Vladimir Putin has signed a decree to grant a monthly allowance to military pensioners who have entered into contracts to participate in the war in Ukraine or were mobilized after the beginning of the full-scale invasion. This will compensate the full amount of their pension payments, which are suspended by law upon enlistment or mobilization.
A survey conducted in August by the state-owned Russian Public Opinion Research Center indicates that President Putin’s approval rating reached its lowest point since the beginning of the invasion. Given an open choice to name any politician worth trusting, only 35.5% of respondents named Putin. The last time that his approval rating was lower was in February 2022. It was 31.3% and rose sharply after the invasion. Still, 77.1% of respondents say they trust Putin when responding to a yes or no question.
According to a resolution of the federal government, the state will transfer seized property to the All-Russia People's Front movement for free distribution for "humanitarian purposes" to people and organizations in the annexed territories. The list of such property includes, among others, military items, drones, engineering and construction equipment and even tobacco products. The government also authorized the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Emergency Situations to use seized property to fulfill their respective missions.
An advertisement banner appeared in the center of Ulan-Ude, promising people who enlist an annual income of at least 2.4 million rubles [$25,372]. Meanwhile, the 406th gymnasium [high school] in the town of Pushkin, Leningrad region, installed a stand to promote contract-based military service.
Regions continue to compete for volunteers who are willing to sign contracts with the Ministry of Defense. Yekaterinburg residents received instant messages urging them to enlist in Moscow. Potential recruits are promised a sign-up bonus of 600,000 rubles [$6,343] and a monthly salary of up to 500,000 rubles [$5,286].
In the Volgograd region, a man with a mild disability was summoned to the draft office to be handed a mobilization order. A 26-year-old receives a military pension for a mental health condition he had developed while in conscription service. Reportedly, the man had already received phone calls from draft officials who attempted to recruit him as a contract soldier. The draft office admitted having issued the call-up notice, explaining that the man still qualifies for the draft despite his disability. "When mobilization kicks off, anyone will qualify, including disabled reservists, those who never served, and so on."
Vazhnyye Istorii [IStories, independent Russian investigative media outlet] discovered that Rosgvardia [the National Guard of Russia] had started to recruit pardoned convicts to serve in its ranks as early as in August 2023. The media outlet obtained this information through some family members of ex-convicts who had joined the Wagner Group. Apparently, the men were offered a contract with Rosgvardia, but eventually some of them got screened out. The sources made it clear that vacancies with Rosgvardia filled by ex-convicts were nowhere near top managerial roles, or even mid-ranking positions.
In the Rostov region, a 15-year-old teenager brought a knife to school and attacked school staff and relatives of other students. Fortunately, none of the children were injured, but the grandfather of a first-grader sustained serious injuries and is in critical condition. According to reports from the Baza Telegram channel, during the arrest, the teenager shouted that he saw "Ukrainians and Poles" attacking him. The Governor of the Rostov region stated that the teenager has a mental illness and will undergo a medical examination. The boy's father had been mobilized and had recently returned from the war after being wounded. The day before the incident, he had met with his son. The teenager himself was a member of the Young Army [a pro-Kremlin youth organization].
In Yekaterinburg, a drunken man who claimed to be a participant in the war in Ukraine began threatening another young man with a gun due to his non-Russian appearance and long hair. The young man called the police, who arrested the offender. It's not reported whether a misdemeanor report was drawn up against him.
The Bryansk Garrison Military Court has sentenced a 36-year-old contract soldier to 15 years in a penal colony for sexualized assault on his 10-year-old stepdaughter. The crime happened in March 2023. The girl’s mother entered the room during the offense, protected the girl and called the police. According to the woman, her husband returned from the war being aggressive and began drinking heavily. During the trial, the soldier fully admitted his guilt.
In Novosibirsk, three teenagers, including two minors, have been detained on suspicion of a series of sabotage activities. According to law enforcement agencies, they were identified after setting fire to a railway relay cabinet. The suspects are also under investigation for allegedly setting fire to telecommunications equipment in the Sovetsky district and to a Su-24 bomber on the territory of the Novosibirsk Aviation Plant. All three suspects have been remanded in custody under charges of sabotage, which carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison. Previously, only one individual, Viktor Skorobogatov, was known to be involved in the case related to the arson of the Su-24 aircraft, and he was arrested in May. Skorobogatov himself claims he was merely filming the incident.
48-year-old Vitaly Alekseyev, the chief inspector for Siberian electronic customs, has been detained in Krasnoyarsk for sticking leaflets of the "Freedom of Russia Legion." Criminal investigation has been initiated against him for public calls to acts of terror and participation in the activities of a terrorist organization. He faces up to 25 years in a penal colony.
A court in Moscow has ruled to send a 60-year-old suspect charged with an act of terror for setting fire to relay cabinets in Reutovo to a pre-trial detention center. We reported on his detention in the previous summary.
A masterclass in weaving camouflage nets has been given at the Eastern Economic Forum. Minister of Culture of the Primorsky region Elena Bronnikova and Russia’s Deputy Minister of Culture Nadezhda Prepodobnaya participated in the event.
Nikolay Vladimirov, senator from Chuvashia, has sent a shipment of FPV drones produced by the Ekra company in Cheboksary to the mobilized soldiers from the republic.
Another Izhevsk shopping mall will be converted into a drone production facility. It will accommodate the Izhevsk Unmanned Systems Research and Production Association, part of the Kalashnikov Concern. The association, in particular, produces Granat-4 drones. Advertisements have already appeared to recruit engineers and technologists with salaries up to 250,000 rubles [2,630$], as well as laborers with salaries up to 80,000 rubles [840$].
Oleg Petrovsky, a 55-year-old "volunteer fighter" and a member of the United Russia party [Putin's ruling party] who is participating in the war with Ukraine, has become a member of the Duma [regional assembly] of the Stavropol region. Petrovsky takes part in the invasion of Ukraine as a member of the 247th Airborne Assault Regiment. He writes about the war in detail in his Telegram channel. He also calls himself a "homophobe" and "destroyer of the carriers of nationalism and fascism."
Dorzhi Batomunkuev, a former soldier of the 5th Separate Tank Brigade who had taken part in Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2014, has become a member of the public council under the deputy of the State Duma [lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia] Vyacheslav Damdintsurunov from Buryatia [Russia's constituent republic]. The deputy states that "Dorzhi was one of the first in Russia to bravely join the fight against the fascists a few years ago, fulfilling the assigned combat tasks." Batomunkuev became famous after he was interviewed by Novaya Gazeta [independent Russian newspaper] journalist Elena Kostyuchenko in a Donetsk hospital in 2015. He was placed there after his tank was hit near Debaltsevo. Key excerpts from this interview are quoted by the Astra Telegram channel.
The Khroniki.Media [Chronicles.Media] media outlet spoke with political activists and individuals at risk when obtaining Russian documents, whether in emigration or even under criminal prosecution. Hundreds of thousands of Russians liable for call-up risk being left without documents after leaving Russia. In October 2023, amendments to the law on the procedure for exiting and entering the Russian Federation will come into effect, prohibiting those who have received a draft notice from leaving the country. In such a case, if a person wishes to renew their international passport or obtain a second one, diplomatic missions may simply refuse their request.
The Dovod independent Russian media outlet compiled all available information regarding the fate of the 346th Motorized Infantry Regiment, consisting of approximately two thousand residents of the Vladimir, Kursk, Oryol, and Lipetsk regions mobilized in September 2022. The regiment suffered significant losses, leading many of its fighters to lay down their arms and withdraw from the frontlines. As a result, the unit was disbanded.