mobilization briefs
November 27, 2023

Mobilization in Russia for Nov. 24-26, 2023 CIT Volunteer Summary

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

Reports of conscript roundups continue to come in. On Nov. 25, police officers forcibly took Vladimir Lukin to the Danilovsky draft office in Moscow. Born in 2002, Lukin had been diagnosed with hypertension and bipolar disorder, conditions which would be grounds for a draft exemption. Nevertheless, police officers detained the young man when he was leaving his home on Saturday morning, supposedly to charge him with a misdemeanor based on the military commissar determination. In reality, the authorities were attempting to conscript Lukin in a single day, insisting that he appear in front of a medical evaluation board, so that they could send him to a military collection point afterwards.

The Ostankino draft office in Moscow conscripted Andrey S., a 25-year-old master’s student suffering from bronchial asthma, a chronic condition. He was served a draft notice nonetheless. Andrey went to the draft office to present a certificate from his university, confirming his right to a draft deferral. Nevertheless, officials ordered him to undergo a medical examination and served him a new draft notice, summoning him back the next day, ostensibly for a data check-up. Instead, the draft board deemed him fit for duty, and Andrey was forcibly taken to the military collection point on Ugreshskaya Street, where contact with him was lost. His family appealed to the prosecutor’s office, the courts and lawmakers to overturn the decision to draft a master’s student.

In another case of forced conscription in Moscow, two police officers, along with two unidentified officials in civilian clothes, detained Danil Krushinskiy at his workplace. According to relatives, they forcibly took the young man to a police station and ordered him to turn off his phone. Early the next morning, officials transferred Krushinskiy to a military collection point where preparations for sending him to the army began. His relatives indicate that the youth had been diagnosed with several conditions, which the draft office ignored.

The parents of Andrey Lebedev, a Moscow State University student who was conscripted into the military directly from his classes, have shared details of the incident with the 74.RU online media outlet. The young man is already in a military unit, having been deemed fit for service. According to his father, he has been assigned to the troops of the Ministry of Emergency Situations. The family will appeal the decision.

Authorities and Relatives of Mobilized Soldiers

Women from Krasnoyarsk, who had planned to participate in the rally of the relatives of mobilized soldiers, were invited to a meeting with the head of the regional branch of the Committee of Families of Homeland Defenders, Marina Filippova. In the end, only one participant attended the meeting, as the other women could not come for various reasons. The woman, who was present at the meeting, expressed the demands of the wives of mobilized soldiers regarding the period of service and leaves. In response, Filippova talked about solving the problem of finding men missing in action.

A week ago, on Nov. 19, in the city of Novosibirsk, there was a closed meeting between the relatives of mobilized soldiers and representatives of the authorities. The community called "Rally in support of mobilized men. Novosibirsk," representing the wives of mobilized soldiers at the meeting, promised to publish the full record of the event, which lasted more than three hours. However, only a half-hour speech by a woman with a blurred face and the voting process on the resolution of the event were published. The Sibirsky Ekspress [Siberian Express] Telegram channel provides insights into what the relatives of mobilized men discussed during the meeting.

Governor of the Irkutsk region Igor Kobzev met with mothers of participants in the war in Ukraine and congratulated them on Mother's Day. Among those who came were mothers whose sons had been killed. The governor's post sparked outrage among residents. One of the grievances concerned the 1439th Regiment—in March 2023, its soldiers recorded numerous videos complaining about being sent on "meat grinder" assaults near Avdiivka. In the comments, the governor was reminded of his previous statements that the situation with the regiment had been resolved positively, although, according to the commentators, the regiment was practically completely destroyed and then disbanded.

Journalists from the Govorit NeMoskva independent media outlet report how women in several other Russian regions were congratulated on Mother's Day.

As reported by the Put Domoy [Way Home] Telegram channel, the husband of the coordinator of the Kaliningrad movement for the return of mobilized soldiers was killed in the war with Ukraine. Earlier, it became known about the death of the brother of another activist, Olga Katz, who administers the Vernyom rebyat [Let’s Return Our Boys] Telegram channel. Since then, no new messages have appeared in her channel.

Mobilized soldiers, volunteer fighters and contract soldiers

The list of mobilized soldiers who died in the war has been updated to include Aleksandr Sbrodov and Ruslan Klimovskiy from the Arkhangelsk region, Andrey Mozgovoy from the Kemerovo region, Yevgeny Kogtev from the Krasnodar region, Vyacheslav Galyamuzyanov and Andrey Danzanov from Buryatia [Russia’s constituent republic], and Andrey Glukhikh from the Irkutsk region.

Complaints keep coming from families of convicts recruited by the Ministry of Defense, lamenting that not enough effort is being made to collect the bodies or search for missing soldiers. Dovod [independent Russian media outlet] reveals details about Black Mamba, a military unit consisting of ex-convicts. Last July, the unit sustained heavy losses in assaults in the Luhansk region. Some members of the unit have been buried, but many ex-convicts are still considered to be missing in action.

The wife of Ilya Andreyev, a former reporter for the Russian state news network Channel One, traveled with the wife of another serviceman all over the "LPR," including the villages of Zaitseve and Arapivka, where soldiers who refuse to fight are known to be illegally held in basements and punishment pits. In both villages, the women were told that their husbands were not among the detained soldiers. The Astra Telegram channel reports that in addition to Andreyev, at least 17 men are currently being held in Zaitseve.

Sentences, Legal Proceedings and Incidents

Charges for going AWOL were brought against a 53-year-old mobilized soldier Igor Akurenko, who in January 2023 failed to report to duty "with no justification." On March 20, Akurenko was arrested, but the case was received by the court only on Aug. 8. Three days later, on Aug. 11, Akurenko died, leading the Crimean Garrison Military Court to stop the criminal proceedings on Sept. 22. The cause of Akurenko's death and the extent of the pre-trial restrictions ordered for him by the court remain unknown.

In Moscow, the court ordered the arrest of three teenagers detained for arson attacks on a train and on relay cabinets. The initial charge of disruption of transport infrastructure was changed to sabotage committed by an organized group, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

In Perm, the court placed 72-year-old local resident Andrey Gorodkov under house arrest until Jan. 24. He was following scammers’ instructions when he was detained attempting to set fire to a draft office.

20-year-old Radik Makaev from Tolyatti is accused of attempting high treason after trying to cross the Ukrainian border to join a "terrorist organization" (presumably the "Freedom of Russia Legion"), according to law enforcement officials.

Assistance

As of Jan. 1, 2024, the authorities of the town of Pyt-Yakh in the Khanty-Mansi autonomous region–Yugra [Russia's federal subject] will make public transportation free of charge to war veterans and their families.

Children

A school in Perm opened memorial stands dedicated to the fallen "heroes of special military operations." The school principal invited representatives of the Molot [Hammer] Tank Battalion to the solemn opening, claiming that they cooperate with the school.

Another school in the Bryansk region has joined the Letter to a Soldier patriotic campaign, in which children send letters and drawings to Russian soldiers participating in the war with Ukraine.

Penza Mayor Aleksandr Basenko urged to postpone the installation of memorial plaques to the soldiers killed in Ukraine in the city's schools in order to preserve the students' mental well-being. According to Basenko, "there are schools where 7 or 8 graduates have been killed." He also stated that the city cannot recruit approximately half of the required conscripts because they are "hiding." Later, the mayor disowned his request not to create "necropolises on school buildings," saying that his words "were crudely pulled out and deceitfully arranged."

In Veliky Novgorod, a lesson on shooting with the Makarov pistol was held for fourth-grade students at School No. 4. The Young Army’s [pro-Kremlin youth organization] social media platform reported that the "kids refreshed their skills of handling weapons."

Miscellaneous

According to Mikhail Evraev, Governor of the Yaroslavl region, a museum dedicated to the war with Ukraine will be established in the region. The museum will showcase "photos of settlements after combat operations, elements of combat uniforms, curfew announcements, propaganda publications, and so on." Visitors will also be told the Russian interpretation of the history of the war in Ukraine.

The Bundestag has initiated the collection of signatures for a petition in support of conscientious objectors to military service from Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. The petition urges German politicians to protect the rights of conscientious objectors and deserters from these countries and to grant them entry into Germany, Lithuania and other European Union countries.