The Ministry of Labor drafted an order to regulate the premises of the fund, providing support to veterans of the war in Ukraine. Called "Defenders of the Fatherland", the fund is headed by Anna Tsivilyova, wife of the Governor of Kemerovo region and Vladimir Putin’s first cousin once removed. The entrances will have road barriers, metal detectors and armed guards, primarily from Rosgvardia [the National Guard of Russia]. Vehicles will be searched, while rooms will be monitored with CCTV cameras. Each branch is expected to offer a Multifunctional Public Services Center, legal counsel and a kids’ corner.
The Ministry of Defense drafted an order excluding Russia's constituent Republic of Chechnya from the list of regions, where additional guarantees and compensation are offered to military and civilian personnel of the Ministry. Other Russia’s constituent republics in the North Caucasus, such as Kabardino-Balkaria, North Ossetia and Dagestan, remain on the list for now.
The working group on the "special military operation" introduced a bill into the State Duma [lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia] extending priority access to schools, nurseries and health camps to children of volunteer fighters, as well as service members killed in the war in Ukraine.
Member of the State Duma Alexander Khinshtein called for a temporary ban on drone use in Russia: “This is not just about unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), but also concerns unmanned ground, underground, maritime surface and underwater vehicles.”
Governor of the Tyumen region Aleksandr Moor released information that a person signing a contract for military service at local draft centers is now eligible for a sign-up bonus of 100,000 rubles [USD 1300].
Governor of Saint Petersburg Alexander Beglov increased the sign-up bonus to contract servicemen from 300 to 500 thousand rubles [from USD 3850 to USD 6400]. According to the Military Commissar of the Vyborg city district, funds for these payments are set in the city budget. Contract servicemen's salary has been doubled, now an average serviceman receives up to 230-240 thousand rubles [USD 3000].
Novosibirsk Municipal Gymnasium No. 6 posted an advertisement for the contract service on its VKontakte social network page, but the post was later removed.
The Sota media outlet got access to military service commercials, which in the near future will be distributed by state authorities in the Russian media and on various media platforms. The videos are primarily intended to show that the West wants to destroy Russia. Some of these videos have already been published on the official Ministry of Defense Telegram channel.
According to the Fontanka media outlet, on May 4, representatives of the largest enterprises met with district officials in the administration of the Vyborg district of Saint Petersburg. Officials reported that city authorities are recruiting men for military service under contract. According to Fontanka, each company must persuade five people to sign a contract within two weeks. Managers who do not provide assistance are threatened with a "serious conversation."
New names have been added to the list of mobilized men killed in the war: Aleksey Gerasimov from the Perm region, Dmitry Kukushkin from Tatarstan [Russia’s constituent republic] and Andrey Pankratov from the Oryol region.
Relatives of 37-year-old Yevgeny from the Chelyabinsk region, mobilized in October 2022, report that he has never been paid his monthly salary. Over the past few months, the family has reached out to several authorities, but so far to no avail.
The court dismissed injury claims for payments brought by members of Russia’s National Guard. The men appealed to the court after having been denied compensation payments for injuries sustained on Mar. 3, 2022. The court rejected the appeal, ruling that though confirmed by witnesses, “the circumstances, date and time of the injuries were not duly documented.” Furthermore, the court held that the claimants “failed to prove a cause-and-effect relationship” between their participation in the hostilities and the injuries received.
Another official who went to the war returned home. Member of the State Duma [lower house of Russia’s Parliament] from Novosibirsk Dmitry Savelyev from the United Russia party [Putin’s ruling party] left to fight in the war at the end of January, and his return is now making news in pro-government Telegram channels. Meanwhile, there is no evidence in the media suggesting that Vega, the volunteer battalion the official was assigned to, is returning home too. Earlier, vice-speaker of the city council of Novosibirsk Yevgeny Lebedev returned to his hometown after having allegedly served at the front.
Acts of sabotage continue in the Leningrad region. In particular, six regional trains were delayed in Saint Petersburg due to a relay cabinet set on fire on the railroad stretch between Novaya Derevnya and Lakhta. In the already third such case in one month in the village of Bugry in the Leningrad region, an explosive device was found in the street where the 146th Separate Radio Engineering Special Purpose Brigade is stationed. In the Gatchina district of the Leningrad region, bomb squads have defused six additional explosive devices, presumably home-made, found attached to three poles carrying high-voltage electric power lines. The Bumaga [Paper] news outlet refreshed its timeline of explosions, arsons, and acts of sabotage in Saint Petersburg and the Leningrad region.
In Kyzyl, a service member who came back from the “special military operation” in Ukraine, has been found guilty of shooting at a person. He was given a suspended sentence with the court citing his being wounded in the combat zone and his wife being pregnant as alleviating circumstances.
Ansagan Moldakhmetov, a resident of Kazakhstan, has been sentenced to 13 years in a penal colony for an attempt to set a draft office on fire in Omsk, as reported by the regional FSB [Federal Security Service] office. According to the agency, the man responded to an ad in an anonymous Telegram channel and agreed to set fire to a draft office for 6 million tenge [USD 12,800]. He and an acquaintance went to Omsk where they filled bottles with a combustible mixture and threw them at the draft office building. The court found Moldakhmetov guilty in an act of terror committed by a group of persons.
A resident of the town of Vyborg has been sentenced to 11 years in a penal colony for an attempt to set a draft office on fire. According to the FSB [Federal Security Service] version, the man entered a conspiracy with a citizen of Ukraine. The defendant was found guilty of assisting in a terrorism activity. The sentence was announced on Feb. 16 and went into effect on Apr. 5.
A man in Saint Petersburg has been sentenced to 7 years in a penal colony for evading military service. The serviceman has been trying to resign from the army for a year by intentionally violating discipline, but the command did not discharge him. Thinking that he would be discharged for repeated violations, he continued leaving his unit, but because of mobilization, his evasion of military service turned into a criminal case. The press service of the courts in Saint Petersburg clarifies that over the past month, 16 men have been sentenced for going AWOL with actual sentences ranging from 1 year to 6 years in prison.
In Valday, Novgorod Region, on May 2, the building of the military commissariat caught fire. According to the investigation, the fire was caused by a short circuit. A criminal case has been opened for negligence, with the perpetrators facing up to three months in prison.
Vladislav Kraval from the Komi Republic [Russia’s constituent republic] is charged under articles on false reporting of a terrorist attack and vandalism. The case against him was opened because, on Sept. 25, 2022, the man allegedly called a military commissariat [enlistment office] and reported on impending arson in Ukhta, Vuktyl, and Sosnogorsk [towns of the republic]. Shortly before doing that, Kraval saw the name of his eldest son in the list of those mobilized. Before that incident, according to investigators, the man damaged a banner with the letter Z at the local community center, for which he was fined 26,500 rubles [USD 340].
The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation approved a three-day arrest imposed on a resident of the city of Vladimir, Kristina Mitrokhina, for organizing a rally against mobilization. The court rejected Mitrokhina's cassation appeal.
Mobilized men and other “special military operation participants have the right to apply for a credit holiday until the end of the year, according to the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, meaning from any date starting Sept. 21, 2022, but not earlier than the date of the start of mobilization or the start of participation in the "special military operation."
The Mozhem Ob'yasnit [We can explain] Telegram channel found out that all the assistance the ruling United Russia party provided to veterans, war participants, and refugees is at someone else's expense. The party's total income in 2022 amounted to 8.4 billion rubles, of which 4.3 billion was state funding. The main expenditure items of the party (a total of 2.7 billion rubles) were propaganda and the expenses of the leadership. At the same time, gifts to 17 thousand veterans for Victory Day, humanitarian aid to refugees from Ukraine and residents of the occupied territories, as well as the "icons" with Putin for the mobilized soldiers, the party "handed over" under its logo. The сhannel came to such conclusions based on the analysis of the quarterly reports of the party for 2022.
The Vyorstka media outlet talked to employees of Russian defense factories, whose enterprises, according to the plan of the authorities, were supposed to drastically increase shifts to produce more weapons. Practically, there is not enough personnel for a rapid increase in factory shifts, recruiting sites are full of vacancies in the military-industrial complex, and the promised increase in employees’ salary was received almost nowhere.
Vitaly Khotsenko, Acting Governor of the Omsk region, who previously held the post of the head of the government of the so-called DPR, stated that 45 million rubles will be directed to support participants of the war in Ukraine from the Omsk region.
Children of the killed mobilized soldier from Novosibirsk were granted survivor's pensions only after a publication on a Novosibirsk news website. Widow Ekaterina Dudina struggled to receive her payments, and only appealing to the media helped her.
Children in Russian schools continue being introduced to the war. A veteran of the war in Ukraine visited the third-graders of a school in the Lugovoye village, Tyumen region. Moreover, the man was wearing a chevron with a picture of Stalin and the inscription “There was no such bullshit in my time” on his sleeve and a cap with the inscription “Tell the others — we are fuckin’ good!” “Schoolchildren saw that real heroes live nearby,” they wrote on the school’s website, but the post was later removed. An exhibition of weapons was held in Kislovodsk school No 17. The post about the event has the tag "Movement of the First" — a new youth organization that is being called "Putin's pioneers." Meanwhile, on May 3, a Firearms Training lesson was held for students of 9–10 grades in the Sosnovy Solonets village, Samara region, where children were taught to handle weapons.
A man in a colonel uniform came to a kindergarten in Kazan. He told the children that "it's not scary to die" and said that if the children did not listen to the teachers, they would work in favor of the "enemies." Meanwhile, students of a Moscow elementary school were forced to draw the letter Z and the United Russia party logos for May 9.
In Russia’s Far East, an "ABC of Important Things" for "patriotic" education of children was presented. The letters of the alphabet are described in a military context. This was initiated by Deputy Prime Minister of Russia and Presidential Envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District Yury Trutnev.
In Suzdal, Vladimir region, all mass events in honor of Victory Day have been canceled. The decision is related to ensuring the safety of participants, the administration reports. It is unknown if the events in other towns of the region will be canceled. In total, according to Vyorstka, the Russian authorities canceled May 9 parades in at least 21 cities.
According to SOTA, senior flight attendants of Aeroflot [leading company in Russian commercial aviation and the national carrier] were required to voice congratulations on Victory Day and especially thank the participants in the war with Ukraine on all flights from May 3 to May 9. Flight attendants will have to read out congratulations after the climb to cruise altitude.
On May 4, an unscheduled “Talking About Important Things” lesson dedicated to Victory Day was held in Russian schools. The students were shown a video with an alleged WWII veteran Ivan Lytkin, in which he justified the need for an invasion of Ukraine. Lytkin is known to have repeatedly supported Putin, and his biography is at least partially falsified.
The Doxa online student magazine made a special project reporting how the system of presidential grants openly prompts society to support the war through dedicated competitions.
In the Belgorod chat rooms, vacancies of workers for digging trenches appeared again. They are pledged 2,000 rubles a day, the work is being carried out in the village of Konovalovo, Volokonovsky district, 5 km away from the Russian-Ukrainian border. At the same time, Governor of the region Vyacheslav Gladkov reported back in March that the construction of a "barrier line" at a cost of 10 billion rubles was completed.
The Zhitel MLS Telegram channel which specializes in the Federal Penitentiary Service reports citing sources in the penal colonies of the Saratov region that restoration of the annexed Donetsk and Luhansk regions is entrusted to convicts.