In the second reading, the State Duma [lower house of Russia's Federal Assembly] approved the bill on amendments to the law "About procedure for departure from the Russian Federation and entry into the Russian Federation." Lawyer Kaloy Akhilgov analyzed the changes to the legislation. The document lists the grounds for a travel passport to be considered invalid and subject to withdrawal. Also, in case of a temporary restriction imposed on the right to leave the Russian Federation, a citizen will receive an appropriate notification within three working days. When a citizen is conscripted for military or alternative civilian service, his passport will be transferred for storage to the Ministry of Internal Affairs' migration department until the travel restriction period expires.
The Voyennye Advokaty [Military Lawyers] project also published its analysis of the new amendments. According to law experts, we can not rule out that travel passports can be withdrawn immediately after the meeting of a draft commission. At the same time, the bill does not mention Article 15.1 of the law, which prohibits citizens who have received a draft notice issued by the military commissariat [enlistment office] from leaving Russia starting from the day a draft notice is considered served. Thus, conscripts who have received draft notices will not be required to turn in their passports until the draft commission finalizes their decision regarding them. The third reading of the bill is scheduled for May 23. If adopted, the amendments will enter into force 180 days after their official publication and most likely will not affect the 2023 fall regular conscription campaign.
Governor of the Tambov region Maksim Yegorov has prohibited heads of region and urban districts from leaving the region without prior approval. They will have to request permission from the governor at least three days before the intended departure date.
A resident of Moscow has filed a complaint with the prosecutor's office against police officers and the military commissariat [enlistment office]. According to the woman, her 23-year-old son Vlad was detained on the street and forcibly taken to the military commissariat. From there, he contacted his family and told them that he had been forced to undergo a medical examination at the military commissariat and had been immediately taken to a collection point. Vlad reported that they were demanding him to sign documents for military service and threatening to physically harm him in case of refusal. According to a draft officer, Vlad voluntarily appeared at the military commissariat. At the moment, the conscript can’t be contacted, and his family does not know his whereabouts.
Mayor of the town of Kotovsk Aleksey Plakhotnikov appealed to the local residents encouraging them to sign up for a contract with the Russian Army. In his video, the mayor announced that the targeted number of conscripts to be enlisted in the town had been reached, and invited men to contact the local draft office for any information regarding contract-based service. Remarkably, Plakhotnikov is currently considered a person of interest in a case of criminal negligence which resulted in severe damage amounting to 100 million rubles.
In the Amur region, contract troops are being recruited through an online announcement board, with job ads seeking for unskilled laborers being in fact thinly veiled vacancies for contract soldiers. Candidates are offered a salary of up to 250,000 rubles [$3,125] per month, as well as a sign-up bonus of 195,000–200,000 rubles [$2438–$2500]. Earlier, similar ads claiming to be looking for security guards were noticed on Russian employment websites.
Public school No. 23 of Saint Petersburg posted an announcement on its website inviting men to join contract-based military service with the Russian Armed Forces. Potential candidates are offered a sign-up bonus of 695,000 rubles [$8,688].
Head of Bashkortostan [Russia’s constituent republic] Radiy Khabirov stated that a yet another volunteer unit, an artillery battalion, had set off towards the frontline from Ufa, republic’s capital city. The battalion will be included into the Bashkir regiment "Bashkortostan" and will be named after Mugin Nagiyev [WWII veteran from the republic].
According to Governor of the Yaroslavl region Mikhail Yevrayev, 80 residents of the Bolsheselsky district of the region, mobilized and contract soldiers included, left to join the war against Ukraine. The total population of the district only amounts to 9,415.
The names of Nikolay Kozlov from the Krasnoyarsk region, Yevgeny Bukreyev from the Stavropol region, Danil Skorik from Novosibirsk, Aleksandr Reshetnikov and Yevgeny Malakhov from the Orenburg region were added to the list of draftees killed in the war.
The relatives of draftees from Russia's constituent Republic of Khakassia, the Altai and the Kemerovo regions recorded a video. According to them, the men, after the completion of a formalized training, including under the leadership of the Wagner Group, were "bought out" by the 60th Veterany [Veterans] Separate Motorized Rifle Battalion at 25,000 rubles [USD 310] per fighter. They were assigned to the military unit 41794 and ordered to storm Ukrainian positions in the Bakhmut direction. So far, only 130 out of 501 people have returned, and it is not known what happened to the rest. According to survivors, commanders want them to take part in the assault again.
After escaping from criminal prosecution, the mayor of Bolshoy Kamen in Russia's Far East received a position of a clerk in the headquarters in the "special military operation" zone. This was reported by the Newsbox24.tv media outlet citing a resident of the Primorsky region fighting in Ukraine. The serviceman was wounded and reported to headquarters for help, where he met the former mayor. Former vice-governor of the Vladimir region Dmitry Khvostov was also found in the "special military operation" zone. This is evidenced by a photo found by the Chesnok media outlet. Earlier he was sentenced to 12 years in a maximum security penal colony for bribery. Khvostov filed a petition concerning the sentence's execution in April 2022, which was satisfied. Such petitions may relate to early release. Similarly, Nikita Usachyov, a member of the Ryazan regional assembly, accused of large-scale fraud, dodged his sentence. He announced that he was leaving to fight in Ukraine two days before the trial, on May 9, 2023.
In Mari El [Russia’s constituent republic], authorities refuse to relieve Aleksey Mitrofanov from military duty. He is a father of eight children whose youngest child is 6 weeks old and whose eldest son is disabled. Mitrofanov’s main problem is that he registered his marriage and established paternity of his children after he had already been drafted. In addition, the draft office claims that Mitrofanov joined the military voluntarily.
Former military service member Oleg Borisenko who had led the Tambov military and patriotic club for over 20 years recorded a video message addressed to his former cadets explaining why they should not participate in the war in Ukraine. Earlier, the man had been fined 30,000 rubles [$375] for "discreditation of the army." He is currently facing new charges under the same Russian Criminal Code article.
Three under-age youths have been detained for alleged sabotage. They are suspected in setting fire to three railroad relay cabinets near the Derbyshki station in an industrial district of the city of Kazan during the night of May 18.
A volunteer soldier from "DPR" on leave from the front has been detained in the Moscow region for selling a large batch of drugs. His mother is begging for him to be released and sent back to the war as part of the Wagner Group while the detainee himself claims that he was framed.
The Federal Security Service (FSB) initiated a criminal case for treason against two residents of the Perm region. Earlier, they were convicted in absentia for setting fire to the Perm main office of the United Russia party [Putin’s ruling party] and drawing slogans on the regional prosecutor's office building. According to the investigators, they went to fight on the Ukrainian side in 2022.
The Makhachkala city court stopped the persecution of a Dagestani in the case of a rally against mobilization. The court found no corpus delicti in the actions of Gadzhi Rabadanov. The police accused him of participating in an unsanctioned rally against mobilization — allegedly, the man blocked a road in Makhachkala with other protesters.
In the Omsk region, FSB border service officers detained Yasin Mukhmad-Emiyevich Khalidov, a resident of Chechnya who was trying to leave the country and cross the border with Kazakhstan. According to Novaya Gazeta [an independent Russian newspaper], the 19-year-old man previously served in the Chechen police and Rosgvardia [the National Guard of Russia] and was also sent to war with Ukraine but repeatedly tried to quit the service.
The Novocherkassk Garrison Military Court sentenced a mobilized man from the Smolensk region to two years in a penal colony for going AWOL. The court also reduced him to the ranks. In December 2022, the man left his military unit in the "special military operation" zone without official leave. Yet, he claims that he went to the hospital for treatment and was going to return.
The Sevastopol Garrison Military Court sentenced a contract soldier to five and a half years in a maximum security penal colony for desertion. The military man left the point of temporary deployment in the occupied part of the Kherson region, taking the Kalashnikov assault rifle with him, and was detained at a checkpoint in Armiansk while trying to get into Crimea.
Lyudmila Romanova, the Vladimir region commissioner for human rights, has received more than 700 complaints from mobilized residents of the region. She reported this during a meeting with students of Vladimir State University. Recall, earlier, information about the total number of mobilized residents of the Vladimir region — 5500 people — have emerged accidentally on the Internet. If these data are accurate, then about every eighth mobilized person complained to the commissioner for human rights.
Police questioned seven protest participants and the management of the Ulyanovsk Automobile Plant after a strike held on May 17. Workers stopped the main conveyor belt an hour before the end of the shift. The reason for the strike was low wages — over the past month, employees received 20,000 rubles [$250] each. The plant administration denies the strike. The police may have intervened partly due to the fact that the company fulfilled state defense orders.
Deputy Prime Minister of the Government of the Republic of Bashkortostan Irek Sagitov reported on the delivery of another cargo to Donbas for military personnel from Bashkortostan: 22 off-road vehicles, Ural armored trucks, KamAZ trucks, lumber, and a great amount of high-tech equipment. According to Neft [pro-Kremlin online outlet], volunteers from Khanty-Mansi autonomous region brought food and warm clothes to the residents of the occupied town of Kreminna, Luhansk region.
Courses for future frontline nurses have been opened at a medical college in Barnaul. The courses, among others, are attended by the wives of the mobilized soldiers, who intend to go to the front after their husbands.
Mikhail Razvozzhayev, the Russia-appointed Head of Sevastopol, claimed that the Russian authorities of the city would start distributing land parcels to participants in the war with Ukraine in mid-summer. According to Razvozzhayev, about 300 plots are planned to be allocated.
A "discussion" involving education specialists was held at the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation on May 18. The discussion focused on enhancing the patriotic element in children’s recreational activities. According to one of the officials, a new requirement for summer camp educational programs, which has been made compulsory this year, includes a national flag-raising ceremony.
For the workers of the Machine-Building Plant named after M.I. Kalinin (engaged in the production of air defense systems launchers and anti-aircraft guided missiles), night public transport routes were arranged. Probably, it was made because Russia had introduced a 24-hour working schedule for defense enterprises.
The authorities of the so-called DPR are complaining about the difficulties in the work of communal services, including those for catching stray animals, due to the mobilization of men for the war.
Employees of the forestry of the Nerchinsk district of the Zabaykalsky region will make pine tree plantations in the shape of the letters Z and V as the sign of support for the "special military operation." The forest planting event is held as part of the regional action "Za les" [SaVe the forest] on behalf of Head of the region Aleksandr Osipov.
Meduza [international Russian-language online media outlet] published an interview with Viktor Bogomolov, psychotherapist and author of a book on male psychology. The conversation discusses the value of one's own life and motivation to participate in war.