In the State Duma [lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia], the Committee on Security and Corruption Control recommended to approve, in the first reading, a bill to allow Rosgvardia [the Russian National Guard] to include volunteer fighter units within its ranks (read more). Furthermore, it would extend benefits and social guarantees to members of these units, akin to volunteer fighters, as well as contract and mobilized soldiers, serving in the Armed Forces.
Regions of the Russian Federation continue to reveal their respective targets for the regular conscription campaign this fall. The military commissar for the Yaroslavl region announced plans to call up more than 900 local residents. The first conscripts will be leaving on Oct. 17.
Yet another raid on illegal migrants and newly naturalized citizens, who have not registered for military service, took place in Chuvashia [Russia’s constituent republic]. As a result, officials detained 14 men, who were recently granted Russian citizenship, and brought them to a draft office. They were charged with failure to register for military service. The last few months saw a growing number of such raids across the country.
In Saint Petersburg, utility service providers began recruiting volunteer fighters. State unitary enterprise TEK SPb, which is responsible for heating supply, placed an advertisement for contract-based military service on their Telegram channel. In addition to payments from the state, the company promises employment with a monthly salary of 204,000 rubles [$2,100] to anyone who signs a contract to serve in the "special military operation" zone. The advertisement promises volunteers an income of up to 3.8 million rubles [$39,000] per year.
Similarly, authorities of the city of Yaroslavl launched a campaign at several municipal enterprises to encourage employees to sign contracts with the Ministry of Defense, promising a monthly bonus of 100,000 rubles [$1,033] together with a lump sum payment of up to 505,000 rubles [$5,200]. Managers of the enterprises are not concerned about staff shortages caused by employees leaving for the war.
The official newspaper of the Irkutsk city administration published an advertisement for contract-based military service. The article titled "Do you hear the call? Your country needs you!," takes up an entire page and describes the payments for participation in the war. In addition to various payments and bonuses, the advertisement promises prizes of 1 million rubles [$10,300] for capturing a HIMARS MLRS or a tank, and 500,000 rubles [$5,150] for their destruction.
In downtown Simferopol, a mobile recruiting center for the Russian Army was deployed. For half an hour of observation, not a single person willing to sign a contract was found.
Ramil Yusupov from Moscow, Aleksey Titov from the Volgograd region, Maksim Ermakov from the Yaroslavl region, Aleksandr Khafizov from the Tyumen region and Maksim Andreev from the Khanty-Mansi autonomous region–Yugra [Russia's federal subject] joined the list of mobilized soldiers killed in the war.
Two conscripts were killed, and three more conscripts and one contract soldier injured and admitted into intensive care following a strike on Russia’s Bryansk region. According to the Astra Telegram channel, the incident took place in the village of Gudovka. Tatyana Losunova, medical director of the hospital where the survivors were taken, told Mediazona [independent Russian media outlet] that she had just returned to work after vacation and had not been made aware of the incident yet.
Governor of the Vladimir region Aleksandr Avdeyev claimed that since April 2022 no information had emerged on any more service members from the Vladimir region taken prisoner of war. Yet, it is known that contract soldier Dmitry Kazakov from the town of Vyazanki was taken prisoner in May 2023, while draftee Oleg Kulikov from Murom complained that the authorities had refused to include him into prisoner exchange lists. Both PoWs were interviewed by Ukrainian journalist Vladimir Zolkin.
The three contract soldiers from Bashkortostan [Russia’s constituent republic] who were sought in the Belgorod region and other border regions at the end of August on suspicion of murder (more details here and here) have been found dead. They were killed with grenades and their bodies were burned. According to preliminary information, the servicemen were killed because they became witnesses to the murder of their fellow soldier, chief of a sapper unit. Ramil U., the commander of the Vatan volunteer unit where the victims served, and his driver were detained on suspicion of involvement in the crimes. Earlier, Ramil recorded a video in which he claimed that the three servicemen had escaped and placed responsibility for the initial murder on them. The driver has already confessed to the crime and revealed the location where the murder took place.
In the Kemerovo region, a former Wagner Group mercenary named Sergey Filatov wounded two acquaintances with a knife during a conflict. Filatov had previously been repeatedly convicted for causing moderate and grievous bodily harm and making threats of murder. His last sentence, 14 years in a maximum security penal colony, was handed down in 2017 for causing grievous bodily harm that resulted in death by negligence. While serving his sentence, he enlisted for the war, was eventually granted a pardon and returned home.
In 2023, the number of criminal cases related to murder and grievous bodily harm sharply increased in several courts of the Southern Military District, especially in Rostov and Novocherkassk courts. Verdicts suggest that military personnel are attacking their fellow soldiers, both in combat zone in Ukraine and when returning home on leave or for medical treatment. The significant rise in criminal cases, particularly in the Garrison Military Courts of Novocherkassk and Rostov-on-Don, can be explained by the absence of such courts in occupied regions until recently. All cases occurring in combat zone are now being tried in Russian courts.
The Rostov-on-Don Garrison Military Court received its first case involving the alleged looting by Lieutenant Colonel Ruslan Kachlavov. In addition to the charge of "looting on an especially large scale," the military officer is accused of two episodes of exceeding authority with the use of violence and firearms, resulting in severe consequences and for mercenary motives. Kachlavov also faces charges of drug possession on a large scale and illegal possession of firearms and explosives while exploiting his official position.
Authorities continue to hold "patriotic” events for students, schoolchildren and kindergarteners. For instance, in the Voronezh region, a youth patriotic forum called Rubezh [Frontier] was held, where a participant in the war in Ukraine gave a speech. The Belgorod State Institute of Arts and Culture organized a screening of videos by Russian propagandist Vladimir Solovyev for its students. At the Volgograd State Socio-Pedagogical University, there was a meeting with "milblogger" Yury Podolyaka. In a school in Cheboksary, a "patriotism" lesson took place where children took photos with an imperial flag bearing the inscription "We are Russians, God is with us." A patriotic event under the slogan "The warrior's appearance should strike fear into the enemy" was held for kindergarteners in Kirovo-Chepetsk. The children were given a lecture on headgears of the Russian Army, designed to "foster a conscious attitude towards military professions."
A playground was constructed at the Solnechny [Sunny] orphanage in the Perm region [Russia’s federal subject]. This project was initiated by the deceased soldier Aleksey Goldobin, who had requested it from the orphanage administration before his death, using his death gratuity payments.
Students from Belgorod universities were required to report anti-military publications and posts discrediting the Armed Forces.
In 2024, the Irkutsk region government will start offering subsidies for the employment of veterans. The amount of these subsidies will depend on the number of war participants hired and the duration of their employment. Additionally, Governor of the Irkutsk region Igor Kobzev has also pledged to provide subsidies for employers hiring former convicts and disabled individuals, with the government compensating their salary expenses.
The Surgut Local History Museum hosted the opening of the exhibition "Heroes of the Surgut Land." The exhibition is dedicated to the memory of city residents who were killed in Ukraine. The gallery features photographs of the servicemen, and the descriptions include their military rank, awards and the date of their death. The opening was attended by the families of the deceased.
The Ostorozhno, Novosti [Beware the News] Telegram channel shared the story of Dmitry Zelensky, a veteran of the Chechen War from the Perm region. In 2018, he murdered his girlfriend, Tatyana Melikhina, and spent five days dismembering her body. He was sentenced to 11 years in prison and has been pardoned this year after fighting against Ukraine.