On May 16, the working group on the "special military operation," headed by the Federation Council [upper house of Russia's Federal Assembly] member Andrey Turchak held a meeting to discuss a single standard of regional benefits for servicemen and their families. It was proposed to include 20 support measures, including priority enrollment of the children of servicemen deployed in Ukraine in hobby clubs, extended daycare groups in schools and kindergartens, compensation for housing and utilities, exemption from kindergarten fees, transport tax benefits, vouchers to recreation camps, and subsidized meals for children.
The State Duma adopted in the second and third readings the draft law on housing benefits for the families of servicemen taking part in the "special military operation." In accordance with the law, family members of servicemen deployed in the "special military operation" zone or outside of Russia will continue using military-provided housing in their former duty area. Rent compensation will be provided.
The State Duma proposed amending the article of the law "On military duty and military service," which regulates draft deferrals. The draft law grants the deferral to parents of disabled children under 18 or having a first-degree disability. Presently, the deferral is granted only to fathers of disabled children under 3.
Sources in the government and law enforcement agencies told Vazhnyye Istorii [iStories, independent Russian investigative media outlet] that there is an unspoken ban on dismissal for Russian high-ranking officials. In the current situation, the presidential administration considers dismissal to be a betrayal. According to the outlet's sources, at the outbreak of the war, many officials, including governors, wanted to resign from their posts. They were prevented from leaving under threats of criminal investigation, however.
The advertising campaign of the Ministry of Defense continues. Ads for contract military service can be seen on the streets of Voronezh, Saint Petersburg, Moscow, Syktyvkar and other cities in Russia. For their part, residents of Irkutsk are finding ads for the Wagner Group in their post boxes.
The Baza Telegram channel writes about a growing trend of holding meetings "about mobilization" in the Moscow region. Reportedly, heads of large companies are invited to meet with local officials, where they are told how to convince company employees to enroll voluntarily for military service. Similarly, the Bumaga [Paper] independent media outlet reports that Saint Petersburg authorities are working on recruiting people for the war by working with diaspora and business leaders.
A new name has been added to the list of mobilized men killed in the war — Raphael Palamarchuk from the Krasnodar region.
A conscript committed suicide in the Moscow region. Sources of the VChK-OGPU Telegram channel indicate that the incident took place on May 15 in the 15th Motorized Rifle Regiment of the Tamanskaya Division based in the town of Kalininets.
Residents of the village of Bikbulatovo, Bashkortostan [constituent republic of Russia] recorded a video appeal to protest the treatment of Flur Kusyapkulov, a local resident who was reportedly mobilized in September 2022. According to the second video, he had been tortured, bound and hung from a tree by fellow soldiers.
The Mozhem Ob'yasnit [We Can Explain] Telegram channel spoke with the families of injured servicemen in the war with Ukraine who cannot receive insurance payments: some are given incorrect diagnoses, others are denied medical certificates and sent back to the war. In the Sverdlovsk region, a mother cannot receive compensation for her son who was killed in the war.
An Urals major defense enterprise cannot bring back its employees who are entitled to draft deferral. The court declared their conscription illegal and overturned the decision of the draft board regarding their mobilization. The deadlines for implementing the court decision have passed, but the draft board has taken no action to return the men home.
According to the Baza Telegram channel, on May 15 in Ulyanovsk, an unknown person attempted to set fire to a police station building by pouring flammable liquid on the door and window. After the arson, the perpetrator fled the scene. The fire was quickly extinguished. A search for the arsonist is underway.
In Ulan-Ude, a garrison military court found Private Roman Drievsky guilty of assaulting a fellow serviceman and deserting his unit without authorization. The incident occurred on the parade ground in the presence of other military personnel. Additionally, on Nov. 8, 2022, the man left his unit and went to visit relatives without valid reasons. On Dec. 14, he was arrested by the police. The court sentenced the serviceman to six years of maximum security penal colony and ordered him to pay compensation to the victim.
First year cadet at a military university in Saint Petersburg, who was detained for attempting to set fire to a relay cabinet, was placed under arrest until Jul. 13 by the court. He has been charged with attempted terrorist attack.
A Russian contract soldier was detained in Baltiysk in the Kaliningrad region, suspected of brutal beating and rape of a local resident. Eyewitnesses claim that the rapist is an officer of the Black Sea Fleet.
The court in Omsk rejected the prosecutor's demand to declare draft deferral of employees of 12 large companies illegal because the companies did not service state defense procurement. The Central District Court of Omsk rejected the prosecutor's claim. The prosecutor filed an appeal with the regional court, but Judge Elena Usova rejected the appeal and upheld the decision, according to the case file.
A recent participant in the war in Ukraine was detained outside of Moscow for operating a drone. 42-year-old tank crewman Edmund A. was in Fryazino on a two-week break. There, he picked up an aid package from local lawmakers, which included two new quadcopters. The soldier decided to test them out on his way back to the frontline in the village of Bogoslovo. Local residents, seeing an unidentified aircraft in the sky, called the police, who detained Edmund.
Another detention of a soldier transporting an unmanned aerial vehicle occurred in the Moscow metro. Nikolay M. was detained at the Paveletskaya metro station, when a drone was found in his luggage during a search. The soldier said that he served in a motorized rifle brigade as a commander of a medical platoon, where he received the aircraft. Per instructions, Nikolay was supposed to transport the quadcopter to the combat zone.
One hundred fifty residents of Primorsky region [Russia's federal subject] will become social coordinators in the regional branch of the "Defenders of the Fatherland" state fund, created by presidential decree. Presently, the first group of coordinators is undergoing training. They will provide social and psychological support to veterans of the war in Ukraine and their families.
Libraries in the Zabaykalsky region [Russia's federal subject] participate in the effort of the All-Russia People's Front [a political coalition started in 2011 by then-Prime Minister of Russia Vladimir Putin] to collect waste paper. Library staff will take the gathered waste paper to recycling centers, and the money obtained will be transferred to the All-Russia People's Front to help soldiers participating in the "special military operation."
Approximately 1.2 million rubles is spent each month by the Education Committee of Chita on free meals for children of the participants in the "special military operation." In the first three months of 2023, the program had spent 3.7 million rubles.
At the Altai State Agricultural University, students began fabricating trench metal stoves modified to be less visible to thermal imaging equipment. University employees raised funds to purchase metal and paint, and the laser-cutting of iron was done free of charge at one of the Barnaul factories. New stoves will eventually be handed over to soldiers.
The Novaya Vkladka [New Tab] media outlet published an article about living conditions in the Zabaykalsky region. Residents of the region regularly raise money to help fellow countrymen who are at war in Ukraine, and their children make trench candles in arts and crafts classes at school. At the same time, the Zabaykalsky region is one of the four most underdeveloped regions in Russia, and coffins, along with death notifications from the war, continually arrive at local villages.
A 64-year-old disabled man who lost his leg in a car accident wants to travel from Lipetsk to the "special military operation" zone by a makeshift tractor to see his only son and give more than 100 cans of homemade stewed meat to his unit.
The Bumaga [Paper] independent media outlet told how the Cinema in the Service of the Motherland festival about the war in Ukraine was held in Saint Petersburg, to which students of the Saint Petersburg State University of Film and Television were forced to go. Pyotr Lundstrem, one of the festival's organizers, complained that some students laughed at what was happening and did not get up during the National anthem.
The director of school No 1 in Pyt-Yakt town, Khanty-Mansi autonomous region–Yugra [Russia's federal subject], reported a parent because of the afro braids with blue and yellow ribbons in her child's hair on the eve of May 9. The inspection hasn't found any offense in the actions of the girl's parents. Now the children's ombudsman of the region is reckoning on an examination against the school principal.
Students of the Transbaikal State University were forced to take a survey on how proud they were of Russia. At the end of the test, students must agree with the statements that "being always ready for war is the best way to ensure peace" and "harsh laws can make people obedient."
Sergey Tsivilyov, Governor of the Kemerovo region, instructed to develop a project to create the KuZbass Center for military-patriotic education. In the center, it is planned to equip training grounds for holding the Russian laser tag championship, the Young Army [pro-Kremlin youth organization] tournament in military-applied sports, and the contest of military-patriotic associations.
Five years ago, parents of children with disabilities from Ryazan asked President Putin to help set up a rehabilitation center. After a resonant video message, the authorities promised to open such a center. However, after the center became operational the regional Ministry of Social Protection invited participants of the "special military operation" and their families there so the parents of children with disabilities have to spend a lot of money to take them to other regions for rehabilitation.
The Almaz-Antey Corporation [Russian state-owned company in the arms industry] plans to produce 2,000 or more Russian drones starting from July. According to the general director of the Obukhov State Plant, which is part of the Corporation, drones will be assembled "according to special documentation to be used" at the "special military operation." Earlier the drones made by the Corporation were reported to look similar to Chinese quadcopters.
A policeman seconded to the "LPR" shared the details of his service in an interview with 59.RU news portal of the Perm region. According to him, his main duties were to check local residents, combat sabotage activities and catch deserters who escaped from the frontline. Checking local residents was carried out on the basis of denunciations or tips from neighbors. After such a tip, a squad of police officers visited a local resident and checked for the presence of symbols prohibited in the Russian Federation. If such symbols were found the residents were detained. The police were not interested in their further fate. It should be noted that the Ukrainian flag did not belong to the prohibited symbols, however, the residents who had it found were put under "special supervision."