mobilization briefs
March 30, 2023

Mobilization in Russia for Mar. 28–29, 2023 CIT volunteer summary  

The State Duma [lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia] proposed to allocate state funding to publishers who commit to “support the mobilized soldier in performing his military duty” by supplying manuals that demonstrate to an average citizen how to become an effective warrior. According to a member of the Duma, Yana Lantratova, since the beginning of the invasion, all copies of the books published by the Coordination Center for Assistance to Novorossiya [a pro-Russian group crowdfunding separatists in Ukraine], such as “Future Militiaman’s Guide” or “Infantryman's Handbook,” have been sold out.

The authorities of the Bryansk region are planning to spend up to 143 million rubles on the construction of fortifications along the border with Ukraine. These services will be commissioned by the region’s department of capital construction. The Kursk region is known to have posted a contract for the construction of fortifications worth 3.2 billion rubles on the public procurement portal, only to remove this information later once it leaked to news media.

Head of the Russia’s constituent Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), Aysen Nikolayev, signed a decree on further measures aimed at supporting the residents of the republic who are fighting in the war against Ukraine. In addition to tax exemptions, the families of the Yakut soldiers were granted land rental fee exemptions. Earlier, Buryatia [Russia’s constituent republic] waived rental fees for public property, including land plots, to war participants and their families; moreover, they were granted an exemption of entrance fees for access to protected natural areas.

Men officially recognized as having limited fitness for military service are nonetheless being called up to the draft offices, the Sota online media outlet reports. Allegedly, citizens are only being summoned for personal data check-ups. However, during these checks, mobilization orders are being glued into their military IDs. A mobilization order requires the recipient to report to the draft office “if deemed necessary” to help with distributing draft notices or with handling other military registration documentation.

Reportedly, a Belgorod resident found in his mailbox an “invitation” to the draft office to verify his records and receive mobilization instructions. Yekaterinburg residents were warned about anti-war flyers in a document received by several managers of city businesses. The document states that “fliers against the “special military operation” and partial mobilization are being distributed within the region that put psychological pressure on citizens.” Anybody who sees such a flier is asked not to touch it and promptly contact the local Federal Security Service.

Ahead of the spring conscription campaign, the Voenny Ombudsmen [Military Ombudsman] project answers several legal questions on the topic.

The military prosecutor’s office in Karelia confirmed that draftees there were dispatched to the army without a medical examination. The information emerged during the court hearing, where a suit filed by one of the draftees against the draft board was considered. However, the court did not annul the decision to mobilize the plaintiff.

The Russian Ministry of Defense published footage of the ceremony welcoming Mordovia [Russia’s constituent republic] draftees arriving to spend their leaves home.

People keep being hired in Russia to dig trenches in Crimea. Ads in Avito and VKontakte social networks promise a salary of up to 200 thousand rubles for the prospective “diggers.” Judging by these ads, fortifications are being constructed along the North Crimean Canal as well as near Krasnoperekopsk, along the canal near Armiansk, and between the villages of Vorontsivka and Ishun blocking the highway to Simferopol.

Margarita, a female contract service member who served in the war in Ukraine, is undergoing rehabilitation. She told the Sever.Realii online media outlet about how female service members at war are being forced into sexual relations with officers.

The following names have been added to the list of draftees killed in Ukraine: Sergey Tsin from the Krasnoyarsk region, Konstantin Andreyevich from Bashkortostan [Russia’s constituent republic], Rishat Khazeev from the Moscow region, Semyon Stukov from the Sverdlovsk region, Aydar Galimsarov from the Perm region, Dasha Dirizhapov from Buryatia and Aleksandr Leontiev from the Volgograd region.

The Peter protiv mobilizatsii [St. Petersburg Against Mobilization] Telegram channel  published a video featuring a soldier showing a bloody bulletproof vest and a bunch of worn-out uniforms: his commander delegated the task of preparing the outfits to be transferred to newcomers.

Mothers of conscripted soldiers protest against their sons being sent to the areas near the border with Ukraine. While there, the soldiers are used for digging trenches and dugouts for the mobilized. At the same time, the near-the-border areas come under shelling; as a result, conscripts get killed. Since the use of conscripts on the territory of the Russian Federation does not contradict the law, the authorities choose not to respond to mothers' appeals.

A wife of a man with many children mobilized from Kursk has spoken about the complaints of military personnel about the command of the "LPR" [Luhansk People's Republic] and significant losses. Her husband and other mobilized were seconded to Military Unit 40321 under the leadership of the military personnel of the "LPR" and sent to the front line in Lysychansk, despite the fact that they had previously been promised to be deployed as part of the Crimean territorial defense. The commanders of the "LPR" protect their own soldiers and send to battle only those mobilized from Russia. During the battles, they don't get artillery cover, and the killed will not be extracted from the battlefield. Due to a shell shock, the [aforementioned] husband ended up in a Luhansk hospital. There, he got to stay for one day and was sent back to fight without medical assistance. The soldiers were threatened with a trial and sent to the very "meat grinder" if they refused to participate in battles, which they consciously perceived as a sure way to get killed.

News about the complaints of mobilized from the Kaliningrad region about "suicidal assaults" and [actual] suicides of their colleagues, circulating in VKontakte [a popular Russian social media service], was blocked on the territory of the Russian Federation by the Prosecutor General's Office. And today, these servicemen reported that many of them were transferred to the 6th Territorial Defense Battalion, which among the locals is considered "a disbat [a disciplinary unit] for the mobilized." At the same time, they are still forced to participate in assaults.

In the Kemerovo region, a former “special military operation” participant threatened to set himself on fire near the memorial complex dedicated to Siberian Heroes [of WWII] because he was not granted the status of a disabled veteran. As he got discharged from the regional hospital for veterans after a spinal fracture, he was not allowed to undergo a medical examination to obtain the status of a disabled participant in the “special military operation.” Eventually, the man managed to get a meeting with the head of the city. The regional governor also promised to meet with the man.

The Mobilizatsiya [Mobilization] Telegram channel publishes a document containing data on crimes committed by military personnel in January-February 2023. According to the report, in 2 months only, 941 crimes were committed, 83 of them under the influence of alcohol, as well as 47 murders. There is information about 937 cases of going AWOL. The document notes that mobilized soldiers have a negative impact on other servicemen.

In Surgut, a drunk serviceman, who had come on vacation from the war zone, attacked a police sergeant who wanted to detain him for being in a public place under the influence of alcohol. The serviceman tore off the sergeant’s shoulder straps and hit the policeman with his head the face. The criminal case has not yet been initiated, and the material of the check was transferred to the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation.

Another participant in the war in Ukraine received 1.5 years probation for setting fire to a car. The man pleaded guilty. According to him, he set fire to the car "due to a combination of difficult life circumstances." The court took into account that the man had taken part in the war, as well as the fact that his son is at war now.

The Investigative Committee refused to initiate a criminal case against Ruslan Zinoviev, mobilized from the Rostov Region. He was mobilized on Nov. 18, 2022, that is, after the announcement of the completion of mobilization on Oct. 31, 2022, and not taking into consideration his military registration specialty. The mobilized soldier filed a lawsuit demanding to cancel the decision to call him up for military service. The command of the military unit, in turn, requested the Investigative Committee to conduct an inspection against the man for refusing to participate in combat activities. However, the Investigative Committee did not find corpus delicti in the actions of the mobilized and refused to initiate a criminal case.

А man was fined for draft evasion in the Tyumen region. 23-year-old Dmitry Ryabov received several draft notices from a military commissariat [enlistment office] demanding to appear at the enlistment office, which he all signed. Eventually, Dmitry was fined 25 thousand rubles. The court took into account the fact that he had a small child, as well as the state of health of his close relatives.

The military court in Sakhalin issued two verdicts for going AWOL at the time of mobilization and during combat operations. The court sentenced the serviceman Shagdarov to 7 years in a general security penal colony for leaving the military hospital in Sakhalin. According to the court records, on Jul. 4, he left the hospital and went home to Buryatia. He returned to Sakhalin only on Dec. 22, where he came to the military commander’s office. A serviceman named Chmykhun was sentenced to 6 years in a general security penal colony. On Nov. 5, 2022, he left his post at a military unit in the "DPR" without permission, and on Dec. 12 voluntarily reported to the Investigative Committee in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk.

On Mar. 29, the head of the enlistment office was sentenced in Ufa. The court found him guilty of accepting bribes and sentenced him to 6 years of probation.

Lawyer of Alexei Moskalev, who was sentenced to two years for "discrediting the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation" and escaped from house arrest, published a letter written to Moskalev by his daughter Masha.

The Novaya Vkladka [New Tab] news outlet told the story of Gennady — an orphan who served in the military in 2018 and was mobilized in 2022. Gennady does not want to die, so he intends to obtain a health waiver from a psychiatrist so as not to go to the war zone. His adoptive parents support the war and believe that every man should serve in the army.

The Lyudi Baikala [People of Baikal] independent media outlet published a story of the sister of a mobilized soldier from Irkutsk. According to the woman, her brother, immediately after receiving a draft notice, readily went to a draft office and was primed to “defend” the Motherland. After being sent to the frontline, he contacted his relatives several times and talked about difficult conditions and the death of his comrades, barely holding back tears. However, after the last fight, he stopped calling, and for a month now, his relatives have been unsuccessfully trying to find out about his fate. The Ministry of Defense answered that he was not on a death roll.

Journalist Vladimir Sevrinovsky published a story about his trip on a Vladivostok-Moscow train with mobilized soldiers who were heading to their military unit.

The Fontanka media outlet published a story of a wife of a mobilized man about how she is trying to find out from authorities how her husband could be returned home from the “special military operation,” at least for a leave. According to a representative of a draft office, all leaves are given to draftees only at the discretion of their commander, and no laws are in effect in this matter.

Mobilized soldiers from Perm were given "protection candles." It is proposed to light them in fighting to be protected from bullets. A mobilized soldier was forced to write an explanatory note addressed to the company commander for slippers in the French flag colors. He was publicly reprehended in front of the formation.

In the city of Guryevsk, Kaliningrad region, families of mobilized men and those who lost their loved ones in the war were given freshly frozen fish. The authorities said it was an "aid from entrepreneurs." Meanwhile,  in the Tula region, the director of the Novomoskovsk Library System called on his subordinates to transfer 1,000 RUB [13 USD] each to the account of a regional fundraising campaign for Tula servicemen.

Employees of a psychiatric hospital in Prokopyevsk and the Union of Women of Prokopyevsk collected medicines, dressings, and warm clothing for soldiers. Meanwhile, in the Tyumen region, residents were asked to bring nylon tulle to the reception of a regional deputy for the production of camouflage nets.

Kindergarten No.8 in the city of Sarov in the Nizhny Novgorod region published a report on its VKontakte social network page on the collection of aid for mobilized persons, in which employees, parents, and students of the institution actively participated.

To conduct the Talking about Important Things lessons at the Nizhny Novgorod College, a military officer was invited to lecture on the situation in Ukraine. During the lesson, he showed the children a photograph of a dead pig covered with the Ukrainian flag.

The Oni Za Voinu! [They are for the war!] Telegram channel publishes a video from a kindergarten in the Murmansk region. In it, toddlers in the assembly hall dressed in soldiers' uniforms from World War II demonstrate their marching skills. Meanwhile, schoolchildren in Chuvashia [Russia’s constituent republic] drew pictures of who they want to become in the future. The exhibition at the Shumerlinskaya Library featured works by children created under the impression of visits of "heroes of the special military operation" to Chuvash schools. In the drawings, there are soldiers with bazookas and vehicles with the “Z” marking.