President Putin signed into law amendments to the martial law that has previously been declared in the occupied parts of the Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions of Ukraine. According to the changes, now elections can be held on the annexed territories, military personnel are allowed to arrest individuals for up to 30 days if they refuse to comply with their demands, people can also be deported.
State Duma [lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia] members proposed to introduce a fine for employing without military registration documents. Additionally, the authors of the bill suggest stricter penalties for employers not reporting to the military commissariat about hiring citizens who are required to be registered, but are not registered for military service.
Governor of the Belgorod region Vyacheslav Gladkov suggested annexing the Kharkiv region of Ukraine to protect his region from Ukrainian attacks. Meanwhile, Alexei Didenko, member of the State Duma representing Tomsk region and part of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) [right-wing populist and ultranationalist political party], has called for banning Ukrainian language altogether: "This is a fundamental position of our faction. <...> Neither this state, nor this language should exist." This call was met with criticism from his colleague Alexander Volobuev, member of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (KPRF), who pointed out that it falls under Article 282 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation ["Raising hates or hostility, or equally humiliation of human dignity of a person or group of persons on grounds of sex, race, nationality, language, origin, attitude to religion, as well as affiliation to any social group"].
The city budget of Samara will allocate funds to maintain readiness of bomb shelters, protective structures, and reserve control points. Additionally, the funds will support alert systems, creation of material and technical reserves, as well as food and medical supplies.
The Mozhem Ob'yasnit [We can explain] Telegram channel continues to monitor the fate of conscripts from Moscow who were beaten and threatened with torture during raids (we reported on them in one of our previous volunteer summaries). Ivan Dubenko and Yevgeny Komarov were sent to service on the same day, despite their health conditions. According to their relatives and friends, investigators have initiated an inquiry into their claims.
In the Vladimir region, they are seeking "employees of various specialties" for work in occupied regions. Prospective applicants are offered "lump sum" payments amounting to 395,000 rubles [$4800], a monthly salary of up to 400,000 rubles [$5000], as well as opportunities for career advancement and free uniforms. The employment entails signing a contract with Russia's Ministry of Defense.
The administration of Saint Petersburg has approved a plan to place advertisements for military service under contract on billboards, LED screens, in the subway, clinics, train stations and residential buildings. As previously reported, the city has allocated 172.2 million rubles [$2,152,000] for the advertising campaign.
Draftees Dmitry Antropov from the Sverdlovsk region, Vladimir Babiy from the Kaluga region, Vadim Mikhailov from the Orenburg region, Yevgeny Kozulin from Buryatia [Russia’s constituent republic], Maksim Savostin from the Voronezh region, Vladimir Kharinov from Yaroslavl and Yuriy Pervukhin from the Novosibirsk region were killed in Ukraine.
According to State Duma member from the Sverdlovsk region Maksim Ivanov, 14 local residents deployed to Ukraine are missing in action.
Russian draftees who refused to fight are tortured again in an illegal basement prison for refuseniks in the village of Zaitseve. The ASTRA media outlet was contacted by relatives of the mobilized soldiers, who were held in the basement for a week, and then taken away in an unknown direction.
The Ministry of Defense and other authorities responded to women from the so-called LPR and DPR, after they addressed a collective appeal to Putin, pleading to demobilize their male relatives, because they are over the age of 50. The Ministry of Defense indicated that mobilized soldiers over 50 are indeed entitled to a discharge, but personnel orders must be issued by their commanders. In practice, however, commanders are ignoring requests from both the soldiers and their relatives.
Russian mobilized men from the 1307th Regiment, who have been in the combat zone for 3 months, recorded a video address, accusing their commanders of treating them like cannon fodder. Problems began when command of their battalion was given to an officer from the so-called DPR. The new commander exposed the mobilized soldiers to heavy fire and even threatened them with execution for requesting radios.
After relatives of mobilized men complained that their loved ones had been "bought out" by the 60th Veterany [Veterans] Separate Motorized Rifle Battalion at 25,000 rubles [USD 310] per fighter and ordered to storm enemy positions on their own, regular members of that unit recorded a video response. They confirm that the mobilized soldiers have joined the fighting at the frontlines and added that casualties "happen", while communication with them is restricted for "security reasons."
Both mobilized troops and contract soldiers from Buryatia face increasing payment delays. In particular, the commissioner for human rights of the republic reported having received numerous complaints from servicemen related to delayed wages at the end of 2022. Some of them say they have not been paid since September. Moreover, some injured soldiers have been struggling to receive compensation for their injuries. In total, more than one thousand complaints submitted to the commissioner in 2022 addressed war-related issues which amounted to almost 59% of all appeals.
The Omsk Garrison Military Court sentenced a draftee from the Altai region to two years' imprisonment on probation for leaving his military unit without permission. In mid-November 2022, the soldier went AWOL and returned in early December 2022. The defendant pleaded guilty of charge, and the court considered his two young children as a mitigating circumstance.
In Saratov, a contracted soldier was sentenced to two years in a penal colony for going AWOL. The man was arrested on Dec. 22, 2022, and delivered to the Commandant’s Service. The defendant had pleaded guilty but that did not help to get probation.
The VChK-OGPU Telegram channel has noted the continued growth in the number of AWOL cases (Article 337 of the Russian Criminal Code). Thus, four out of the six cases pending hearing in the 235th Garrison Military Court, which is in charge of the Moscow region, are under Article 337.
A prospective draftee from the Krasnodar region, Mark Yeroshenko, refused to give a blood sample in the draft office, explaining that members of the draft board would allegedly use it in satanic rites. As a result, he was cited with an administrative violation of "discreditation" of the army. The court ruling states that Mark Yeroshenko called Russian leadership satanists.
In Yekaterinburg, Yevgeny Teterin, charged with mediation in bribery, was released by court to go to the "special military operation." The request to send the defendant to the combat zone was made by Sverdlovsk region’s commissioner for human rights Tatyana Merzlyakova, as Teterin was her assistant and was supposed to go to the combat zone with a "humanitarian cargo." The man already visited Donbas last year, despite the travel restriction order.
Mayor of Vorkuta, Yaroslav Shaposhnikov, announced on Mar. 28 that he would go to war in Ukraine. Prior to this, a criminal case was opened against him due to an accident at the sewage treatment plant. On Apr. 28, the City Council of Vorkuta decided to keep the positions of the mayor and other officials during their contractual military service, but the prosecutor's office protested against the decision of the City Council.
During a meeting in the government of the Novosibirsk region, Deputy Governor Sergey Syomka suggested allocating a one-day earnings "for the needs of the special military operation." Governor Andrey Travniov supported the proposal and stated that some people may also contribute their monthly salary.
In the Khanty-Mansi autonomous region [Russia’s constituent subject], a seminar was held for psychiatrists, psychotherapists, and medical psychologists on working with combat psychological traumas of "special military operation" participants.
In Irkutsk, volunteers who are collecting aid for Russian military personnel complained that they lack people to knit camouflage nets. The number of knitters has "significantly decreased" with the onset of the summer cottage season, while "orders from the army are coming in large quantities."
In Saint Petersburg’s water park called "Piterland," a special preferential rate was introduced for participants in the war in Ukraine.
At the opening of the final ceremony of the Russian Student Spring festival in Perm, a rally was held in support of those fighting in Ukraine. The participants of the performance stood up to SHAMAN's song "Let's get up" and showed a handshake gesture.
On May 26, in one of the schools in Omsk, during a ceremony dedicated to the opening of a memorial plaque to a fallen participant in the war with Ukraine, seven schoolchildren fainted, four of them were hospitalized. Heatstroke was probably the cause. The Investigative Committee launched an investigation.
In the Samara region, teachers gathered kindergarteners for the Zarnichka military sports game and photographed them near military equipment.
Journalists from a pro-government Chelyabinsk media agency interviewed a mobilized soldier who came on vacation and who considers the Russian Army well-prepared and motivated. He stated that participation in hostilities is a duty that does not require ideology and an understanding of the reasons for it.
Journalists from the Sibir.Realii [part of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty] online media outlet shared the story of Ayrat Ganeyev, a 24-year-old resident of Sakhalin, who supported the war and willingly went to the front upon receiving a draft notice. Once at the front, he wanted to return home but was not allowed to leave, and in May, he found himself in captivity. His relatives learned about that only from a video in a Ukrainian Telegram channel and now hope for an exchange.
Journalists from the Dovod media outlet published an interview with a street sweeper who deeply embraced the ideas of "the special military operation" and voluntarily went to Vuhleadar. Meanwhile, Novaya Gazeta Europe featured a story on their YouTube channel about a conscript Afanasy Podayev, who was killed on the border in the Belgorod region, and his family.
The Lyudi Baikala [People of Baikal] independent media outlet spoke with Tsyrema Tudupova from Buryatia. Her son Amgalan went to fight in Ukraine in January 2022. He decided to serve under contract to earn money. Working as a PE teacher, he earned only 7,000 rubles per month. When Amgalan was sent to Ukraine, the family did not know about it. On March 12, Amgalan was killed in the Kherson region.
Aleksandra Garmazhapova, Head of the Free Buryatia Foundation, gave an interview in which she said that she considers mobilization to be an ethnic cleansing.
The Russia 一 My History multimedia park in the Moscow district of Saint Petersburg has been justifying the invasion and narrating an edited history of Ukraine since the beginning of the war. The park is funded by the state budget and Gazprom [Russian majority state-owned multinational energy corporation]. Journalists of the Bumaga [Paper] independent media outlet visited an exposition about Ukrainian history and studied the park's activities.
The Crew Against Torture human rights non-governmental organization analyzed court statistics and noted that over the past year officials, employees of law enforcement agencies, and those who fought in Ukraine are increasingly being exonerated. At the same time, the share of acquittals is only 0.15%.
A man in military uniform left a WWII German helmet pierced with a bayonet and his tunic with awards on the Glory Monument in Krasnoobsk (Novosibirsk). The police are looking for him 一 it's not clear what he meant by this action.