mobilization briefs
June 2

Mobilization in Russia for May 31-June 1, 2023 CIT Volunteer Summary 

Authorities and Legislation 

The State Duma [lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia] has passed in the second reading a bill on free legal assistance to war veterans. It extends free legal assistance to all participants in the war with Ukraine, including military personnel, volunteer fighters, members of "volunteer units," mobilized soldiers, and those who had participated in the war since 2014 as part of the "LPR" and "DPR" units, as well as to their family members.

State Duma member from the Zabaykalsky region Andrey Gurulyov called for extending the length of compulsory military service in the army to two years. According to Gurulyov, it is impossible to adequately train a soldier within just one year. Additionally, he proposed the reinstatement of border troops within the Russian Army. He believes there is a significant number of retirees who would voluntarily join the ranks. Furthermore, Gurulyov supported the idea of reintroducing the Soviet Union law that punished the unemployed. In his opinion, this would be a necessary step since the only way to achieve victory in the war with Ukraine would be to impose strict discipline in Russian society.

The Plenum of the Supreme Court provided clarification on the punishment for attacks on the family members of military and law enforcement officers. According to the current Criminal Code, the punishment for attacking representatives of law enforcement agencies and their close relatives carries the same punishment, going up to a life sentence. According to the Plenum's decision, the term “close relatives of military and law enforcement officers” is to include their immediate family members, their other family relations, relatives of their spouses, "as well as individuals whose lives, health, and well-being are known to the responsible party to be of significant importance due to established personal relationships."

The government of Saint Petersburg, in its budget execution report, has refused to disclose the expenditures from the reserve fund amounting to 50 billion rubles (over $600 million). It was previously revealed that a portion of the fund is being used for the war in Ukraine.

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

Governor of the Oryol region Andrey Klychkov has approved the procedure for providing additional payments to residents of the region who have found individuals willing to serve in the Russian Army under a contract. A payment of 5,000 rubles [$62] is provided for assistance in signing each contract. Municipal employees, volunteers, and members of public organizations are eligible for the payment. The Mobilizatsiya [Mobilization] Telegram channel has also drawn attention to a job vacancy for a recruiter to enlist soldiers for contractual service on the online recruitment platform hh.ru. A company from Khabarovsk promises a payment of 15,000 rubles [$185] for each successfully recruited candidate.

Head of Bashkortostan [Russia’s constituent republic] Radiy Khabirov reported on the deployment of the next volunteer units to participate in combat training exercises: an artillery battery, a medical company, and a command team that will oversee the Bashkortostan volunteer unit.

As reported by Dovod [independent Russian media outlet], the dispatch of contract soldiers to the war zone has intensified in the Vladimir region. Over the past 10 days, at least 100 contract soldiers have been sent to Ukraine, which is the same number as the entire previous month. Judging by the photos published by the authorities, it appears that contracts are primarily being signed by middle-aged residents of Vladimir, rather than young people.

Mobilized Soldiers and Volunteer Fighters

The lists of killed mobilized soldiers were supplemented by Konstantin Sokolov from the Altai region.

The city council of Krasnoyarsk has announced the number of burial plots prepared for participants of the "special military operation". Thus, 298 plots have already been prepared in the Shinnoye and Badalyk cemeteries located near the similarly-named settlements. In addition, the city administration has allocated approximately 760 plots in new cemetery areas. The mayor's office clarified that not only war participants but also members of law enforcement agencies will be buried in the new sections.

A mobilized individual from Podolsk city was returned from the zone of the "special military operation" and sent home. In February 2023, he was diagnosed with HIV in a hospital in Simferopol. To remind, earlier the Ministry of Defense had prepared new guidelines stating that military personnel with HIV, tuberculosis, hepatitis, and mental disorders are not eligible for deployment to the zone of the “special military operation”. However, the command did not want to let the man retire. It was only thanks to the complaints from his family and the public exposure in the media that he was eventually allowed to return home at the end of May. The Holod [independent Russian media outlet] told his story.

According to Sirena Telegram channel, mobilized soldiers from the 1443rd Regiment, currently stationed in the "LPR", are being coerced into signing contracts for military service. The majority of them refuse, resulting in commanders threatening to imprison them, send them on assault missions, or deploy them to minefields. Additionally, they prohibit mobilized individuals from taking their allotted leave and promise it only to those who agree to sign the contract.

The Idel.Realii online media outlet [part of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty] published the story of 26-year-old Konstantin from Kazan [Tatarstan, constituent republic of the Russian Federation], whose family always considered military service a prestigious occupation. Relatives often teased Konstantin for not serving in the army. As a result, in the summer of 2022, he went to Ukraine as a volunteer fighter and now hates war.

Conscripts came under fire in the Belgorod region. A munition hit the car that was transporting soldiers to the bathhouse. There were 10 people in the vehicle at that time. Presumably, four of them were killed, the rest were wounded. There is no official confirmation of the death of conscripts from the authorities and the Ministry of Defense.

Residents of the Belgorod region demand that the governor withdraw conscripts from the border of Russia and Ukraine.

Sentences, Legal Proceedings, and Incidents

The Chita Garrison Military Court [Zabaykalsky region] fined a conscript soldier 30,000 rubles [$375] for hazing. According to the court, the soldier, dissatisfied with his colleague violating the queuing protocol at the canteen, punched him in the eye with his fist, causing him to fall on asphalt before delivering a kick to his head.

The Chita Garrison Military Court fined an officer 150,000 rubles [$1875] and banned him from holding certain positions for one year, according to charges against abuse of power with violence, for beating a subordinate who was late for a roll-call.

The court sentenced a contract soldier to 14 years in prison on charges of abuse of authority with the use of weapons and causing serious consequences, murder, and attempted murder of two or more persons. In April 2022, under the command of Warrant Officer Alexander Zh., the military personnel were sent to the forest to clear the area. During the trip to the work site, he drank 1 liter of vodka and fell asleep. After some time, the warrant officer woke up and began threatening to kill his comrades or commit suicide, after which he fired a shot into the ground. The military personnel started to scatter, and the warrant officer started shooting at them. One bullet wounded Private Ilya K., and the other bullet injured Corporal Nikita F., who died on the spot from the injuries. During the investigation, the warrant officer stated that he harbored hostility towards the military personnel because of their refusal to participate in combat actions. The court sentenced him to 14 years of imprisonment and ordered the Ministry of Defense to pay 700,000 rubles as compensation for moral damages to the surviving victim.

The Vyorstka media outlet counted the victims among the civilian population of Russia since the beginning of the war in Ukraine. In total, 73 civilians died as a result of the military actions, with 41 people directly killed due to shelling in the border regions. The highest number of victims (38 people) was in the Belgorod region. The incidents that led to the death of civilians occurred in 26 settlements, most of which were small villages and towns on the border with Ukraine.

According to the VChK-OGPU Telegram channel, after the drone attack on Moscow, law enforcement officers will search cars for UAVs at police posts starting Jun. 1. Such reinforcements were spotted in the northern Moscow region. Starting Jun. 2, officers will be posted in the southern districts. Special attention will be paid to cars with foreign license plates or any UAV in the cabin or trunk. VChK-OGPU has also noted that reports of suspicious aircraft in the sky have increased many-fold after the drone attacks on Moscow and the Moscow region.

Assistance

Several messages have been posted on the social pages of the "Belgorod Volunteer Coordination Group" stating that volunteers set up manufacture of ammunition for the Russian Army — explosives-carrying carts and drone-drop munition tails.

Member of the State Duma Maksim Ivanov has reported procurement of men’s pajamas for temporary hospitals, as required when transferring WIAs from the frontline to hospitals.

Residents of Intsiss village, Omsk region, complain about low wages, the ramshackle community club and the medical post facing shutdown but, at the same time, keep on weaving camouflage netting for the front at their own expense.

Timurites [participants of the Soviet altruistic youth movement] of the Khmelyovka middle school, Orenburg region, took part in the Svoikh ne Brosayem [We don't abandon our own] campaign. They donated potatoes and homemade preserves to the military. Meanwhile, the ZVyozdny Desant [Star Troopers] music band has brought medicines, dressings, generators, and quadcopters to Donbas.

Volunteers from the Dyhaniye [Breath] charitable foundation and entrepreneurs from Volgograd have embarked on a mission to deliver aid packages to military personnel in the conflict zone. Meanwhile, children from Moscow School No. 902 have sent assistance to Serbian citizens fighting on the side of Russia.

Children

Vazhnyye Istorii [iStories, independent Russian investigative media outlet] has uncovered orders from Russian state schools in various regions for "educational" unmanned drones for students on the portal for government procurement contracts. These same schools have previously been associated with an overall militarization of the educational process. Each school will spend between 1 to 11.4 million rubles [$12,500–$142,500] on the purchase of equipment.

On the occasion of Children's Defense Day, the Dozhd independent television channel  has prepared a report on the indoctrination of children in schools and kindergartens during the "special military operation." Additionally, the SOTA media outlet has prepared a report on how children are being instilled with the belief that serving in the army is the best job in the world, and that the most beautiful thing in life is to die for the Motherland.

The director of the Perm school that specializes in German language education, whose administration refused to conduct lessons on "Talking about Important Things", has decided to resign. In a sign of protest, teachers are also resigning. Students, parents, and graduates have displayed posters in support of the director.

Starting from the new academic year, Ukrainian language classes will be discontinued in all schools in the "DPR". According to Denis Pushilin [Head of the "DPR"], this decision is based on the fact that no school in the region has chosen Ukrainian language as an elective course.

Miscellaneous

In some residential buildings in Moscow, basement areas are being converted into bomb shelters. Instructions for evacuation and gathering "emergency kits" are also displayed there. Besides, a contract for designing a bomb shelter for the Central Clinical Hospital, where high-ranking officials receive treatment, has appeared on the Public Procurement website. The facility will accommodate 800 people, providing shock wave and radiation protection.

After the drone attack on the city, Moscow residents began buying up anti-drone rifles. There has been a surge in sales of anti-drone equipment since May 30, with the demand for rifles sharply increasing severalfold.

Economic commentator Boris Grozovsky assessed the growth of Russia's military expenditures. Following the start of the war, the Ministry of Finance stopped publishing monthly reports on the use of federal budget resources. Meanwhile, the proportion of classified expenses is increasing: in 2021, they accounted for 15%, and now it is already 22%. Despite that, it is still possible to estimate military expenditures. The assessment was conducted using three methods, with the most reliable one indicating that military expenditures in 2022 amounted to approximately 7.3 trillion rubles [$91.25 bln] with an increase of about 2.5 trillion rubles [ compared to 2021 [$31.25 bln]. It is important to note that these figures represent only the expenses of the federal budget. Meanwhile, the war is being paid for by everyone: regions, businesses, and the population.