September 28, 2022

Summary of mobilization in Russia for 26th-27th of September

The lawyer Pavel Chikov reports that the Russian Ministry of Digital Technology, Communication and Mass Media published a list of 195 professions which may have a deferral from the mobilization for IT and communication specialists. The list includes IT professions, STEM Sciences (Math, Physics  Chemistry), Journalism, Design, Trade, Sound Engineering, Sociology, Psychology,  Linguistics and others.

The Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs has suggested to expand the list of specialists who are entitled to the deferral. They talk about highly-qualified employees at technological productions. And Russian air carriers asked the Ministry of Transport to include their employees in the category of citizens who are given the deferral.

"Reception office" project has started sending appeals to members of the Russian Parliament demanding to adopt a law on alternative civil service for the mobilized.

The military wants to mobilize up to three thousand medics. Officials in several regions are continuing to declare planned and actual mobilized numbers at the moment. For example, 80% of the planned reservists have already been "partially mobilized" in Belgorod region. About 800 men have already been taken from Perm region. Over 2,5 thousand citizens can be "partially mobilized" in Kaluga region. 2129 men, including 181 officers, are to be mobilized in Vologda region. 788 citizens of the region have already been taken to military units at the moment. The military commissar of Yaroslavl region has reported over 3500 call-up papers sent. The military commissar of Bashkortostan has declared that the conscripts demobilized in the last spring can be called up again. As for mobilization time frame, for example, it won't be disclosed in Moscow "because this is restricted information".

The Ministry of Defense of Russia assures that "there are no restrictions on movement for citizens in conditions of partial mobilization in Russia". However, in fact this is not true. Alexander Burkov, the head of Omsk region, e.g., has stated that there are general exit restrictions for men who can be mobilized in the region, they may depart their localities only with permission from a military enlistment office. And enlistment offices have begun to give citizens not liable for the mobilization certificates which allow to exit their areas of residence, including traveling abroad. The airport of Tyumen has confirmed the existence of lists of men who are forbidden to leave Russia because of the mobilization. The confusion has affected even propagandists and their colleagues.

In these circumstances, more and more Russian citizens are trying to leave the country by land. Since September 21, 98 thousand Russians crossed into Kazakhstan. Here’s a photo of Russian citizens lined up in front of one of the social services centers in Astana. In the Kazakh town of Uralsk, volunteers greeted those arriving from Russia at the train station. The Kazakhstan President stated it is necessary to help people escaping Russia, that Kazakhstan won’t extradite Russians fleeing mobilization unless they have outstanding international warrants. The situation at the Russian-Georgian border is more complicated. The queue at the border from the direction of North Ossetia grew to 5.5 thousand cars causing Sergei Meniaylo, the head of the region, to warn of the possibility of declaring a “partial” state of emergency in North Ossetia. At the same time, a mobilization office was installed at the border of Russia and Georgia where the Russian citizens eligible to be drafted receive their summons to the military as they try to leave the country. This video shows a convoy of military vehicles heading towards the Georgian border.

Even if you succeeded in leaving the country, the FSB (Russia’s internal security agency) can still track you.  There are now reports in group chats of people leaving for Georgia, Kazakhstan, and Finland that had their unique mobile phone identifiers (IMEI) of those crossing the borders are being recorded by the officials.

The number of cases of mobilization of people not meeting the criteria announced by the Ministry of Defense is growing. For example, a 49-year old head coach of the Russian youth bandy team (and also the husband of the former Channel One TV anchor Olga Kokorekina) received his call-up papers. It was later reported that they let the head coach go home but a Tuapse resident Yury Mitrofanov, 49, wasn’t so lucky. He is already at the training grounds and has been handed a military uniform. Dmitry Boltinov of Dolgoprudny was mobilized despite being already 39 years old, having never served in the army, and his wife and one of his sons being disabled. Also among the mobilized was a 44-year-old Muscovite Sergey Zaguzov who served 20 years ago in the rank of private. In Saratov, they are planning to mobilize a railroad safety engineer Vasily Polichev, 33, who never served in the army, doesn’t have military experience, nor had military training at college. In the town of Gubkin (Belgorod region), a 29-year old driver Roman Mozhaikin who never served was called up. In Moscow, summons to the military were served to Georgy Golokolenko, a disabled man suffering from autism and schizophrenia.

The military commissar [head of the enlistment office] of Novosibirsk explained that partially eligible citizens and even those that never served before may be mobilized. The Military Commissar of the Magadan region, Sergei Baranovskii, was dismissed from his post due to the "mistakes”' made during the "partial" mobilization.

Mobilized persons do not need to fret about their mortgage and credit repayments; if they are killed or maimed (receive Group 1 disability status) during the "special operation", their repayments will be taken care of by the issuing banks.

Mobilized citizens continue to be shipped out to military bases. Today new conscripts from Ufa were waved off with much fanfare. In the town of Sibay, in the Republic of Bashkortostan (Russia), 12 performers from the local theater company were conscripted. Conscripts in Murmansk were also seen off with an orchestra. Krivodanovka's conscripts, though, were waved off without music but with many tears. Yuryev-Polsky's conscripts departed to the "Farewell of the Slavic Woman" theme and with holy water blessings. This is what the departure of the new recruits looked like in the town of Koptevo (Moscow region). In the Pachelmski neighborhood (Penza region), 2-3 minivans full of conscripts are sent off every day. Everybody goes, even the 40–50-year-olds. Women whose husbands were conscripted in the town of Lakhdenpokhya, complained that their men were waved off by the authorities in a rather poor fashion. First busloads of mobilized recruits have already arrived in Sevastopol.

Accommodation in which the newly conscripted civilians are kept at bases, as well as the associated logistics, leave a lot to be desired. It's said that recruits are advised to supply their own mini drones and night vision scopes. First "instructions" that were basically "guys, you are on your own" were given to the new arrivals in the Altai Krai. In another speech, a CO openly said he had no idea what the future holds for the mobilized. A Bashkortostan regional Telegram channel “Kushtau online” released a video which depicted dozens of new conscripts sleeping on benches. This partial mobilization activity revealed serious issues in the Elan basic training camp. There are no plans to train all the recruits. Some will be shipped off to the front lines right away.

Authorities in the Udmurt Republic are threatening legal action for those who refuse conscription. In Moscow, police started to break into properties and seal them in order to issue conscription orders.

Pavel Chikov (of the Agora International Human Rights Group) launched an automated conscription related legal advice service.

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow also called for mobilization, spiritual, that is. And demanded everyone start praying for the authorities.