mobilization briefs
April 3, 2023

Mobilization in Russia for Mar. 31 — Apr. 2, 2023 CIT volunteer summary  

The routine spring conscription campaign commenced on Apr. 1, calling up men aged between 18 and 27 for statutory military service. Putin’s decree orders to enroll a total of 147,000 conscripts into the Russian Army, which means that this draft will impact more men than the campaigns held in spring and fall of 2022. For more details and tips, check out our summary of Mar. 29–30.

Deputy Chairman of the State Duma [lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia] Committee on Security and Anti-Corruption Ernest Valeev failed to provide clarification as to whether the spring conscription applies to citizens from the territories of Ukraine occupied by Russia. He said that the current legislation does not provide any exception for them yet, therefore as “citizens of Russia” they are subject to conscription for military service per standard procedure. As we mentioned in an earlier summary, Chairman of the State Duma’s Defense Committee Andrey Kartapolov announced that conscription would not be carried out on the occupied territories this spring.

From now on, citizens are unable to delete their user accounts on the government services portal Gosuslugi online and erase their personal data. Head of the Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media of Russia Maksut Shadayev claimed that the latest changes on the portal were unrelated to allegations of the upcoming mobilization. Moreover, he pointed out that the possibility to unsubscribe from notifications from the authorities is still available to the portal users.

Military commissariats  [enlistment offices] across Russia keep on sending out draft notices, allegedly aiming to check military service register data. Meanwhile, new adverts promoting contract-based military service emerge in many Russian cities. Billboards have been seen in the streets of Astrakhan and Ufa. In Vladimir, residents reported having received contract service recruitment ads printed on their utility bills, while in Syktyvkar, invitations to join the Wagner Group were dropped off in mailboxes, appealing to men aged 21–60 and offering a monthly wage of 240,000 rubles.

Furthermore, mobile personnel recruitment centers for contract-based military service are being set up across Russia. On Apr. 1, such a center emerged in Maritime Victory Park next to Gazprom Arena stadium in Saint Petersburg. Its opening was strategically timed to the day when a football match between Zenit and Ural was held, attended by hundreds of fans. The center is being advertised on a dedicated page on the VKontakte social network. The same approach was used in Voronezh, where a tent marked “Military Service under Contract” was put up next to the Central Stadium which hosted a match between the local club of Fakel and CSKA last Sunday. However, no fans have been noticed stopping by. Residents of Oryol also report that a similar center was opened in their city.

Yaroslavl region Governor Mikhail Yevraev stated that in addition to all regional military and civilian hospitals, private clinics were ready to treat soldiers wounded in the war. He also said that as part of the federal program, the war veterans’ hospital had received over 50 million rubles for additional medical equipment.

Human Rights Commissioner of the Zabaykalsky region Nikolay Khlyzov reported that four of the region's residents were returned from Ukrainian captivity. At the same time, he refused to name the total number of region’s residents reported missing in the “special military operation” zone.

The State Duma representative Andrey Gurulyov called upon Governor of the Zabaykalsky region Aleksandr Osipov to “immediately” resolve the situation of payments due “special military operation” participants. Recall that service members who encountered problems receiving payments had earlier threatened to rally in protest. Vice-prime minister of the Zabaykalsky region met with them and promised to sort the situation out.

Draftees continue being killed in the war. The following names have been added to the list of those killed: Irek Ziyatdinov from Russia’s constituent Republic of Tatarstan, Dmitry Repin and Nikolay Vasilyev from the Arkhangelsk region, Sergey Soshin and Sergey Yeryomin from the Voronezh region, Sergey Yanenko and Nikita Govorunov from the Rostov region, Artyom Perepelitsa from Saint Petersburg, Fanis Shabaev from the Orenburg region, Yuri Vershinin from the Tyumen region. The following draftees became POWs: members of the 294th Motorized Rifle Regiment Zakhar Yeliseev, Aleksandr Pushkin, and Denis Zerkov from Primorsky region, Krasnoyarsk resident Artyom Vilkin from the 1439th Motorized Rifle Regiment, Moscow resident Aleksandr Gindo from 26th Tank Regiment, and members of the 1st Motorized Rifle Brigade Ivan Prikhodko, Aleksey Shakirzyanov from Sayansk, Irkutsk region, Viktor Raidin and Nikita Pyzhov from Krasnoyarsk.

The mayor of Sayansk commented on the video with POWs from the town, “We have already contacted the Commissioner of the Irkutsk region Svetlana Semyonova. Tomorrow, the Sayansk military commissar is going to meet with the relatives of our fighters to complete and send documents to Moscow.”

In the Bryansk region, a 35-year-old mobilized soldier from the Samara region took about 10 military hostages and kept them in a local Community Center having learned about the deaths of his nephews in the war in Ukraine. He made no demands. After lengthy negotiations with the commander of his military unit, the mobilized man released the hostages and surrendered.

А contract soldier from Adygea [Russia’s constituent republic] was sentenced to five years in a penal settlement for failure to appear for service from leave after the announcement of the start of “partial” mobilization. The soldier said that he had helped his father cope with alcoholism due to the death of his mother. He admitted his guilt.

A mobilized soldier from the Zabaykalsky region was sentenced to one year in a penal colony for beating another mobilized soldier with a stool while drinking alcohol in the barracks of one of the military units in Nov. 2022.

The Memorial Human Rights Center and the OVD-Info [independent human rights project] sent a letter to the European Commission and the Council of Europe urging them to use all available means to prevent the extradition of Aleksey Moskalyov from Belarus to Russia and to ensure his transfer to a third country.

The leader of the Karelia chapter of the Grazhdanskiy Alyans [Citizen Alliance] social movement Nikita Klyunya, 19, has been placed on the extremist list. In March, he was arrested in a “railroad sabotage” case for attempting to set fire to a relay cabinet and charged under the terrorism collaboration article of the Russian Criminal Code. He is facing up to 20 years in a penal colony.

According to the Zona solidarnosti [Solidarity Zone] Telegram channel, Ilya Baburin, 23, has been accused by the FSB [Federal Security Service] of treason after an attempt to set fire to a draft office in Novosibirsk. The arson occurred on Sep. 29, 2022, and caused almost no damage to the draft office building. Earlier, Ilya had been accused under two articles of the Russian Criminal Code: conspiracy to commit an act of terror and recruiting others into terrorist activities, charges that carry a potential life sentence. According to his attorney, Ilya was subjected to torture during his arrest and later at the pre-trial detention center.

In Kemerovo, a fire was set to a relay cabinet between the stations Ishanovo and Predkombinat. Break-in tools and traces of incendiary liquid were found at the scene. The arsonists are still at large.

A 73-year-old retiree from Pervouralsk was charged with hooliganism committed by a group of persons for attempting to set fire to a draft office. She is facing a sentence of up to 7 years. According to the woman, scammers posing as bank and Federal Security Service employees convinced her to set fire to a draft office making her a participant in an anti-terrorist operation code-named Zevs [Zeus]. The retiree had to set fire twice. During her first attempt, she was only able to spill incendiary liquid over the porch. During her second attempt, the woman was detained. Also, scammers stole 400,000 rubles from her.

Information keeps emerging on draftees going on leave. In Russia’s constituent Republic of Bashkortostan, authorities reported on the ceremonial welcome of draftees who came to spend their leave at home.

Naberezhnye Chelny Mayor Nail Magdeev handed the keys to a UAZ utility minivan to local service members who loaded the vehicle and took off for the “special military operation” zone. In a village in Bashkortostan, meanwhile, three friends used their own money to purchase a Niva off-road vehicle for the military.

An employee of the Pension Fund Administration for the Kemerovo region reported that the management withheld 8% of the bonus to support mobilized soldiers from the employees of the organization without warning. However, they managed to make the management return the money.

In Komi [Russia’s constituent republic], patients and staff of the republican psychiatric hospital joined pro-war activists putting up parcels for participants in the war in Ukraine: they made 70 trench candles. About 350 more trench candles were made by residents of the village of Ezhva in the local cultural center at special master classes.

The orphanage center in Chelyabinsk involves educatees in the manufacture of camouflage nets, and also holds various "patriotic" events. Students of the Irbey school number 1 in the Krasnoyarsk region launched a food collection campaign and handed over collected products to the families of mobilized soldiers. Meanwhile, residents of the Kazachinsky district brought warm clothes, medicines, food and letters from schoolchildren to the aid collection point of the Public Chamber. Uzhursky district also participated in the collection of aid and involved children in taking part in it. In the Krasnoyarsk orphanage, in addition to making camouflage nets, orphans were made to draw military posters. Camouflage nets are also made in the Svyato-Uspenskyy Monastery [Holy Assumption Monastery] in Novomoskovsk, in the Evenk multidisciplinary technical school, and in schools and kindergartens in the village of Mstera, Vladimir region.

A soldier from Tobolsk, who had returned from the war, held a "Lesson of Courage" in one of the Tobolsk schools. At the same time, in Izhevsk, a paramilitary school relay race with shooting and throwing grenades was held for students of the fifth, tenth, and eleventh grades.