mobilization briefs
September 28, 2023

Mobilization in Russia for Sept. 26-27, 2023 CIT Volunteer Summary

Authorities and Legislation

The proposed 2024-2026 federal budget includes a new state program to restore the occupied territories. 37.5 billion rubles [$388 million] would be spent on the program in 2024, however, no funding is planned in 2025-2026. The "new regions" would also receive transfer payments to "equalize budget provision."

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

The governor of the Altai region issued a directive concerning the fall regular conscription campaign. The document mentions an "acute shortage of conscription resources" during the campaign last spring. Consequently, local authorities should "assist draft offices" and pay particular attention to long-term fugitives. Governor of the Novosibirsk region Andrey Travnikov also issued a directive concerning the fall regular conscription campaign. Neither directive states the number of people to be conscripted, since the Ministry of Defense sets this target.

Fines for ignoring a draft notice or failing to fulfill one’s military registration duty will significantly increase on Oct. 1, reminds the Voyennye Advokaty [Military Lawyers] Telegram channel. Their post includes a detailed analysis of who can be fined and for what reasons under the amended legislation.

In Krasnoyarsk, an advertisement for contract-based military service was posted directly on a blackboard at School No. 45. The regional department of education commented that the city administration is "fulfilling its mandate to inform residents" about contract service opportunities.

Vazhnyye Istorii [IStories, independent Russian investigative media outlet] found out that Investinform, a company presumably affiliated with the largest Russian property developer PIK Group, has been sponsoring the Russian Legion, a volunteer battalion fighting for Russia in Ukraine. Mercenaries selected through Investinform’s aggressive recruitment campaign sign a contract with the Ministry of Defense. Candidates are promised a sign-up bonus of 600,000 rubles ($6180) and a monthly salary amounting to 350,000 rubles ($3600). A recruiter who works for the Russian Legion confirmed that a percentage of these incentives were financed by PIK.

According to Igor Sapko, Commissioner for Human Rights in the Perm region, prisoners detained in penal colonies across the region, including those serving life terms for aggravated crimes in the colony known as Belyy Lebed (White Swan), have expressed a willingness to participate in the war and have asked for assistance in enrolling.

A member of a local council from Tatarstan [Russia’s constituent Republic], 38-year-old Zaur Ramazanov, has signed a contract with a "volunteer" battalion and left for Ukraine to serve in the war. Ramazanov plans to spend six months at the frontline.

A 38-year-old resident of the Krasnoyarsk region signed a contract to be deployed to the war in an attempt to settle his heavy debts. Criminal proceedings had been initiated against him for failure to pay child support; the unpaid child support amounts to 250,000 rubles ($2,575).

Mobilized Soldiers and Volunteer Fighters 

Another conscript soldier has sustained an injury in the Kursk region. An 18-year-old soldier from the 99th Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment was taken into hospital with a gunshot wound to the leg. The official preliminary cause of the injury is listed as "careless handling of a weapon." Earlier, another conscript was also hospitalized with a similar injury in the Kursk region, and the official explanation of the incident was the same.

In the Bryansk region, 28-year-old Captain Konstantin S. sustained an injury during mine-clearing operations. The man has been transported to the hospital.

In the "DPR," conscripts and military personnel over the age of 55 are reportedly being compelled to sign contracts, according to the Mobilization DPR Live Telegram channel. The Sota media outlet drew attention to the post in the channel along with the comments on it. The individuals affected are members of the 5th Motor Rifle Brigade of the People’s Militia of the so-called DPR. These military personnel must sign contracts by Oct. 1; in case of refusal, they are threatened to be deployed to the Storm battalion.

As discovered by the Vyorstka media outlet, the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection has significantly increased the purchase of disability assessment forms for Russians in 2023. The number of forms ordered for the first part of 2023 has already reached a nine-year record, which is one and a half times higher than the previous year.

Sentences, Legal Proceedings and Incidents

In Crimea, a soldier was removed from a train; he had gone AWOL with weapons and headed home to Rostov-on-Don. He is currently in custody.

The Military Investigation Department, in response to an official request from journalists, confirmed that they are investigating the criminal case related to the death of contract soldier Mikhail Pichugin. The department does not disclose details of the case. It is worth noting that Pichugin died at the end of August after being assaulted by military police officers (in detail).

Journalists from the Mozhem Ob'yasnit [We can explain] Telegram channel analyzed the decisions of military courts on charges of going AWOL and concluded that judges, in some cases, disregard the explanations of the Supreme Court regarding the right of military personnel to leave their unit without permission from their command.

In Saint Petersburg, 26-year-old Tatyana and 28-year-old Anna, friends of male nurse Maksim Asriyan, were detained. He had planned to set fire to a draft office in October 2022 and was apprehended in hot pursuit. The women are charged with failure to report a crime and assisting in its commission. They allegedly knew about the arson plot and even purchased two bottles of flammable liquid. The women have been released on recognizance. Earlier, six mates of Asriyan were detained in connection with the attempted arson of the draft office, but they were later released.

A 70-year-old resident of Moscow received a video call from an unknown person who showed her a video of her son.  He had been mobilized over a year ago and had stopped responding to her calls in mid-August. The caller said that to ensure her son’s return home, she had to throw a Molotov cocktail at the building of the draft office. The woman contacted the police, and an investigation was launched.

In St. Petersburg, an unidentified man attempted to set fire to the draft office of the Nevsky district. The man took several pictures on his phone before throwing a bottle of Molotov cocktail at the door of the building. While the damage to the door was minor, the arsonist managed to escape.

An arson attempt of a draft office was also recorded in Vladivostok. During a morning patrol, employees discovered a burnt and melted plastic window. After reviewing CCTV camera recordings, the police determined that an unidentified man first doused the window with flammable liquid and then set it on fire before fleeing the scene. The arson attempt was unsuccessful as the fire extinguished itself, and no injuries occurred.

An 18-year-old resident of Arkhangelsk was arrested for attempting to set fire to a military base. It is reported that on the night of Sept. 24, the young man entered the military base with gasoline and motor oil, where he was detained. He has since been arrested and charged with attempted acts of terror. According to the perpetrator, he decided to set fire to the military base due to his anti-war stance.

Ilya Baburin, a resident of Novosibirsk accused of high treason and organizing an act of terror for attempting to set fire to a draft office, was assaulted by his escort. According to the Zona Solidarnosti Telegram channel, citing Baburin himself, the assault took place on Sept. 22 in a service vehicle, during which the man was also referred to as a "traitor to the homeland."

Anton Zhuchkov and Vladimir Sergeev had their sentences decreased by two months: to seven years and ten months for Sergeev and to nine years and ten months for Zhuchkov. During anti-war protests on March 6, 2022, the men decided to publicly commit suicide by taking methadone to protest the war with Ukraine. However, Sergeev brought bottles of flammable liquid with him without informing Zhuchkov, intending to also set fire to the police vans.

The Court of Appeal upheld the sentence of Crimean artist Bohdan Ziza, convicted in the "anti-war case." In June, he was sentenced to 15 years in prison. According to the Federal Security Service (FSB), he splashed yellow and blue paint on the facade of the administration building in the town of Yevpatoria, Russian-occupied Crimea, but no fire occurred.

Assistance

Employees of one of Moscow's departments are forced to donate 300-500 rubles [$3-5] every month to support the "special military operation." These funds are then transferred to their colleagues who are serving in the military.

Priests from the city of Cheboksary have delivered quadcopters, medications, food supplies, and a vehicle to soldiers from Chuvashia [Russia’s constituent republic] at the frontline. In the Irkutsk region, 11 drones were acquired for the mobilized men of the region deployed to the frontline. From the Sakhalin region, a tracked platform for transporting the wounded has been sent to the fighters. Furthermore, Governor of the Lipetsk region Igor Artamonov has ordered the transfer of 40 vehicles from the region's inventory to support the war effort in Ukraine.

Local businessmen in Buryatia [Russia's constituent republic] have gifted a new home to Ivan Kalashnikov, a mobilized soldier from the republic. Head of Buryatia Alexey Tsydenov revealed that Kalashnikov was given the choice between a house in his birthplace village and an apartment in Ulan-Ude, and he opted for the apartment. Tsydenov also noted that Kalashnikov was mobilized in March of this year.

The Russian Post has placed a special emphasis on monitoring the dispatch of parcels for the military following complaints about parcels being stuck in the sorting center. The management of the department attributed the delay to a shortage of staff.

Children

In Nizhnekamsk, at the celebration of the Hero of the Soviet Union, military men taught first-graders to assemble and disassemble an assault rifle. Meanwhile, in Novy Urengoy, children with disabilities were tasked with making stretchers and bandages for Russian servicemen.

Sergey Mironov, leader of the A Just Russia party, has proposed introducing a subject called "Important Things" in schools to teach children how to weave mask nets and make trench candles.

Miscellaneous

In the town of Sovetsky, Khanty-Mansi autonomous region [Russia’s federal subject], a basic military training course for women has been launched. The training will include shooting, providing medical care, and survival skills in field conditions. Currently 20 women are undergoing this training. Similar basic military training courses for women have previously been introduced in Irkutsk.

On July 18, the administration of the Yanaulsky district of Bashkortostan [Russia's constituent republic] published a photo of local resident Arthur Sultangaliyev receiving a medal. However, it was noticed that his military uniform had been 'photoshopped' in the image. The Baza Telegram channel posted what appeared to be the original photo, pointing out that the soldier had attended the award ceremony in shorts and flip-flops. The soldier himself died in the hospital on Sept. 24.

Mobilized residents of the Alsheyevsky district of Bashkortostan have published a video address to Governor Radiy Khabirov, requesting the preservation of an infectious disease department at a district hospital.

Journalist Irina Babicheva from the 161.Ru media outlet visited the village of Derevyannoye in Karelia [Russia’s constituent republic], where on the night of Aug. 1, two individuals—Maksim Bochkaryov, who had a previous criminal record, and Igor Sofonov, a mercenary associated with the Wagner Group—killed six people.