mobilization briefs
March 8, 2023

Mobilization in Russia for Mar. 6–7, 2023 CIT volunteer summary

The Government of the Russian Federation has approved the rules for issuing combat veteran IDs to volunteers, allowing them to qualify for [veterans’] benefits.

The Accounts Chamber [of the Russian Federation] found it necessary to change the legislation related to mobilization. Following the beginning of the "special military operation," the chamber received over 20 draft normative legal acts related to the introduction of amendments and clarifications to several federal laws and legislative acts. They pertain to certain categories of citizens who might qualify for deferment from the draft or exclusion from the mobilization, as well as the peculiarities of their pension provision, the provisions on the deferral of credit obligations, etc.

Primorye [federal subject of Russia] has allocated more than 4 billion rubles to support war veterans and their families, Governor Oleg Kozhemyako said. Of these funds, over 2 billion rubles were allocated to purchase gear and equipment.

In 2022, the Novosibirsk Region Prosecutor’s Office received more than 840 appeals from mobilized people and their relatives. Only 11 of these appeals were recognized as justified. The brought-up issues, among other things, pertained to the legality of drafting without considering the state of health, age, and marital status [of those mobilized].

The servicemen of the 1439th Regiment mobilized from the Novosibirsk, Irkutsk, and Krasnoyarsk regions complain that after arriving in Donetsk, they were handed over to the leadership of the 1st Motorized Rifle Brigade of the so-called Donetsk People's Republic. Then they were ordered to storm heavily defended fortified areas without artillery or heavy armor support. As the servicemen put it, they were "sent to slaughter."

Draftees from the Belgorod region also recorded a video in which they complain about losses due to the actions of their commanders from the so-called DPR. The servicemen claim that they were trained for service in territorial defense units, but after arriving to the so-called DPR, their military IDs were taken away from them, and now they have the order to storm enemy positions. As a result, the servicemen have already suffered losses. The draftees declared that they would carry out orders "only as part of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation."

The authorities of the Belgorod region reacted to the video by the draftees stating that the servicemen were not assigned to territorial defense units and had received proper military training. In addition, issues of the formation of military units and the deployment of troops are governed by the Russian Ministry of Defense. Governor Gladkov also assures that the draftees are properly trained. He claims that he visited them during combat cohesion in the Kursk region. In addition, he states that "all necessary inquiries with the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation and the Military Prosecutor's Office have been made."

Increasingly, Russian mobilized men are complaining about their conditions of service in “DPR” units. They claim that they are being hastily assembled into assault teams and sent into fighting without artillery or vehicle support. Interviewed by journalists of Vazhnyye Istorii [iStories, an independent Russian investigative media outlet], relatives and military experts explain why so many video addresses from mobilized men have appeared recently.

Sergey Naydenkov, as well as two mobilized men from the Sverdlovsk region, Andrey Tokarev and Aleksandr Kalaichev, were killed in the course of the “special military operation.”

A criminal case was opened in Tolyatti [city in Samara region] under the article on fraud “on an especially large scale” for traffic in stolen military equipment, which had been labeled “not for sale.” Tactical clothing, body armor, helmets, as well as other military gear and products, whose trade is not allowed in retail channels, were found during an inspection of the Tactica store. The total value of these goods exceeded 1 million rubles.

Edem Murtazaev was detained In Crimea. He is suspected of sabotage on the railway in the Bakhchisarai district, where the rails were damaged on Feb. 23. Employees of the FSB [Federal Security Service] of Russia conducted a search in his house and charged him under part 1 of Article 281.1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (assistance in sabotage). Crimean Tatars activist Elmaz Akimova said that the detainee suffers from epilepsy and, for this reason, did not even leave Sudak, where he lives.

A 20-year-old guy was arrested in Moscow and charged with setting fire to two metal cabinets at the railway. According to investigators, the young man “engaged in a criminal conspiracy with unidentified persons,” from whom he received the coordinates of one of the cabinets and 30,000 rubles.

A man who threatened to blow up the draft board in Domodedovo the day before turned out to be a soldier of the 26th Tank Regiment. According to the ASTRA Telegram channel, 37-year-old private Ivan F. left the military unit in Mulino, Nizhny Novgorod region, for unknown reasons on Mar. 5.

The Rostov media, citing eyewitnesses, inform that two men in military uniform armed with assault rifles tried to hitchhike a taxi. Local residents called the police, and the unknown persons were detained.

In Murmansk, a draft office was set on fire while the policemen on guard were taking a short break away from their post of duty. Someone threw some flammable liquid onto the window frames on the ground floor but failed to cause a large fire. The arsonist has not yet been found. The police officers will be charged with negligence for leaving the territory of the draft office in the middle of the night.

Askhat Nabiev from the city of Tobolsk was mobilized in September 2022, despite being a father of three children aged 13, 6, and 2. One of them has a disability. Since Askhat’s departure to the war zone, his wife had been fighting to have her husband back, and after five months, her efforts were rewarded with success.

35 medical professionals from Tatarstan [Russia’s constituent republic] were mobilized into the Russian armed forces for the war, while another 12 enlisted voluntarily, according to Tatarstan’s Ayrat Farrakhov, member of the State Duma [lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia]. Farrakhov stated that 8 doctors and 24 nurses and paramedics were serving on the front lines of the war in Ukraine.

Yevgeny Lyubovenko, a veterinarian from St.Petersburg with no military background employed in a public-sector veterinary service, received his first draft notice in September 2022 at his workplace. Later, he found another draft notice in his mailbox. Yevgeny chose not to flee from mobilization but to remain in Russia and defend his right not to go to war.

Military doctor Denis Vasilyev refused to go to fight in Ukraine twice. Now he will be tried for failure to comply with the order during the period of mobilization. Lawyer Elvira Tarasova explains why Vasilyev did not follow the order, why he could not quit his service, and what is happening to him now.

Moscow authorities are going to spend 5.8 million rubles on artists’ performances in hospitals and military units. At the same time, Muscovites are asked to collect the necessary things for the wounded war veterans in hospitals: clothes (socks, shorts, T-shirts), hygiene products, sweet things (waffles, candies, condensed milk, honey), and something for leisure (books and crossword puzzles).

The Cherta [Line] media outlet reports how the Russian Orthodox Church donates money, gear, and parishioners’ lives to the war in Ukraine.

A master class on making trench candles was organized at the Triumph sports and leisure center in the Kosino-Ukhtomsky district of Moscow.

The Mozhem obyasnit [We Can Explain] Telegram channel has compiled the strangest examples of festive events which local authorities are holding for widows and mothers of KIAs in the war with Ukraine.