mobilization briefs
November 8, 2022

Volunteer summary on mobilization in the Russian Federation for November 6–7

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that there were about 80 thousand mobilized citizens deployed "in the special military operation area", approximately 50 thousand of them taking part in combat missions. Also he shared his plans of a personal visit to the citizens in order to find out the situation with supporting the mobilized: "I will certainly meet with the people as well, discuss the matter, to hear them, to get feedback".

Andrei Kartapolov, head of the Defense Committee of the State Duma, answered a question about possible additional recruitment: "No. It was said many times, both by the president of our country and the Ministry of Defense, that the decree stated that 300,000 people had to be drafted, and they were drafted. There are no more questions here." Along with this, he said to RBK (Russian media outlet) that "people continue to receive summonses to the military commissariats even after the end of mobilization to verify their registration data." He accused "ill-wishers" of "inflating" news about the summonses.

Russian regions spent in excess of 22 billion rubles from their budgets on the war in Ukraine. The publication Vazhnye Istorii (Important Stories) found out that this sum was allocated to provide for conscripts, volunteers, contract servicemen, as well as to support their families. In Khantia-Mansia alone, over 2 billion rubles will be spent on mobilization in 2022 with 570 million destined for payouts to the mobilized and volunteer soldiers. Mobilized residents from the Perm Region will receive their regional payouts even before they arrive in the “special military operation” zone. The governor Dmitry Makhonin tasked the regional government to quickly amend the statute on one-time payouts to the mobilized.

After the mobilized soldier Alexei Gnidin of Saratov recorded a video address to the city mayor and the governor of the Nizhny Novgorod Region (which was mentioned in yesterday’s summary), the governor Gleb Nikitin visited his unit and informed that the mobilized will soon receive or are already receiving all the necessities including socks, boots, and poncho tents.

With a recent conscript revolt in Chuvashia on his mind, the regional head Oleg Nikolaev visited mobilized men in his region and promised lump sum payouts of 50 thousand rubles each. “The money must be transferred ASAP,” he wrote on his Telegram channel. At the same time, he asked the relatives to refrain from supplying conscripts with alcohol.

The President of Russia’s constituent Republic of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov visited the tank training ground where the conscripts from the region are undergoing training and where they shot a now famous video. Minnikhanov visited the tent camp, inspected the living conditions, and instructed the local officials to react quickly to emerging issues and, if necessary, appeal to the authorities to find solutions. The head of the Kukmorsky district of Tatarstan responded to a video where the mobilized accused him of insufficient support.

Due to a homicide allegedly committed by a conscript, servicemen are now forbidden to leave their unit that is stationed near Kovrovo.

Having analyzed the increasing frequency of “revolts” by the mobilized soldiers, the human rights lawyer Pavel Chikov concludes that “the responsibility for the frustration of the mobilized and their relatives is being laid on the regional authorities.” In response to the demand by the conscripts in Chuvashia that their promised payouts be made, the RF president signed the decree to that effect almost immediately; however, it was the head of Chuvashia who was dispatched to deal with the situation. The vice-president of Tatarstan was sent to appease the mobilized from Kazan with the head of the republic stating that Tatarstan’s government and the military commissar are jointly responsible for the situation. The governor of the Primorski Region is personally investigating and responding to an open letter speaking of a large number of conscripts from the Far East killed in action [Note from the CIT: as far as we understand, the letter in question speaks not only of the mobilized soldiers but also of contract and volunteer servicemen from the 155th Naval Infantry Brigade]. The head of the Voronezh Region informs on his Telegram channel of meeting relatives of the mobilized soldiers killed in the war. Apparently, the governors have been instructed of their duty to meet the relatives and, literally, write about it on their Telegram channels. We can expect that the regional authorities will keep absorbing the public discontent.

Angry Chuvashia Telegram channel conducted an interview with one of the Russian conscripts who came back home for the weekend. What he told them about their living conditions was this: "No hygiene, moldy walls and cold in the barracks. Temperature is always around 14-15 degrees. Everything around is damp. Bed feels wet. No wonder when living under these conditions people get sick". The quality of training is also questionable. This draftee has been at the base for two weeks, but he only fired his rifle once and then only blanks. There's been no theory or tactical training, but every day they've practiced marching drills.

But Russia's Defense Ministry continues to present its own version of how the new draftees are being lodged and trained before they are shipped off to war. Their latest videos show artillery crews practice combined fire from their Giatsint-B towed howitzers at an assumed enemy from concealed firing positions in the Leningrad region. Mortar crews, composed of new draftees, have completed their live fire exercises in the Stavropol region. The Ministry also started their own TV program, called "Z hero training", where new conscripts themselves will talk about their experiences. In the meantime, another planeload of new draftees has departed today from Khabarovsk to the Rostov region.

The TVRain Channel had a chat with two female relatives of the new draftees from the Voronezh region who escaped with their lives after the ambush of the 5th of November, which we described in yesterday's news. "Officers told them: you are just meat, this is what you are here for, you'll all be dead soon anyway. They gave them one shovel (for 30 men) and told them to dig trenches." - the sister of one of the draftees has told the channel. After that officers said they'd go get food and left. 40 minutes later the shelling started; and it lasted for 3 days. A relative of another draftee is saying soldiers in the battalion had no weapons of any sort except for four hand grenades. After the ambush, only 31 of them were left alive. Nobody knows what happened to the rest. Meanwhile, a Voronezh state media article which denied the death of 579 conscripts has disappeared since. The regional governor's press-secretary also refused to "discuss numbers". The Mozhem Ob'yasnit' (We Can Explain) Telegram channel also talked to two female relatives of the soldiers, who were present during the "Makiivka massacre" incident. They talked about many deaths amongst conscripts and the lack of food and water for those that survived. The government continues to ignore their pleas and keeps hiding information about what happened to the soldiers.

21 Russian soldiers from among those mobilized who refused to take part in the war are being held in a basement on the territory of Zavitne Bazhannya village, Donetsk region of Ukraine, which is controlled by Russian forces. Eight of them had exemption from active duty. This is reported by The Insider [an independent online publication specializing in investigative journalism], citing relatives of these soldiers. 27 mobilized employees of the VSMPO-AVISMA Corporation from the Sverdlovsk region are trying to return home. The specialists of the enterprise were conscripted, although they had exemption from active duty. In the Svatove–Kreminna direction, hundreds of mobilized soldiers can’t be reached, as the pro-government "military correspondent" Anastasia Kashevarova reports.

The wives of the Pskovians who left for the war in Ukraine continue to complain about the lack of promised payments from the region. In Penza, 30 wives and mothers of the mobilized soldiers gathered near the building of the military prosecutor's office. They have asked the military prosecutor to consider their collective eight-point complaint. In particular, their mobilized husbands and sons went to the front without proper training. Now they complain about the lack of food, water and weapons. Moreover, wives and mothers have asked to provide "normal commanders." In Dzhankoy, relatives of the mobilized complain that "humanitarian aid has not reached the mobilized" and that "there are no necessities."

The wife of one of the mobilized from Tyumen told the NEFT media portal that her husband was mobilized on October 15, but since then the family has not received the promised 295 thousand rubles. One mobilized soldier from Dalnegorsk received only 1075 rubles in 1.5 months from the moment when he was drafted.

St Petersburg resident Sergey Nikitin went to the Pskov region and volunteered for the 76th Airborne Division. But in order to avoid paying him the promised 100,000 rubles, they registered him as mobilized and transferred him the amount of 50,000 rubles due in this case.

In Novosibirsk, 43-year-old police officer Dmitry Serdyukov, who worked with migrants, received a draft notice and became a migrant himself fleeing to Kazakhstan. Now he faces a criminal case under article 337 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation “Absence from the place of service without leave.” A mobilized from the Khabarovsk Territory was first released for treatment, and then they threatened to file a criminal case against him for desertion.

Alexander Uglov from St. Petersburg visited a military commissariat "to verify his file", where he was immediately issued a draft notice. The man has very poor eyesight and wears a hearing aid. However, he was denied a medical examination. It turns out that a medical examination is not provided for those who do not have diagnostic findings on their hands. Appeals to the military commissariat and the governor of Saint-Petersburg didn't yield any results. In contrast, the situation is completely different for children of public officials. These young men are liable for military service but are not called up to the war. A list of such young people was compiled by the Vazhnye Istorii [Important Stories] news outlet. Here is some good news. Akhmet Abubakirov, the pediatric neurosurgeon from Sterlitamak whose story we covered in one of our reports, has returned home.

33-year-old conscript Danil Medvedev from Yuzhnouralsk, Chelyabinsk region, was killed in the war. The same fate befell a PT teacher from Dagestan, Marat Salimov, and Vasily Juruk, a driver in the Kronotsky Natural Park. Viktor Maslov, a mobilized soldier from Vorontsovka, Sverdlovsk region, was killed in the war on November 2. On September 31, Maksim Tuchin from Magadan was killed. A conscript from the Belgorod region was more lucky, he was taken prisoner. As of November 7, the BBC together with Mediazona and a team of volunteers identified the names of 153 Russian citizens who died during the mobilization.

Krasnoyarsk City Administration plans to cut spending on media, New Year's celebrations, purchase of cars and "expensive performances of pop artists at citywide events" to help the mobilized. Meanwhile, in Krasnoobsk, Novosibirsk region, scrap paper and plastic caps are being collected to help the army. The proceeds will be donated to the ZOV54 initiative aiding Russian troops. And in Stavropol, children knitted socks with the letter “Z” for soldiers.

As part of the 27th Motorized Rifle Brigade, two men with hepatitis C are going to be sent to the front. The brigade's command is informed of their diagnosis and ignores it.

In Perm, after local entrepreneur Roman Osadchuk posted a video criticizing the "special operation" and mobilized soldiers, his produce stand was set ablaze, and someone smashed the windows of his other store. Osadchuk was bullied on social networks. He recorded an apology video.

In Angarsk, an elderly woman attempted to set a military commissariat on fire using Molotov cocktails. She failed and was arrested.