Mobilization in Russia for May 11–12, 2023 CIT volunteer summary
Authorities and Legislation
The commission on legislative activity of the Russian government did not support the bill on exemption from "partial" mobilization of citizens who did not do military service, Vedomosti media outlet reports citing sources. This initiative was introduced by Mikhail Matveyev, State Duma [lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia] member from the Communist Party, on Oct. 25. The government’s response to the initiative states that the defense of the state is a constitutional obligation of any citizen, the bill does not estimate how many citizens will be exempted from mobilization in this way and that "in order to guarantee the mobilization deployment of troops (forces) in the event of threats to the military security of the Russian Federation expanding the list of categories of citizens to whom the legislation of the Russian Federation grants the right to receive a draft deferment from mobilization is inappropriate."
Vladimir Putin signed a decree "On Amendments to the Concept of the State Migration Policy of the Russian Federation for 2019-2025." According to the decree it is planned to create attractive financial, social, and other mechanisms for preserving human capital and reducing the outflow of the Russian population abroad, organizing activities to attract foreign citizens to work, as well as creating conditions for returning, including from abroad, residents of the occupied territories who had previously left their places of permanent residence.
Mikhail Matveyev proposed to withhold 1% from bills in restaurants, cafes and nightclubs. The proceeds would be channeled to support the families of servicemen fighting in Ukraine. Matveyev stated that the draft bill is being prepared at the moment. He did not specify the details, explaining that he would submit the document to the State Duma when all the preparatory work is completed.
Mayor of Yekaterinburg Aleksey Orlov signed a decree on new benefits for local citizens serving in the armed forces, including draftees and volunteers. According to the decree, servicemen who lease land from the city shall be granted a deferral from rent payments for the duration of their service.
The Governor of the Primorsky region [Russia’s federal subject] Oleg Kozhemyako submitted a draft law to the regional legislative assembly prioritizing the right to receive housing certificates for orphans fighting in Ukraine. Region's head suggested lifting the 23-year-old age requirement and not assessing their adaptation to independent living. At the assembly's next meeting in May, the draft law will be considered at three readings at once.
Member of the State Duma Maksim Ivanov will discuss amendments to the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation with his colleagues. Ivanov wants all actions aimed at weakening the country's defense capability to be considered as high treason. Such actions include the manufacture and purchase of counterfeit military IDs.
Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising
In the Voronezh region, authorities are planning to establish selection and temporary accommodation centers for future contract soldiers in order to facilitate the deployment of the region’s residents to the military. It is expected that each center will be able to accommodate up to 100 people simultaneously.
Member of the State Duma and member of the Defense Committee Andrey Gurulyov released a video statement refuting rumors about a second wave of mobilization following the signing of the decree on military training. According to him, such training is conducted regularly andis necessary to maintain existing skills and update knowledge about constantly evolving equipment. He also stated that Russia faces many other threats in addition to Ukraine, such as the Arctic, Taiwan, and Central Asia.
Head of the "LPR" Leonid Pasechnik announced that residents of the region who received draft notices during the 2023 spring conscription campaign would not be enrolled for service. According to him, draft boards will only maintain the registry of draft dodgers and review medical examination results, deferrals, and transfers to the reserve. Earlier, the Russian authorities had claimed that the occupied territories would be out of scope of the 2023 spring conscription campaign whatsoever.
An 87-year-old woman from Tomsk, who had survived the German occupation in the town of Rubizhne (Ukraine) during World War II, was looking forward to receiving the May 9 Victory Day greetings when she discovered a leaflet seeking to recruit mercenaries for the Wagner Group in her mailbox. Distressed, the woman’s daughter described this incident in her post on the VKontakte social network. Wagner reacted to this post with apologies.
Residents of the Admiralteisky district of Saint Petersburg reported having received email messages requiring them to report to the draft office. As mentioned in our previous summaries, residents of multiple Russian regions had been targeted by fraudsters sending scam draft notifications via email. The Ministry of Defense recommends citizens to be vigilant about any draft notices received via email as such communications are not regulated by the Russian law.
The Tagir Kusimov Volunteer Battalion departed Ufa for cohesion training prior to heading to the front. This is the fifth "volunteer battalion" formed in the region. The Sirena news outlet tells of how authorities in Bashkortostan [Russia’s constituent republic], one of the leading regions in terms of soldiers killed in the war with 709 confirmed dead, recruit people to go to the war in Ukraine.
Mobilized Soldiers and Volunteer Fighters
The following names have been added to the list of mobilized soldiers killed in the war: Maksim Martyanov from the Yaroslavl region and Aleksey Klyukanov from the Samara region.
Based on open sources, journalists from the Mediazona news outlet and BBC News Russian together with a team of volunteers were able to confirm 22,644 Russian military personnel killed, including 2,153 draftees. During the last week, 589 names were added to the list with 96 belonging to draftees.
Vazhnyye Istorii [iStories, independent Russian investigative media outlet] spoke to a paramedic. He told of low levels of medical training in the Russian Army, which types of wounds were the most dangerous, and how lack of quality medical equipment and training contributed to increased losses among service members.
Sentences, Legal Proceedings, and Incidents
According to the ASTRA Telegram channel, Gleb Solomonov, 24, from the Amur region [Russia’s constituent subject], has been detained under suspicion of murdering two of his fellow soldiers in the Zaporizhzhia region. One of the victims remains unidentified.
According to Sota, a war veteran who returned from Ukraine having brought with him about fifty RGD-5 grenades was detained in Krasnodar on May 12.
The Chita Garrison Military Court sentenced a serviceman to 5 years of probation for going AWOL. The man abandoned his unit on Dec. 14, 2022, and was arrested in a hotel two and a half months later.
In Tobolsk, a 15-year-old schoolboy accused of preparing a terrorist attack was sent to a psychiatric in-patient facility based on a forensic examination during the investigation. According to law enforcement, the ninth-grader planned to set fire to a military commissariat [enlistment office]. He was arrested by the Federal Security Service (FSB) on his way to commit the crime. Earlier, 14-year-old Yaroslav Inozemtsev, who had been accused of plotting an attack on a school and of making anti-government posts online, was also sent to a psychiatric hospital where he was given unknown drugs despite the fact that, according to an independent examination, the teenager did not need any psychiatric treatment.
In Russia, the first sentence was issued on the charges of government defense contract fraud. The convict is Anatoly Mikhalin who is the head of the military-industrial company called OKTB Vector. The court concluded that over the course of two years Mikhalin deliberately inflated the cost of production by adding fake costs. The court noted that such a lenient sentence (probation in this case) is explained by the fact that the defendant admitted his guilt and paid damages.
The Ministry of Education of Russia recommended pedagogical institutes to establish social support measures for students from families of "special military operation" participants. It is suggested to reduce the cost of educational services, provide installments for tuition fees, free admission to the preparatory departments of universities, and free second vocational education for them. In addition, pedagogical colleges were recommended to open memorial plaques and create "alleys of memory" and to place the names of soldiers killed in the "special military operation" on the "Walls of Memory and Glory."
Adviser to the Governor of the Oryol region Sergey Lezhnyov reported sending a large batch of aid to soldiers from the Oryol region located in the Rubizhne-Kreminna direction and urged the residents of the region to continue collecting aid for the soldiers in his Telegram channel. Earlier, a criminal case was initiated against Lezhnyov on suspicion of embezzlement of public funds.
In Sergeyevka town, Primorsky region, Zarnitsa [children's war game] regional games were held. 330 children and teenagers took part in competitions in military sports disciplines. The event was held under the guidance of instructors from the 5th Combined Arms Army.
School No. 37 in the city of Vladimir organized a "Conscript's Day" for 10th graders. The students learned about chemical protection, first aid at the front, sapper’s work, and they were also shown weapons, helmets, and body armor. After the presentation students were persuaded to sign a contract with the Ministry of Defense instead of regular conscription.
Students from three cadet schools in Tatarstan [Russia’s constituent republic] will have a three-week military training camp in the city of Naberezhnye Chelny. In addition, after the academic year, the authorities plan to organize military-patriotic camps for 900 more students.
The Center for the Development of Military Sports Training and Patriotic Education of Youth has opened in the Belgorod region. 300 10th graders will be the first to take a training course there. The training program includes firearms, tactical-special and engineering training, as well as the study of UAVs, tactical medicine and communication devices.
Penza State University, on the back of information about a sabotage and terrorist act allegedly being prepared in the region received from the FSB, urges students to analyze the behavior of their friends and acquaintances and report "to the authorities" at the slightest suspicion. Meanwhile, in Saint Petersburg, students of the State Institute of Film and Television are made to attend the Cinema at the Service of the Fatherland festival about the war in Ukraine.
The journalists of the Bumaga [Paper] independent media outlet visited an exposition about the history of Ukraine in the Rossiya — Moya Istoriya [Russia is My History] park in Saint Petersburg. The park has been criticized more than once for the distortion of historical facts and their selective coverage. More details about the activities of the park, the sources of its financing and the attitude of historians to the expositions of this reserve can be found in the publication of the media outlet.
The department for the control of UAVs began its work in Saint Petersburg. It was created as a matter of urgency after the imposition of restrictions on drones. Among other tasks, the department is to arrange mobile patrols to identify and detain drone operators. The patrols include marksmen armed with sniper rifles and carbines, as well as specialists in the use of technical means of suppressing and neutralizing drones.