be allocated from the republican budget according to the decree of Head of the Republic Oleg Nikolayev. The decree applies to families of mobilized soldiers, contractors, volunteer fighters from the Atal battalion, as well as employees of the National Guard of Russia serving in the combat zone.

At a rally in support of the “special military operation,” the mayor of Vorkuta announced that he had signed a contract with the Ministry of Defense for a year and was leaving to serve. It is worth noting that local Telegram channels link this impulse of patriotism with a criminal case against him after the accident at the city's wastewater treatment facilities.

A team of lawyers is launching a project to provide legal assistance to victims of violence in Russia. Particular attention will be paid to cases of violence committed by former and current personnel of security, defense, and law enforcement agencies, including mobilized soldiers who participated in hostilities. The project team published a report, "Pattern of Violence Growth in Countries Involved in Armed Conflicts," which shows that the number of murders has increased in Russia for the first time in 20 years because of the war. There are significantly more of them in the regions bordering Ukraine, as well as in Buryatia and Moscow.

In the Belgorod region, the wife of a draftee was detained, carrying a parcel with grenades and rounds to Moscow. According to the woman, she received the package from her husband, who asked her to deliver it to his motorized rifle regiment comrade.

A sabotage occurred on the railway in the town of Anzhero-Sudzhensk, Kemerovo region. According to the Ostorozhno Novosti [Beware the News] Telegram channel, unknown people set fire to the relay and battery cabinets on the Anzherskaya-Zapadnaya — Chaly Station railway line.

An officer from Zabaykalsk who left his unit and went on vacation to Dagestan was sentenced to one and a half years of probation for going AWOL. A contract soldier from Perm received a punishment of two years of imprisonment for taking an unauthorized leave. He spent almost a month with his family.

Mediazona [an independent Russian media outlet] researched the story of Ruslan Zinin, who shot the military commissar of Ust-Ilimsk, witness testimonies of the shooting, and other case materials.

The prosecutor filed an appeal against the verdict of Viktor Tadyev, accused of going AWOL from his military unit during mobilization. The verdict has not yet been published on the court's website, but military lawyer Natalia Abasova told Dovod [an independent Russian media outlet] that Tadyev received a suspended sentence.

Alexey Moskalev was sentenced to two years of imprisonment. The court's press secretary reported that the night before the trial, he escaped from house arrest, and his whereabouts are unknown.

State Duma member from United Russia party [Putin’s ruling party] Zhanna Ryabtseva stated that a homeless drafted disabled man from Yekaterinburg "was eager to go to the front." Orphan Viktor Bautin was drafted in the fall of 2022. He returned from the war as a disabled person, with doctors having removed part of his skull. Now, his twin brother is taking care of him. Previously, Ryabtseva had promised to help him with housing but did not mention it when she came to take a photo with him on Mar. 27.