mobilization briefs
October 4, 2023

Mobilization in Russia for Oct. 2-3, 2023 CIT Volunteer Summary

Authorities and Legislation

The State Duma Defense Committee has issued a negative review of a bill, which would allow graduates of specialized secondary schools to further defer their military service by enrolling in a university. The committee chair concluded that the bill would result in too many draft deferrals.

Aleksandr Starikov, currently fighting in Ukraine, will become a member of the regional legislative assembly of the Ryazan region, while Igor Vorobyov, another participant of the war, will serve on the Volgograd city legislative assembly.

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu asserted that the General Staff has no plans to mobilize any more citizens for the war with Ukraine. Shoigu argued that the army has enough personnel, since 335,000 people enlisted or joined volunteer fighter units in the last year, including 50,000 just in the past month. On Sept. 26, Dmitry Medvedev, Deputy Chairman of Russia’s Security Council, claimed that 325,000 individuals had enlisted for contract-based military service since the beginning of the year.

The Bumaga [Paper] independent media outlet asked a lawyer whether Russians residing abroad should request to be removed from military rolls and how to do so. Meanwhile, the Voyennye Advokaty [Military Lawyers] Telegram channel points out that recent amendments to the Military Conscription and Military Service Act require individuals of conscription age to visit a draft office for a data check-up between Oct. 1 and 14, unless they have already been drafted or exempted. It should be noted, however, that there is no statutory liability for failure to comply with this obligation.

The authorities of the Rostov region announced that around 4000 local citizens will be drafted this fall as part of regular biannual conscription. The regional military commissar stated that conscripts will be summoned by paper draft notices and registered letters, and not by electronic draft notices. In the Tyumen region, about 20 conscripts are eligible for alternative civilian service instead of military service.

A check was conducted by law enforcement officers at one of the city's markets in Rostov-on-Don. During the raid, the police identified 20 people who received Russian citizenship but did not register with military authorities. The men were taken to military commissariats [enlistment offices]. There have been similar raids in other parts of the country as well.

An advertisement for contract-based military service was posted at the entrance of a kindergarten in Krasnoyarsk.

The card of Denis Vlasov, a suspected child molester, has disappeared from the website of the Soviet District Court in Lipetsk. This may indicate that he has left for the war.

Mobilized Soldiers and Volunteer Fighters

The list of mobilized soldiers killed in the war has been updated to include Denis Gurov from the Krasnoyarsk region, Aleksey Yevushkin from the Orenburg region, Nikolay Desyatnik from the Omsk region, Sergey Lesnichenko, as well as Sergey Gogolev and Pyotr Cherkesov from the Volgograd region.

Vazhnyye Istorii [IStories, independent Russian investigative media outlet] found out the details of the story of the body substitution that occurred in Rzhev. The relatives of Mikhail Smirnov, who was killed in the combat zone, discovered the body of an unknown man in a coffin. As it turned out, Smirnov's acquaintances suspected the substitution because they were told that the body was brought from Luhansk, although the deceased was fighting in Bakhmut. The death certificate also indicated an incorrect year of birth, and someone else's personal belongings were delivered with the body. Suspicions were confirmed when the casket was unsealed.

Wagner Group fighters and their relatives have complained to Putin about the refusal of Udmurt officials to provide assistance. They reported that they are raising funds for bandages and medicine on their own, but the soldiers also need prosthetics, wheelchairs, and rehabilitation. The Wagnerites have asked the head of Udmurtia [Russia's constituent republic] to amend the regional law on payments to include Wagner Group volunteer fighters.

A war participant from Kurgan, who sustained a serious injury, was denied regional payments. The man was unable to sign a contract in his region and instead signed it in Chechnya [Russia's constituent republic]. After being injured, he returned home to Kurgan and applied for his due payment of 120,000 rubles [$1,200]. However, his request was denied because the contract was signed in another region.

The number of men with disabilities among Russians under 30 years of age has increased by 17,000 in a year. Meanwhile, the total number of people with disabilities across all age groups decreased in 2022. This is evidenced by fresh data from the Pension Fund, which the Vyorstka media outlet noticed. Earlier, the Federal State Statistics Service has concealed this data on its website.

Sentences, Legal Proceedings and Incidents

A Wagner Group mercenary suspected of murdering his four-year-old stepdaughter has been detained in Lipetsk. He has been charged with a murder of a minor who was in a helpless state, and has confessed to the crime.

A former chief of the criminal investigation department of the city of Kyzyl, Russia's constituent republic of Tuva, Orlan Saryg-Donak, and his subordinate Alim Kenden, who were sentenced to 18 and 14 years in prison respectively for burning a detainee alive in 2008, are planning to go to the war with Ukraine. The victim's mother intends to file complaints to keep the trial going and prevent the convicts from going to the frontline.

A former Wagner Group mercenary, suspected of killing two women, was detained in the Krasnoyarsk region. According to investigators, Denis Stepanov had quarreled with his girlfriend, causing her to stay overnight at her mother’s house. At night, the man came to the house, doused it with gasoline and set it on fire, killing both women. A canister was discovered during his arrest. Prior to going to the war, Stepanov was sentenced to 3.5 years in a maximum security penal colony for the intentional infliction of grievous bodily harm. He left for the frontline in November 2022 from the colony. After six months of service, in May 2023 he returned home with a pardon.

Tsyren-Dorzhi Tsyrenzhapov, who was convicted in 2020 of brutally murdering an 18-year-old woman and sentenced to 14 years in prison, is suspected of a new murder. After serving four years, he enlisted in the war, and has now returned home. In early September 2023, a murder took place in the village of Ugdan, Zabaykalsky region [Russia’s federal subject], and Tsyrenzhapov is now a suspect in this case.

A man from Cheboksary was fined 100,000 rubles [$1,000] for evading mandatory military service. Last fall, the 19-year-old man signed a draft notice but failed to report to the draft office. A criminal case was initiated against him for evading military service. Earlier, a resident of the Khanty-Mansi autonomous region–Yugra [Russia's federal subject] was fined the same amount for evading the draft.

The Krasnoyarsk Garrison Military Court sentenced a soldier to seven years in a maximum security penal colony for going AWOL during mobilization. According to the court, in October 2022, private Viktor Novosyolov did not return to his unit, and in February 2023, he reported to the military commandant's office.

The Vladimir Garrison Military Court upheld the claim of Kirill Nesterov, a Rosgvardia [the Russian National Guard] officer in the Vladimir region, challenging the command's decision to deny compensation for injuries sustained during the war in Ukraine. Following the annulment of the command's decision, similar lawsuits filed by his fellow soldiers were also discontinued. Now, the leadership is obligated to conduct a new investigation into the injuries suffered by the personnel and make a decision regarding compensation. The Rosgvardia officers plan to return to the war.

The ministry of Internal Affairs has declared Aleksandr Kudashov, a resident of Samara who joined the "Russian Volunteer Corps," as wanted. Previously, a criminal case was initiated against him for participating in an illegal armed group. His girlfriend, Irina Izmaylova, was arrested on charges for manufacturing explosives.

The third participant in the arson of the draft office in Vladivostok has been detained. The police arrested 33-year-old Andrey six days after the crime. Previously, a 24-year-old student Alyona from Omsk technical school and a local businessman Manap were detained in connection with the same incident.

An attempted arson attack on a draft office took place in the Zabaykalsky region. According to information from the SHOT Telegram channel, a 26-year-old unemployed named Sergey, in the village of Chernyshevsk, threw a piece of burning fabric at the building but missed his target. After his detention, Sergey stated that he wanted to express disrespect toward the officers of the military unit where his brother served. The suspect had a previous conviction for theft and robbery. He is currently facing charges of act of terror and deliberate damage to property, which could result in a prison sentence of up to 20 years.

The Southern District Military Court has sentenced Mikhail Filatov, a resident of Uryupinsk [a town in Volgograd region, Russia], to 12 years in a maximum security penal colony for his involvement in an act of terror that resulted in significant property damage. In late September 2022, Filatov drove his car to the entrance of the draft office, doused the entrance with gasoline, and threw two Molotov cocktails at it. The entrance and Filatov's vehicle caught fire, but fortunately, no one was injured in the blaze. A few hours after the arson, a social media post appeared on Filatov's account, featuring a burning Molotov cocktail and the text: "Everyone protests in their own way, as they see fit."

Assistance

Residents of a village in the Voronezh region who received compensation for property damage during Yevgeny Prigozhin's armed rebellion have been mandated to hire a licensed contractor and report their expenditures by December. Failure to comply may result in legal action against them. Villagers sought to return the money because the compensated amounts are insufficient for a complete renovation, but their request was denied by officials.

In response to a query from orphan Ekaterina Mankova, the authorities in the Irkutsk region have stated that certificates for housing, legally entitled to orphans, will be prioritized for those orphans who served in Ukraine. The young woman has been waiting for her certificate since December 2022 and is currently 246th in line, despite being slated to receive housing in early 2023.

Children

A resident of the village of Strugi Krasnye in the Pskov region, Anatoly Banaev, who had returned from the war, spoke to teenagers about the "reasons" for the start of the war at a "lesson of courage." He discussed the “transformation of Ukraine into anti-Russia” by Great Britain, the USA and “their allies.” Meanwhile, in the Khanty-Mansi autonomous region, members of the Veterans of Russia movement came to local schools to congratulate children on the anniversary of the "annexation of new territories."

Longreads

The Idel.Realii [part of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty] online media outlet talked to clinical psychologist Daria Yausheva who explained why men returning from war often exhibit aggression, including towards their loved ones. She discussed the causes of aggressive behavior, including neurobiological factors, and noted that post-traumatic stress can lead to disturbances in the functioning of the nervous system.

The Novaya Vkladka [New Tab] media outlet, using the example of the Perm region [Russia’s federal subject], described how the Russian Orthodox Church is trying to convince children that war is a just cause. From the very beginning of the war, the church has supported the actions of the Russian Army in Ukraine.