mobilization briefs
November 24, 2022

Mobilization in Russia for November 22-23, volunteer summary

Vladimir Putin knows about everything that happens to mobilized soldiers from "non-public channels", the president’s spokesman claims. Previously, a lot of stories appeared in the media and social networks about conditions of draftees, their level of training and relations with [full-time] soldiers. Meduza, an independent news website, listed but a few of them.

Following the delegates from the Republic of Karelia, three members of the Moscow City Duma [the regional parliament of Moscow] — Mikhail Timonov, Evgeny Stupin, and Maxim Kruglov — addressed to Vladimir Putin with a request to issue a decree on the completion of mobilization.

The "Council of Mothers and Wives" claimed there was surveillance of the members of the movement. On November 21, female relatives of Russian draftees and soldiers announced a round table to discuss the problems of conscripts. Olga Tsukanova said that on the eve of the event, unknown people began to surveille the women.

Sources of Verstka media outlet in the Russian government rule out the possibility of a nation-wide mobilization in Russia due to lack of resources, but expect a second wave of “partial” mobilization in the winter. Now a “band aid” approach is being used in production and preparation of essentials for soldiers, as well as weapons and equipment. At the same time, the information system in draft offices is being modernized. The expectation is that by the next wave of mobilization, which may start early next year, draft offices will be much more prepared, and will have accurate lists of those subject to the draft. Just as quickly, new training centers for mobilized soldiers are being set up in the regions and new military instructors and military education specialists are being trained, the source added.

The mobilization has "ended", but draft notices are still being delivered. A Moscow resident was recently invited to the Solntsevsky draft office on November 23, allegedly "to clarify military registration documents." Nobody opened the door, so a draft notice was simply pasted in a stairwell. A mobilized resident of Mordovia was handed a draft notice for January 23, 2023 after an asthma attack in a draft office.

In the Vladimir region, a conflict broke out between volunteers and officials. The reason was photos of Alexander Avdeev, the Governor of the region, taken for his own report, with humanitarian supplies which were collected by volunteers. After that, an administrator of zanashikh_33_region chat made a complaint to the official Sergei Poluzin. The official ended the discussion with accusations of sowing discord.

The Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area – Yugra will help provide fighters with clothing and necessary equipment. It was announced by the head of the district, Natalia Komarova.

News about the training of the mobilized continues to come from the Ministry of Defense. Russian servicemen continue an intensive combat training course at the training ranges of the Belarusian Armed Forces. Among other things, they are mastering the algorithms of artillery fire. Exercises at the Belarusian firing ranges take place on a daily basis. Meanwhile, the monitoring group Belaruski Hayun published its analysis of Russian military activity at the country's training ranges. In the Russian rear areas, the training of personnel of the fuel and lubrication service units continues. Photos from the training are also published by mobilized men themselves. In Yaroslavl, mobilized soldiers are being sent to their duty locations for the second day. In the Samara region, units of mobilized servicemen are being ceremonially escorted. The mobilized, who were retrained at a military field camp in Omsk, were sent to the war zone accompanied by a performance of an army song band "Bachi."

In Fedoseevka, Belgorod region, a training ground was located almost in the center of the village. As a result, one child has already been injured: a 7-year-old boy was hit by a training bullet when he was returning from school. The child has a bruised hand.

The Verstka media outlet spoke with relatives of mobilized soldiers who refused to fight at the frontline and have been held in basements in the Luhansk region for weeks. A wife of one of the servicemen who is being held in Zaitseve claims that 100 people were taken out of the basement on November 21 with assault rifles pointed at their heads.

Relatives of mobilized servicemen from Serpukhov, Moscow region, said that their men were left without command in the combat zone. The servicemen themselves told their story in a video message, which they gave to their relatives in the hope of publicity. According to the mobilized soldiers, the command misled them and sent them to the combat zone without training or gear. The men were under heavy fire "from all types of weapons." The servicemen claim that their company commander is missing and they have no contact with the command. According to the mobilized soldiers, they are now deciding whether to remain in the "special operation" zone to guard facilities and escort convoys of vehicles or to "move back to Russia and resolve everything at the highest level" with the entire battalion. People start questioning why they were drafted and abandoned since this is becoming a mass phenomenon. The mobilized men have also recorded an additional video rejecting accusations of desertion. They stated that they were ready to serve but not to fight. In addition, they showed the conditions in which they lived.

A mobilized man from the Zabaykalsky region reported that mobilized people were offered "to hire a truck to transport their belongings." The man is in a training center in Peschanka near Chita, and will be sent to the combat zone in 10 days. He said that the mobilized will go by civilian boards, and their stuff has to be transported at their own expense.  The Eastern Military District press service called this information unreliable.

The spouse of a draftee from the Sverdlovsk region published an appeal by her husband and his fellow soldiers to the Sverdlovsk authorities, the Ministry of Defense, and the President. The mobilized soldiers of the military unit 56602 are located in a summer camp near Tyumen. Their command forged papers showing the date of their enlistment, and the men still have not received the promised payments. Authorities of their region of residence do not provide them with any aid. Locals assist them with purchasing necessary gear.

Nadezhda Volkova from the town of Asino, Tomsk region, is trying to get her husband, a father of three, back from the war. At the time when her spouse was mobilized, an exemption from military service was granted only for fathers of four or more children under the age of 16.

Mobilized soldiers continue to be killed, according to reports. On November 16, Private Ruslan Saidov from Kamchatka was killed. It was also announced that Ruslan Hisamutdinov, 37, resident of Meleuz, Bashkortostan, was killed. A mechanic at Gazprom, Junior Sergeant Gennady Rodionov, born in 1989 from the town of Lyskovo, Nizhny Novgorod region, was mobilized in September, wounded near Kreminna and died in a Luhansk hospital on November 9.

On November 15, Lev Yamashkin, a 42-year-old draftee from the Irkutsk region, left a military base for the city to take personal belongings and never returned. His phone number is unavailable. Now the police are searching for him. A mobilized serviceman from the Altai region was scammed while he was at a training center in Omsk. He owes a bank more than 1 million rubles and has lost all personal savings.

Men seeking employment stopped answering recruiters' calls because they came from unknown numbers. HeadHunter, a Russian portal providing online recruitment services, notes that, according to experts, at least 300,000 prospective employees have left the country. Since the beginning of mobilization, about 66,000 CVs by Russian citizens have appeared in the CIS and other neighboring countries.

In Novy Urengoy, cadet students organized a festival "National Farmsteads", which collected 59,000 rubles [USD 970] for soldiers to purchase medical kits. Women from Kostroma knit socks, vests and gloves for mobilized soldiers. A resident of the village of Kusimovo, Bashkortostan, produces bulletproof vests for mobilized men from her village. In Chechnya, vocational schools' students have joined an initiative to sew winter clothes for military personnel. They have already made 150 balaclavas and 50 insulated gloves. Schoolchildren from Moscow participate in a competition in which the children were asked to make a gift or write a letter to an unknown draftee. Previously, children had typically written letters to Grandfather Frost.

In Omsk, a mobilized soldier stole a cat from a store. Employees and locals are worried because the cat was everyone's favorite.

iStories, an independent Russian investigative media outlet published the second part of the Golden Company project, in which journalists interview children of pro-war politicians to find out which of them are ready to go to the front.