Summary of the mobilization in Russian Federation, October 5-6
A big news splash was caused by the "conscript riot" story. The original video, which emerged on the 5th of October, showed an unidentified man, reading aloud from notes that many people on the train are suffering from respiratory ailments, but there is no health care of any sort. Later on, a video spread on the Internet with the first ever "conscript strike" in the short history of the "partial" mobilization. The video was first published on the Rybar pro-Russian Telegram channel. It was shot somewhere around the village of Livenka in the Belgorod region of Russia with a train car in the background. In the video, servicemen are saying that there are some 500 of them there; they are all armed but at the same time not assigned to any army unit. The soldiers are complaining that they managed to survive through the past week living in substandard conditions, "like animals". They had to purchase their own provisions and the assault rifles they were issued have not been registered anywhere (which constitutes federal crime). Many are ill. The draftees in the video have filed an official complaint, requesting government investigation into the issue. Later, more videos from the same place popped up on the Internet. Some were filmed at the same time as the original. In one of them, a serviceman, having identified himself as Artyom Alekseevich Kovrizhnyh, said on camera that he was shipped off to the 1st Tamanskaya Division and was assigned to the 3rd motorized rifle company of the 1st tank battalion. For 6 days, he and other draftees had to live in trenches and dugouts they had to dig themselves.
- In fact, the name "Tamanskaya" was given to the 2nd Motorized Rifle Division, belonging to the 1st Tank Army.
The face of the author of the first video can be seen in one of the videos. According to Radio Liberty journalist Mark Krutov, this is Sergey Surkov (a nickname). Last week Surkov published another video stating that the mobilized of the “1st Tank Regiment” (there really is one, part of the Taman Division) are sent to Kherson without training. Wednesday afternoon Sergei Surkov wrote to an Agentstvo (a Russian media project) journalist that “there is no training still, for a week straight we have been living in inhumane conditions at Livenka village, near Belgorod”. “At the moment there is no understanding of what we are, where we are and what to do next ”, - Surkov wrote.
Additional videos were shared the following day. In addition to a number of persons from the first video series these videos included a district police commissioner captain and military officers. According to the author of the video, the officers were in the ranks of captain and lieutenant colonel. These two videos are mostly dedicated to an intoxicated soldier who got his weapons taken away by fellow soldiers.
The authorities had to respond to the incident. A RIA Novosti source in the Western Military District made a comment that a unit of 299 people was sent to a training center at the Mulino training ground, the issued small arms are assigned to the personnel and accounted for, they have food and a medic in the team. The head of the Belgorod governor administration Ivan Budlov, stated that "the responsible quickly dealt with the problem" and "the soldiers are in good hands."
Similar messages arrive from the Bryansk region. More than 100 mobilized Bryansk residents refused to fight in Ukraine. The mobilized were supposed to train in Klintsy town for a month, and then go to guard the border of the Bryansk region. They were taken to the Belgorod village of Soloti instead. According to a source who spoke to SOTA media project, the men are going to be sent to reconquer Lyman. The mobilized want to return to the military base in Klintsy, because they were barely trained for military operations, and some "do not know how to shoot." Another description of this incident includes an audio recording that appeared on October 5, in which a girl reports similar information.
With a large stream of reports on supply issues and poor living conditions of the mobilized, the chairmen of the State Duma defense committee and and security and anti-corruption committee, Andrei Kartapolov and Vasily Piskarev, respectively, wrote a letter to the Prosecutor General Igor Krasnov requesting to deal with the problems in the supply and logistic of the rears. Kirill Kabanov, a member of Russia’s Human Rights Council, stated that information about coercion of those called up for mobilization to sign a permanent contract by military registration and enlistment offices is being verified.
Russian authorities decided not to exempt the mobilized from paying taxes. They shall file accounting statements if they were engaged in business activities.
According to government portal Ob’yasnyaem.rf [We explain.rf], military retirees may be called up for service as part of “partial” mobilization if their health and military professions meet the requirements set by Putin’s decree.
Russian human rights lawyer Pavel Chikov draws attention to the fact that the official online portal Gosuslugi [state services] forwards all complaints on mobilization to military commissariats [enlistment offices]. As a result, the appeals were expectedly left unsatisfied.
According to Mash online news outlet, the military commissar of Khabarovsk region, who was sacked for mistakes during “partial” mobilization and was planned to be relocated to Magadan, was appointed again to the position of the military commissar of Khabarovsk region. The Khabarovsk regional military commissariat denied this information.
The first person charged with evasion from mobilization Maksim Moiseev was detained and later released from custody. Military commissariats in Moscow are preparing demands to the police for detection of evaders from mobilization. For example, the military commissariat of Ramensky district, Moscow, prepared documents for the detection of four dodgers.
Press-secretary for Vladimir Putin Dmitry Peskov called the reports on 700 thousand Russians leaving the country since the beginning of the mobilization a hoax.
Although “partial” mobilization is reportedly put on hold in some Russian regions, as for example in Altai region, where the governor announced today the completion of the first stage, in other regions it is still in hot phase. The administration of St. Petersburg demanded that companies’ management report daily on employees who received mobilization assignments. This may be due to the fact that no one opens the doors to local teachers ordered to distribute summonses. In Krasnoyarsk, trains with the mobilized leave almost every day. This indirectly confirms the information on a significant excess of the mobilization quota for Krasnoyarsk region over the one announced by the Ministry of Defense. At the Singer factory in Podolsk, the police conducted a raid to issue summonses. The mobilized from the 32nd garrison of Yekaterinburg are wished good-bye with songs and dances. And here is how a farewell ceremony was carried out in Orekhovo-Zuyevo, Moscow region: women make the sign of the cross over buses with the mobilized, children are searching for their fathers in buses’ windows, the ceremony was accompanied by the march “Farewell of Slavianka”. Sergey Tsivilev, the head of Kemerovo region, encouraged the mobilized men to get married before going to war. And makeup artists in Gorno-Altaisk decided to do makeup and hairstyles for brides of the mobilized free of charge.
A 37-year-old teacher from a village in Buryatia Dinar Sarvarov was mobilized and signed up as a volunteer without his knowledge. 32-year-old Alexey Mosolov was also mobilized, despite health issues with his kidney and spine, as well as hardships in his family. Russian authorities are already trying to send foreigners to the war: a Lithuanian national with a Russian residence permit received a summons. And in St. Petersburg, a summons was sent to a woman who does not have a military profession.
Social services of Novosibirsk region inspect families in which men are mobilized. The services’ employees go door to door and gather information about who needs help to issue “social passports” for provision of regional support measures. Omsk Krishna worshippers help to organize meals for the mobilized. Families of the mobilized from Buryatia will be given firewood. Not all families, though, only those in need. Kursk school pupils make amulets for the mobilized. Sets of icons, food and first aid drugs were given to the mobilized by the Administration of Zheleznodorozhny district of Krasnoyarsk. Officials were assisted by activist mothers, military training center’s students and the clergy. At the same time, Murmansk kindergarten employees are forced to donate 500 rubles each for the mobilized. Fundraising from teachers for military first-aid boxes was announced in a Perm lyceum. A Moscow family has spent more than 100 000 rubles to equip their mobilized man. However (as “Obyasnyaem.rf” official Russian government site about the mobilization informs), mobilized citizens won’t be offset the costs for equipment.
Going to the front from Tomsk, men train at a stadium by themselves. And here are the conditions where mobilized are lodged in Sverdlovsk region.
“Tayga.info” Siberian online media outlet reports the details of one mobilized man’s death. 35-year-old Aleksandr Koltun from Bratsk died in a mobilization camp in Novosibirsk. His mother has told the publication the details of his death. Another mobilized man shot himself in a military unit in Saint Petersburg. Military analyst Yan Matveev compared the causes of death of the mobilized with overall Russian statistics. He has concluded that the mobilization highlights, among other things, the existing problems of Russian men: terrible health even of middle aged men, high alcohol intake often leading to aggressive actions and mental health issues as a whole.
“Verstka”, an independent Russian media outlet, published 3 Russian men's stories. They were denied a full medical examination. The first had survived a skull trepanation and had been waiting for an operation to insert a plate into the skull, the second had a plate in his leg, the third suffered from 3 chronic illnesses. All of them went for military training and are waiting for being sent to the front. The Severouralsk military commissariat issued a fine to a recruit who was declared unfit for mobilization after medical examination. A mobilized sued a draft commission and military commissariat for unlawful mobilization in Kostroma.
A fighter in a cap with a runic inscription will train the mobilized in Crimea for “denazification of Ukraine”.
A new arson attempt of a military commissariat was made in Krasnodar region. A bottle with an incendiary mixture was thrown in a military commissariat at night in Goryachiy Klyuch. The building wasn’t damaged.
Two Russians arrived by boat to the USA (state of Alaska) to escape mobilization.