mobilization briefs
October 10, 2022

Mobilization summary for October 8-9

The State Duma [Russia’s lower house of Parliament] decided to discuss the provisioning of mobilized soldiers. A closed meeting of the State Duma Defense Committee is scheduled for October 17. Note that the "partial" mobilization was ordered on September 21.

Since the mobilization has been ordered, the level of public anxiety continues to grow steadily, the Public Opinion Foundation [a social research organization] reports. At the same time, the attendance of expensive restaurants in Moscow fell by 30% in two weeks.

The Russian Union of Journalists is sending out letters to various media outlets in an attempt to gather more information about their employees and members, which could've been conscripted. They are also trying to establish which outlets could potentially be closed down due to the majority of their employees having been drafted.

IT industry workers and students continue to be drafted, despite Russian government statements to the contrary. A Moscow resident, Aleksandr Kulakov was issued his conscription notice even though he works in the IT industry and is officially draft exempt by proclamation of the Russian Ministry of Digital Development. A 32-year-old draft-exempt "Auchan" supermarket IT staffer was conscripted and is now being forced to change his declared military profession in order for the authorities to ship him off to war. A first year (Moscow State University of Psychology and Education) Master’s degree student Roman Kliment'ev was conscripted in Moscow. Despite being draft exempt, he was issued his conscription notice. His local conscription office ruled his university enrolment was for "further education" and not the higher one and therefore does not make him draft-exempt. An amputee Paralympian, who lost his leg while serving in the army, was also served his draft notice. A St Petersburg resident, who has never served in the army before or participated in any army training program, had his area of expertise literally "made up" in front of him. A mother (of a drafted soldier) is begging to help her son, who is now at the military base in the Belgorod region (of Russia). "The situation is dire" she says. A Moscow SMA (Spinal muscular atrophy) sufferer Oleg Vasil'ev was issued his draft notice. A conscripted Chita male with health issues, which he acquired during his previous army term, was promised medical assessment but instead was sent straight to the army training camp in the Khabarovsk region. The media liaison officer of the Volgograd Spartak water polo club, who had only been subjected to any army training during his university degree program, was asked to come to his local conscription office in order for them to verify his personal details. He was then immediately issued his draft notice on the spot and was shipped off to Chechnya training grounds, where he was assigned to a tank platoon as their commanding officer. Although his colleagues say he "has never served in the army, has no military skill or experience of any sort and hasn't even got a driver's license. Let alone any expertise in managing a tank unit".

Migrants are tricked and threatened to sign contracts to serve in the army in order to send them to war. Moscow's homeless also fell under the wave of mobilization. According to the volunteer organization "Food not Bombs", on October 8, police seized people's passports, loaded them into buses, and took them to the draft board. There, all of them were issued summons and taken to a recruitment center, after which those over 50 were released. The fate of the others is unknown.

The publication of footage of mobilization training continues. This time the video shows the training of Siberians from the Novosibirsk, Tyumen, and Sverdlovsk regions. The mobilized soldiers film their exercises themselves, and the greatest interest in them is the "tank run" (1, 2, 3).

Another mobilized man died before reaching the front. Tonight, a mobilized citizen from Yakutia died after falling out of a window at a recruitment center. In total, at least 16 cases of conscripts' deaths before being sent to the war are already known - all of them are noted on the map updated by "Siren" (media outlet).

As a consequence of drunkenness among mobilized men, the authorities continue to prohibit the sale of alcohol near draft boards. This time such a decree was signed by the Governor of the Vladimir region Alexander Avdeev. He banned the sale of alcohol in the village of Pakino, where is located a training center for the mobilized, as well as in the town of Kovrov and within 300 meters of the military commissariats throughout the region.

The head of the Republic of Mari El visited the mobilized and promised to fix the supply problems. He stated that the issues were caused by the poor awareness of recruits’ needs. In Chebarkul, the Ural Brass Band performed for mobilized residents of the Southern Urals and their families at the club of the 90th Tank Division’s 239th Tank Regiment.

Independent Russian-language publication Meduza released a podcast in which Russian professional soldiers and mercenaries were interviewed about their views on sending the newly mobilized to the front lines. The consensus view was the following: “they are going to sit in trenches and die in the first attack.”

Moscow residents use a Telegram channel to inform others about addresses where authorities distribute summonses. Various citizen action groups deliver leaflets against mobilization throughout Russia.

Novosibirsk State University launched a project to help the mobilized and their families. Its purpose is to collect humanitarian aid, provide psychological support to the families of the mobilized, and conduct free workshops on first aid.

A military commissariat [enlistment office] was set on fire in the Arkhangelsk district of the Republic of Bashkortostan. Details are being clarified.

Marketing managers also turned their attention to mobilization. A butcher shop in Kurgan region announced a "mobilization special offer" in its VKontakte social network page. During the special offer, upon presentation of a summons, the mobilized person will receive 1 kg of smoked bacon for the road.