Partial Mobilization Announced in Russia

21 September 2022
Polina Vodogreeva
Ellina Izotkina

According to the Decree on the announcement of partial mobilization in the Russian Federation dated 21 September 2022 citizens in reserve are subject to partial mobilization, primarily those who have served in the ranks of the Armed Forces, as well as those who have certain military accounting specialties and combat experience.

As for now, we are waiting for explanations and orders from the Government and Ministry of Defense, which are expected to provide us with comments and clarifications as to the Decree application. Our comments below are based on the current legislation at the time of drafting the underlying alert and the oral comments of the authorities available to the public.

1. General information

As a general rule, citizens who are in reserve, who do not have the right to a deferral from conscription for military service on mobilization, are subject to conscription for military service on mobilization (according to Article 17 (2) of the federal law On mobilization training and mobilization in the Russian Federation).

The following citizens are considered to be in reserve, according to Article 52 of the federal law On military duty and military service:

  • discharged from military service with enlistment in the reserve of the Armed Forces

  • successfully completed training in military educational institutions of higher education under the programs of military training of sergeants, reserve foremen or programs of military training of soldiers, reserve sailors and graduated from federal state educational organizations of higher education

  • not completed military service due to exemption from conscription

  • not subject to conscription for military service upon reaching the age of 27 years

  • women who have been assigned military accounting specialties

The following categories of citizens are not subject to partial mobilization:

  • of certain age, as established in details in Article 53 of the federal law On military duty and military service

  • of certain health reasons – in connection with the recognition by the military medical commission of their unfit for military service, with the exception of military personnel who have expressed a desire to continue military service in military positions that can be replaced by the specified military personnel

  • those in respect of whom a court verdict on the imposition of a punishment in the form of imprisonment has entered into force

  • citizens working in the organizations and entities of military-industrial complexes

  • students (according to comment of the Minister of Ministry of Defense)

  • other citizens as established under Article 17 of the federal law On military duty and military service

There are also no specific information as for the time limits for mobilization campaign.

2. Medical personnel conscription for military service

According to Recommendations on registration for military service issued by the General Staff of the Armed Forces dated 11 July 2022 entities and organizations are obliged to check and update information on military registration of citizens in reserve with their military registration cards. These rules are applied to medical workers since they have medical military specialties, indicated in their military registration cards. The same applies to women working as medical workers as well, since profession of a medical worker is indicated in part 4 “Medicine” to the Annex II (2) to those Recommendations II, where professions of those who are considered to be in reserve are indicated.

3.Traveling abroad during mobilization

The Decree does not contain any specifics or direct regulation of the procedure for traveling abroad for Russian citizens called up for military service on mobilization. At the same time, the Decree provides the Government to take the necessary measures to meet the needs of the Armed Forces. This wording is quite vague and excludes the possibility that the Government within the framework of these necessary measures will take any additional restrictions / regulation of the specifics of traveling abroad. At the moment there are no additional Government orders in this regard.

4. Prohibiting leaving the place of residence without a special permit during mobilization

According to Article 21 (2) of the federal law On mobilization, citizens who are on military registration from the moment of the announcement of mobilization are prohibited from leaving their place of residence without the permission of military commissariats, federal executive authorities that have a reserve.

At the same time, these provisions of the law On mobilization do not contain clarifications as to whether these provisions relate to general or partial mobilization. Therefore we presume that they are formally applied in case of a partial mobilization announcement as well.

At the same time there are some available comments of the representatives of the Russian authorities as to this topic in Russian media. For example, Head of the State Duma Defense Committee, Andrey Kartapolov, stated that “the introduction of partial mobilization does not require restrictions on travelling within the Russian Federation”. Member of the Human Rights Council under the President of the Russian Federation, Kirill Kabanov, also mentioned that “there is no legal ban on leaving the place of residence in case of partial mobilization, it is applied from the moment of receipt of the summons”. These are not official explanations or orders, so we may use them as the guidelines as of the moment until any official document is issued.

5. Liability for leaving the place of residence

Liability for violating federal law On mobilization is established by Article 21.5 of the Administrative Code:

Failure of a citizen to appear at the military commissariat for military registration, removal from military registration and making changes to military registration documents when moving to a new place of residence located outside the territory of the municipality, a place of stay for a period of more than 3 months or leaving the Russian Federation for a period of more than 6 months or entering the Russian Federation, as well as failure to report within the prescribed period to the military commissariat or to another body carrying out military registration about moving to a new place of residence located within the territory of the municipality, or the place of stay entails a warning or the imposition of an administrative fine in the amount of RUB from 500 to 3,000.

6. Restriction to the right to leave the Russian Federation

The list of cases of temporary restriction of the right of a Russian citizen to leave the country is defined by Article 15 of the federal law On the procedure for exit from the Russian Federation and entry into the Russian Federation. Among other things, the right to leave Russia may be temporarily restricted if a citizen is called up for military service in accordance with Russian laws (in this case, the restriction on leaving Russia is valid until the end of military service). Thus, the right of a person, called up to military service, to leave Russia is limited from the moment the draft board decides on the call to military service and until the end of service.

Russian citizen can be restricted from leaving Russia only on the grounds established by the law (under Article 2). Thus, despite the potential applicability of the ban on leaving the place of residence, before a citizen is called up to military service, there are no grounds for restricting their right to leave Russia (if this citizen does not fall under other cases according to Article 15).

Additionally, it is worth noting that at the moment neither restrictions on leaving the place of residence during mobilization, nor temporary restrictions on leaving Russia contain any specifics based on the reasons for the change of the citizen’s location. Accordingly, these provisions are also applicable to business trips, tourism, etc.