mobilization briefs
October 20, 2022

Russian mobilization news update by CIT volunteers, October 18-19

Speaker of the Russian Parliament, Vyacheslav Volodin, said that fathers of three or more children are now exempt from the draft. He claims that "the issue" has been discussed with the Defence Ministry top brass. The Ministry officials had allegedly said that fathers with three or more children should be exempt from mobilization. These men have supposedly been called off from the bases and returned to their families. The number of these cases is said to be around 9 500. It's worth mentioning that yesterday, Mr Volodin's own political faction, the United Russia party, steadfastly refused to support these amendments to the mobilization legislation, which would prevent this category of citizens from being drafted. Aside from this, we have described numerous examples of this supposed "rule" being broken, when fathers to multiple kids found themselves in the army service. Meanwhile the Chelyabinsk region’s ombudsman, Yuliya Sudarenko, has been compiling the list of all fathers to multiple children (in her region) in order to grant them draft exemption.

A Russian senator, Lyudmila Narusova, said the (Russian) Army has failed to supply the new draftees with necessary gear. At the same time, retail prices of that gear have now risen by 2000%. From 7 000 rubles in January to 135 000 rubles today (as per Narusova's data). Also, the Russian senator has demanded inquiries be made into the business ventures, tasked with manufacturing bullet-proof vests, where instead of shipping them off to the army, the businesses sell them on the free market.

Russian public school teachers are not draft exempt, said the head of the special education program of the Pskov region, Andrei V'yunov, responding to a complaint he received, relating to the conscription of the only male PE teacher from the Pskov high school. Just like the draft officers in Saint Petersburg, he explained that "for the duration of the mobilization, no reservists will be exempt from the current draft, unless they have already been qualified as exempt before the mobilization had begun".

Relatives of conscripts from the Kursk region are saying that some 70 of their male kin, who were shipped off to the war on the 10th of October, found themselves abandoned with no food, water, adequate gear or anyone in charge, in some forest in the Kharkiv region (Ukraine). According to their relatives, the men are digging trenches with their bare hands because even shovels were not issued. Their exact location on the territory of Ukraine is not known. The Kursk governor, Roman Starovoit, in response to this said: "all conscription offices belong to the (Russian) Defense Ministry and are outside of this region’s administrative jurisdiction". The family members recorded this message next to the army base gates.

The Russian office for the Public Prosecution has ruled to block the message from the Kurgan conscripts where they complained about not being paid and having to spend their own money to buy gear. They also said their loan repayment obligations have not yet been frozen.

The family of a 28-year-old  mobilized Moscow resident Ruslan Agaev says that he was sent to the combat zone having received no training. Ruslan was wounded and is currently in a hospital.

Instead of the promised “lump sum” payment of 200 thousand rubles, the mobilized from the Tyumen Region received salary payments ranging from 759 to 1091 rubles. The payment situation in Bashkiria is not much better: the payments made there covered four days and were in the amount of 1800 rubles. At the same time, during the Security Council meeting where martial law was declared on the Russian-occupied territories, President Putin demanded that the mobilized be paid at least 195 thousand rubles per month including for the time spent in training. The President also requested that all the problems with supplying the mobilized with weapons, equipment, food, and medical assistance be solved. On the subject of the latter, the wife of one of the mobilized stationed at a military unit in Moscow complains that he is receiving no medical treatment despite suffering from several medical conditions.

During a prisoner exchange, the mobilized soldier Egor Chebotarev who became a POW after his first fight was returned to Russia. We mentioned him in one of our summaries (on October 9, the Ukrainian blogger Volodymyr Zolkin published an interview with Chebotarev, still a POW then). Upon his return to Russia, RT published a video of him talking with his mother on the phone and saying that he’s fine. The publication Vazhnye Istorii (Important Stories) noticed and published the chronology of Chebotarev’s path through mobilization, from the call up until the release from Ukrainian captivity.

“Partial” mobilization continues in Novosibirsk Region despite the governor Andrei Travnikov’s announcement of its “first stage” being over. “It looks to us like by the end of October we will fulfill the demand made of the Novosibirsk Region,” hopes the governor.

The Biysk Worker local news portal reports that about a hundred more residents have been mobilized in Biysk. They will be sent to a training camp on October 19–20. Notably, the Altai Region governor Viktor Tomenko already on October 5 declared complete “the tasks related to the first phase of the partial mobilization.” At the same time, the regional human rights ombudsman Boris Larin stated that more than a hundred residents of the Altai Region drafted as part of the “partial” mobilization returned home.

In the Khankaysky District of Primorsky Region, a seeing off ceremony was held for the mobilized heading to the war. Another group of draftees from the Kuznetsk Basin region was dispatched from Kemerovo as 17 buses transported the mobilized out of the regional capital. Kostroma, the Jewish Autonomous Region, and Khabarovsk Region also saw more dispatches of the mobilized.

Sever.Realii news outlet (North.Realities, the subdivision of the Radio Liberty broadcast media company, which covers the developments in the Northwest Federal District of Russia) covers the conditions of the mobilized residents of the Pskov region after they had been deployed in Tver. And the Udmurtia region Governor Aleksandr Brechalov visited the mobilized from that region, who had been deployed in the Saratov region.

The Ministry of Defense keeps publishing footage of the mobilized being trained. This time, there are videos of artillery units` training (1, 2, 3), of drill during the night time, of tank crews combat training, and also footage from the training grounds in the vicinity of Samara, in the Primorsky region and in the Republic of Tatarstan (Tatars national region in Russia).

Campaigns for collecting socks, personal-care products and cigarettes for the mobilized dads are ongoing in kindergartens. And in Gelendzhik teachers are obliged to collect aid for the mobilized. Practically everything is on the list as in similar listings (across the country). In the Republic of Tatarstan (Tatars national region in Russia) the head of the Agromaster agricultural enterprise Ilgiz Islamov decided to help the residents of the Muslyumovsky district, who had been mobilized, by transferring 50,000 roubles to each of them.

Reports of the mobilized killed in action keep coming (1, 2, 3).

The Chairman of Agora International Human Rights Group Pavel Chikov published an overview of judicial considerations on claims of individuals challenging the mobilization decisions.

A woman living in Tomsk shaved off her hair as a protest against the mobilization.

The mobilized from Novosibirsk and their relatives were promised free passes to the municipal zoo. In addition, the Governor of the Novosibirsk region Andrey Travnikov promised “boxes” with equipment aid consisting of a sleeping bag, a mat, a tourist seat, a cup, a spoon, a thermo flask and warm clothing to each mobilized soldier from the region.

The Mayor of Perm abolished the New Year feasts and fireworks in the city, as well as New Year events for state employees, reasoning it with the words “it's no time for celebrations now”.

The city administration office for housing and communal services of Penza signed a contract with the municipal enterprise “Penza baths” for the “bathing of the mobilized” valued at  6.1 million roubles. Starting from October 3 and up to December 30, the conscripts will bathe in general chambers of four public bathhouses.

The Russian Ministry of Interior rejected the previously emerged information of identifying the draft dodgers’ cars with the help of the Potok software and hardware complex.

The database of the Russian Federal Border Service comprises approximately a million of individuals, who are prohibited to leave the country in regard to the mobilization. Astra Telegram channel sources also confirm that information. A resident of the Moscow region was refused permission to leave the country at the Vnukovo airport with a reference to the mobilization law. And a 30 y.o. Sviatoslav Shebel`nitsky from Moscow is suspected in the forgery of a draft office certificate for leaving Russia. He eventually couldn’t  cross the border.