mobilization briefs
September 8

Mobilization in Russia for Sept. 6-7, 2023 CIT Volunteer Summary

Authorities and Legislation

According to the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation, the electoral commission of the Belgorod region decided to "postpone" the municipal elections in the Shebekinsky district due to constant shelling. Authorities did not clarify until when the election would be postponed.

Governor candidates have begun to avoid the topic of war, concluded the Vyorstka media outlet, after reviewing their public speeches and statements published in traditional and social media. Incumbent Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin mentioned the "special military operation" the least. Most political parties are also reluctant to field candidates, who fought in the war, in the upcoming municipal elections. The URA.RU media outlet reports that the ruling United Russia party nominated 117 war veterans, while the Just Russia party and the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia nominated only 66 and 50, respectively. A representative of the Communist Party said that veterans "were present" among their candidates, while in the New People party, a representative admitted that no such statistics are being kept.

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

In Saint Petersburg, a police raid targeted illegal migrants and people, who were recently granted Russian citizenship, but failed to register for military service. As a result, 56 naturalized citizens were served draft notices summoning them to register for military service at a draft office. Similar raids took place recently in at least 8 other regions.

Russian regions continue to compete in the recruitment of volunteer fighters for the war in Ukraine. This time, numerous calls to enlist in Saint Petersburg were posted on social media in regional communities across the country. They promise a one-time payment of 695,000 rubles [$7,094] and a host of social benefits. According to the offer conditions, both Russian and foreign citizens can sign a military service contract, with the latter being granted citizenship under a simplified procedure.

Mobilized Soldiers and Volunteer Fighters

The list of mobilized soldiers killed in the war has been updated to include Aleksandr Utigaliyev from the Volgograd region, Vadim Vorobyov from the Yaroslavl region, as well as Vladimir Yanyushkin, Dmitry Vasilyev and Jury Chupeyev from the Samara region.

Maxim Ivanov, member of the State Duma [lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia] from the Sverdlovsk region, claims to have received "shoals" of letters from the families of war participants with requests to return soldiers back home. He suggests solving the rotation problem through contract soldiers staying in the rear area.

Mobilized soldiers from the 1307th Regiment have recorded a video address, once again complaining about the command. According to the soldiers, they are forced to launch assaults without artillery support, under threat of punishment. Out of 109 company personnel, only 25 remain in the ranks. Previously, soldiers from the 1307th Regiment complained about the lack of food and ammunition, as well as about humiliation by the officers. After the facts were made public, the regiment commander was supposed to be replaced, but apparently, he is still in charge.

The Astra Telegram channel published several additional addresses by families of the 37th Motorized Rifle Brigade servicemen missing in action after an artillery attack on June 5. We reported on the situation earlier. The Lyudi Baikala [People of Baikal] independent media outlet spoke with a daughter of one of the missing men. In her words, a group of women joined forces to draw attention to the problem and force the authorities to act. In their address, the group named 35 missing soldiers but that list is far from complete.

Sentences, Legal Proceedings and Incidents

A man in military uniform and a grenade threatened to blow up a "humanitarian aid" collection point in Rostov-on-Don. Having placed the grenade on a table, he started threatening to blow up those present unless they left the premises within half an hour. The man was later detained.

Former Wagner Group mercenaries robbed their contract serviceman friend twice when he paid them a visit in Moscow. 300,000 rubles ($3,045) and a cell phone were stolen from him.

In Bashkortostan [Russia’s constituent republic], Vilnur A., a former Wagner Group fighter recruited from a penal colony while serving time for beating a man to death, killed ex-policeman Ilshat Khafizov during a nightclub brawl. Even though the instigators of the fight were detained, there is no further information available on their arrest. Khafizov’s relatives said that the local media were refusing to cover the situation because the killer had taken part in the war.

A military police officer in the Rostov region has been detained for his involvement in the assault of a serviceman, which we covered in our previous summary. The serviceman subsequently died. The body of the deceased has been transported from Millerovo to Rostov-on-Don, but it has not yet been released to the family.

In the Chelyabinsk region, warning notes threatening punishment for sabotage have appeared on relay cabinets.

In the Kirov region, two teenagers, 16-year-old Yegor G. and 17-year-old Kirill K., have been detained on suspicion of setting fire to railway infrastructures. The incident occurred on Sept. 3 at the Kirov-Kotlassky station, and as a result of the arson, a relay cabinet was completely destroyed. The teenagers were detained three days later, and a criminal case was initiated against them on charges of terrorism. Preliminary information suggests that the schoolboys were recruited through Telegram, with the promise of a monetary reward.

The Freedom of Russia movement has reported an arson attack on railway infrastructure in the Vladimir region. According to the Russian Railways [Russian fully state-owned railway company], there have been 15 crimes related to railway infrastructure damage in the Vladimir region during the first six months of 2023, which is four times higher than the previous year.

In Saint Petersburg, passersby apprehended and handed over a woman to the police who was attempting to set fire to the draft office in the Vyborgsky district. The video shows the woman recording her actions on her phone. After her arrest, she claimed that she had been following the instructions of fraudsters.

The 2nd Western District Military Court sentenced two residents of Nizhny Novgorod to five and seven years in prison, respectively, for attempting to set fire to the military commissariat [enlistment office]. The men were convicted under the charge of preparing for an act of terror. According to the investigators, the men received an offer from "unidentified representatives of Ukrainian intelligence services" to set fire to local military commissariats in exchange for cryptocurrency equivalent to $3,500.

In Khabarovsk, the Federal Security Service (FSB) detained a local resident on charges of high treason. According to the investigators, the detainee "transferred money to one of the units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine" and planned to participate in the war on the side of the AFU.

Moscow City Court sentenced a 21-year-old second-year student from the Faculty of Economics of the Astrakhan State University of Architecture and Civil Engineering, Gleb Verdiyan, to six years in a maximum-security penal colony on charges of intended treason. His case was heard in closed session, and details of the charges are unknown.

The FSB announced the arrest of smugglers supplying parts for military aircrafts to Europe, including components ​​allegedly intended for use by the AFU. It is claimed that the criminal group included individuals from Ukraine and Central Asia.

The Southern District Military Court in Rostov-on-Don ordered the compulsory psychiatric treatment of Gelani Khalilov, Đ° native of Russia's constituent Republic of Dagestan. He was found guilty of recruiting parishioners of a neighborhood mosque to the Sheikh Mansur Battalion, which is fighting on the side of Ukraine.

In Volgograd, the prosecutor's office began to investigate the legality of collecting up to 10 percent of the state employees' salaries for the Prospective Development of the Volgograd Region fund. Among other things, the fund collects money "for the needs of the special military operation."

Assistance

Volunteers sent two cars, medical supplies and food to the frontline. Additionally, Aleksandr Fedorovsky, a member of the Novgorod Regional Duma [regional legislative body], handed over a UAZ vehicle to the military, as well as winter sleeping bags and other supplies from local residents.

In Russia's Far East, 11 apartments were given to the families of the soldiers killed in the war in Ukraine. Meanwhile, free fish was given to the families of the mobilized from among the indigenous minorities.

Children

The administration of a school in the Sakhalin village of Mgachi is facing allegations of embezzlement through government procurement contracts intended for "military-patriotic education." A special project called "Future Defenders of the Motherland" has been established for this purpose, and within its framework, purchases of necessary equipment are being made at significantly inflated prices.

Within the context of "patriotic education," educational institutions are increasingly organizing meetings with participants of the war in Ukraine. In Saint Petersburg, a participant of the "special military operation," told cadets that "the tragedy in Mariupol was worse than the siege of Leningrad." In the town of Kansk, Krasnoyarsk region, students from several schools were gathered for a meeting with soldiers. The children were informed about the motives of those who went to war, presented with "DPR" and the Wagner Group flags, and promised souvenirs from the frontline.

Due to the increasing frequency of UAV attacks in the Klin district of the Moscow region, authorities are considering the closure of an airfield housing a youth aviation school. Other educational centers in the central part of Russia have long ceased operations due to airspace closures.

Miscellaneous

In the city of Chelyabinsk, individuals in camouflage clothing, balaclavas, and with Z-patches have joined ticket checks on public transport. Meanwhile, residents of the city of Bataysk, Rostov region, have formed a patrol squad, which includes local residents returning from the conflict, including former mercenaries. The catalyst for this initiative was the attack on a former member of the Wagner Group.

Longreads

Sibir.Realii, of the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty online media outlet, released an article about the lives of ethnic Tatars in the villages of Siberia and the influence of the war in Ukraine on them. In many of these villages, men have either voluntarily enlisted for contract-based military service or have been drafted. Currently, coffins with the killed soldiers are arriving from the war.

The Cherta media outlet published an article about the lives of workers in defense enterprises. Many economists argue that large defense contracts should increase the value of labor for these workers and boost economic activity in regions with enterprises of the military-industrial complex. However, the workers themselves do not notice a rise in their wages.

The Insider, an independent Russian investigative media outlet, interviewed wives and mothers of convicts killed in the war. The women shared why inmates, faced with the choice between the prison zone and almost certain death, opt for the latter.

Sever.Realii, part of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, investigated how recently enacted amendments to the conscription law, allowing remote removal from military registration, are being implemented in practice. It turned out that very few individuals managed to achieve this without a personal visit, while authorized representatives are often turned away from draft offices without explanation.