mobilization briefs
March 11, 2023

Mobilization in Russia for Mar. 9–10, 2023, CIT volunteer summary 

The Russian authorities are preparing to recruit 400,000 contract soldiers and plan to conduct a related large-scale information campaign, informs the pro-Kremlin media outlet URA.RU with reference to its own sources. The campaign will allegedly begin on Apr. 1 and will aim at recruiting 400,000 people. Each region is going to have its own quota to meet. Thus, the Sverdlovsk and Chelyabinsk regions will need to supply 10 thousand people each, while the Perm region will be due about 9 thousand. The regions have been actively preparing for the launch of the campaign for several weeks now.

Social passports were issued for 1600 families of mobilized soldiers in the Pskov region. Personal targeted assistance was provided to 900 families, the press service of the regional government reported.

Former Mayor of the Russian town of Zavolzhsk Vyacheslav Kapustin got a reply to his complaint to the FSB [Federal Security Service] in which he demanded to check the legality of the draft deferrals received by employees of the Volga utility company. The FSB replied that the issues related to mobilization were "outside the competence" of the service. The FSB then forwarded the complaint to the prosecutor's office of the Ivanovo region.

Russian conscripts are usually denied alternative civilian service, but it is still achievable. Medusa [international Russian-language online media outlet] talked with a man from Saint-Petersburg who convinced the draft board of the military enlistment office that he did not want to serve. Now he works in a hospital.

Death toll from the war among mobilized men keeps growing. Among those we managed to identify are Denis Tselousov from Kurgan, Sergey Rudyi from Yaroslavl, Oleg Pleyev from North Ossetia, Maksim Rodimov from Nizhny Novgorod, Andrey Pechyonkin and Ivan Fedyakov from the Sverdlovsk region, Pyotr Lobanov from the Kursk region and Alexey Prokhorov from the Moscow region.

Draftees from the Tver region released a video appeal. In a one-minute video, servicemen of the 1st Motorized Rifle Battalion of the 1007th Regiment explain that they have been recently deployed to the “special military operation” zone and were informed that the battalion was to be disbanded and troops reassigned to other units. After having spent five months together, the soldiers say they share strong brotherly bonds and plead not to divide them but let them defend the fatherland “as a well-rounded team.”

More and more complaints about mistreatment and lack of supplies are emerging from mobilized personnel placed under the command of “DPR” separatists. One such appeal was made by draftees who had been trained at Training Center No. 106 located in Orenburg. Upon their arrival to Dokuchaievsk in the Donetsk region, their battalion was disbanded and small groups of soldiers dispersed between other units.

The Pepel [Ashes] Telegram channel published a letter from draftees from Belgorod pleading for help, as well as a video recording of their conversation with the commander. According to the soldiers, they had been trained as artillerymen, but the “DPR” command decided to use them as infantry on the first line. The men explain that they had been promised cannons, but were given only assault rifles they don’t know how to shoot from. Moreover, every offensive ends up with heavy losses — reportedly, 70 men were killed in just two days. The remaining soldiers from Belgorod are being redeployed to other units. They do not refuse to fight in the artillery they had been trained with, but describe their experience in the infantry as a “suicide mission.”

Relatives of draftees from the Irkutsk region continue to criticize the commission sent by the Governor of the region to the territory of the so-called DPR to aid the servicemen, as well as the behavior of the Governor himself.

A week ago, draftees from Russia's constituent Republic of Mari El recorded a video message to Putin from Lysychansk. Their regiment was disbanded, their military specialties were changed, and the servicemen were assigned to units of the so-called Luhansk People's Republic and sent to the frontline. On Mar. 9, the press service of the Head of Mari El Yuri Zaitsev reported that he met with relatives of the draftees in the video and promised to solve the men's problems. This was also reported by local media. Afterward, the news was deleted without explanation.

Volunteer fighters from Tatarstan [Russia’s constituent Republic] with expired contracts are returning home from the war in Ukraine without leave, for which they are facing criminal prosecution under the article of "desertion". Volunteer fighter Airat Abdullin told about it to the Realnoe Vremya [Real Time] media outlet. According to lawyer Lavrenty Sichinava, there are at least 15 such “returnees” in Tatarstan today.

Volunteer fighters assigned to the 310th Naval Infantry Brigade are also facing problems. The VChK-OGPU Telegram channel [the name is a reference to the VCHK and OGPU, which were the intelligence and state security services in the early Soviet Union] came across a complaint of military personnel, who are being massively refused release from the war zone after the end of the contract.

A military court in Moscow will consider the first desertion case. The investigation into the case of eight military personnel is completed, each of them will be tried for "desertion with weapons committed during the armed conflict period of hostilities." The men face up to 15 years in prison. Recall that at the end of last year, mobilized soldiers from the Kaliningrad region fled from a field camp in the Luhansk region. On foot, they reached the nearest settlement, changed into civilian clothes, hid their weapons in their bags and took a taxi to the town of Podolsk, Moscow region, where they surrendered to the police.

19-year-old Nikita Klyunya has been arrested for two months by the Petrozavodsk City Court. The young man is charged with participation in the "sabotage on railway lines," which we wrote about in one of our recent summaries.The basis for the charge were the instructions on how to make an explosive sent him via private messages, as well as the testimony of two witnesses who made a plea deal and called Klyunya the organizer of the "sabotage."

A participant of protests against mobilization in Dagestan [Russia’s constituent Republic] was sentenced to a year and a half in prison. Adam Gadzhiev was found guilty; the defense filed an appeal.

A 22 y.o. resident of the constituent Republic of Bashkortostan was detained on suspicion of setting fire to a relay cabinet at the railroad between Sibay and Almukhametovo on Mar. 9. The man allegedly wrote a confession note and admitted that he committed the act "for the sake of stopping the special military operation." The issue of initiating a criminal case is under consideration.

A petition in support of Maria Moskalyova, a schoolgirl from Efremov, Tula region, was initiated on the website. We have repeatedly written about her fate and the case against her father in our summaries. The petition was signed by more than 85 thousand people by the time of publication of the summary.

A family from the Sverdlovsk region failed to return their mobilized relative home. The man is the official caregiver of his adult son, who appears to be a disabled person of group I. The son needs constant care and the wife isn’t able to provide it. However, the regional draft office considered that the man had no right for draft exemption. In December, the family applied to the prosecutor’s office and an interim response made it possible to count on the man’s turning home. However, the final response of denial in draft deferral has been recently received.

The story of the draftee, whose monetary allowance has been sent to someone with the same name for two months, concluded successfully. In the end, all necessary funds were received in full on the draftee’s account.

The website of the Department of Education of Apatity town, Murmansk region, has recently announced a “career guidance lesson” that will feature the Wagner Group mercenaries. The department alleged that the announcement was the “plot of malefactors.” The Znanie [Knowledge] Society [Russian society for the dissemination of political and scientific knowledge] announced a series of meetings with individuals who participated in the war in Ukraine. The meetings called "Learning about Heroes" will be organized in 28 regions of Russia.

At an Asinovsky district school of the Tomsk region, a sixth grader was seated at the "Hero's Desk", created in honor of her 19-year-old brother who was killed in the war in Ukraine. A photo of a crying girl at the opening ceremony made it to the front page of the Lifestyle local newspaper. More details about this and some other stories are reported by the Not Moscow Speaks independent news outlet.