mobilization briefs
September 30, 2022

Mobilization update for September 28-29

A bill extending the reasons for exemption from mobilization was introduced in the State Duma.

The Defense Ministry has launched a 24-hour hotline for relatives of those who were summoned for mobilization.

RIA Novosti (Russian state-owned news agency) reports citing the Russian Defense Ministry that "after the combat readiness training of the units consisting of mobilized servicemen and volunteers, they will begin to carry out the tasks of control and defense of the liberated territories and also act as part of the reserve and reinforcement units”. However, mobilized people from the Sverdlovsk region were sent to the border areas after a day in the training center. It is not reported whether they will undergo further training there.

Russian government officials cannot determine the legality of certain actions towards citizens in regards to the announced partial mobilization:

- Vyacheslav Volodin, Speaker of the State Duma (lower house of Russia’s Parliament) commenting on the topic of citizens fleeing the country during the mobilization suggested referring to the law that prohibits those liable for military duty leaving their place of residence without permission of the military commissariat (enlistment office). He withdrew his comments later on.

- The mobilization hotline informed Russian News Agency TASS representatives that full-time students of state universities who are not in the reserve must provide a certificate from the university when traveling abroad, and students in the reserve must obtain permission from the military commissariat. The hotline refuted this information in an interview to an RBC Media Group representative.

- The press secretary of Ramzan Kadyrov stated the mobilization in Chechnya will not be canceled, despite the earlier claims of the head of republic.

- Military commissars continue to edit and reissue mobilization orders, especially affected are sections related to travel restrictions.

Information continues to appear on the number of mobilized in the regions. According to the Kursk region governor, the number of locals who need to be called up during mobilization was reduced. In the Pskov region, according to the mobilization plan, about 2,000 people are to be mobilized. Currently 50% of the target number have been mobilized and sent to duty stations.

Multiple photo and video materials on the mobilized people dispatch from various locations (Kursk region, Irkutsk region, Sevastopol, Tomsk, Nizhnevartovsk, Barnaul, Perm region). In the Perm region, the mobilized were dropped off the bus and left to spend the night in an open field, without even tents provided. The location where the video was filmed was geolocated by Radio Liberty employees and is known as the “Death Valley” among soldiers.

A situation is slightly better in Barnaul where mobilized were placed in leaky tents. In Knyaze-Volkonskoe village in Khabarovsk region the mobilized were put in permanent structures. However, the conditions there are not much better. Videos contain a lot of swearing. Mobilized men from Chuvashia were placed in a huge hangar. In comparison to the previous videos, such conditions might be called tolerable (apart from the risk of contracting COVID).

Regional officials of the Nizhny Novgorod region pitched in providing the mobilized with essentials. Collections for the mobilized are also organized in the Rostov region and in the Crimea. In the Samara region, volunteers feed the mobilized. Tomsk governor Mazur suggested citizens to equip the mobilized. In Novosibirsk, donation drives for the mobilized are held at schools.

Reports on the mobilization of citizens who do not meet the criteria declared by the Ministry of Defense keep pouring in. Human rights activist and lawyer Pavel Chikov reports several cases of mobilization of HIV-positive men and one person with cancer. More on the specifics of recruiting people with HIV.

In the Krasnodar region, a strabismus-suffering IT specialist was mobilized. Unsurprisingly, he was assigned the position of a gunner. Even the intervention of the head of the Ministry of Digital Development M. Shadayev did not help to avoid mobilization. Some of these mistakes are due to the complete absence of medical examinations for the mobilized. As an example - Neryungri, Yakutia region, where people in white coats are replaced by a random man in a sweater.

After all the mistakes that were made during the mobilization, Altai Krai's military commissar pointed his finger squarely at the mobilized citizens themselves, citing their own inability to update their family, health and work details in a timely manner.

Finland's border will be shut to Russian tourist visa holders as of Friday night, 30th of September. The Norway-Russia border is already shut. In the next few days there will be a mobile conscription office set up at the Kazakhstan border with the Astrakhan region (of Russia). Earlier mobile conscription offices were set up on the Russia's borders with Finland and Georgia. Head of Russia’s constituent Republic of North Ossetia, Sergey Menyaylo, signed an executive order to place his country in the state of high readiness. Inbound traffic from any other region is now restricted with few exceptions.

While the authorities in the Tuva Republic (of Russia) have announced the end of the mobilization process, in the city of Kyzyl, demonstrations against it are continuing regardless. Uniformed servicemen apply brute force detaining women who participate in the protest. This video shows a woman with her infant child being dragged into the police car, despite pleas from the bystanders. By the time this video made its way into news, the woman and her breastfed child have already spent more than three hours at the police station.

Military commissars and their aides are employing ever more elaborate methods to issue conscription notices. In the city of Vladivostok, a uniformed man climbed through a small window to get into the staircase of a building and opened it from the inside to let his associates in. A fire alarm was set off in a building in the same city, to lure the residents out of their flats in order to issue them with conscription notices. Although in this case the building's CCTV cameras enabled the residents to remain indoors and avoid the trap.

All over Russia, citizens unwilling to go to war continue to set fire to administrative buildings (conscription offices). A Novosibirsk resident was arrested early in the morning, while attempting to set fire to the conscription office of the Kirovsky and Leninsky districts. In Rostov, arsonists set their local town hall building ablaze. One of the offices in it was destroyed in the fire. Suspects were detained and accused of setting fire to the conscription office and the town hall in the regions of Samara and Orenburg.

Ksenia Sobchak released a probably sponsored post where she praised Moscow mayor Sergei Sobyanin’s efforts so streamline the draft. “Mobilization process in Moscow has gone on splendidly," she wrote.

  • Ms Sobchak is a former TV anchor, journalist, socialite, actress and former opposition politician. She is the daughter of the first mayor of Saint Petersburg, Anatoly Sobchak
  • Sergey Sobyanin is a Russian politician, serving as the 3rd Mayor of Moscow since 21 October 2010

Some countries have made an announcement to advise their citizens to leave the territory of the Russian Federation as soon as possible. Amongst these countries are the USA, Latvia, Romania, Poland, Bulgaria, Estonia and Italy.