“As a special measure in the economic sphere,” on October 3 the Russian government allowed regions to purchase
with local budgets dual-use goods, drones means for detecting them, radio communications, electronics, night vision devices, detection devices for laser and optical guidance systems, vehicles, uniforms, outdoor equipment, medicine, hygiene products, food and building materials.
The political scientist Grigory Golosov offered his own diagnosis
of the system: “exactly the same thing is happening with the mobilization that has been happening for years with elections. There are implementers on the ground who try to fulfill the plan at any cost. They know that they could still run into trouble if they overdo it, but there will be either no punishment or it’ll be mild; however, if the plan isn’t fulfilled, then you could pay by losing a very profitable post. Overfulfilling the plan – if there are no scandals that are too loud – won’t be held against them… All systems in Russia operate the same way, through a combination of ineptness on the part of decisionmakers and insane diligence on the part of those who implement the decisions.”The regional dimension
The share of the population called up varies greatly by region. Regional capitals and major cities are underrepresented, while economically depressed regions and rural areas on the contrary have been affected disproportionately. The reasons are clear: on the one hand, in large cities there is a higher share of students, who according to Putin's decree
receive a deferral and often a complete exemption from the draft after completing their studies; on the other hand, it is precisely in large cities that there is a high amount of draft dodging, by all possible means, including bribes to doctors and medical boards.
During the mobilization, these differences further deepened. Regional governors received directives for the mobilization: about 7,000 from Ryazan, about 6,000 from Kaliningrad, which is about 2.5% of the number of military-age men in those regions. The largest proportion of draftees was seen in Sevastopol, with up to 4% of reservists, or over 3% of the entire male population aged 18-50 years. The most modest directives: from 0.3% to 0.7% of men aged 18-50 in Moscow and St Petersburg, as well as Novosibirsk, Murmansk and Yamalo-Nenets regions.
Villages and remote areas have been the hardest hit by the mobilization. It was recommended, according to Meduza sources
, to recruit minimally from regional centers: "they’re going through rural areas, there is no media, opposition and more support [for the war]."
Military commissars were criticized by several regional leaders, in particular in Krasnodar, Vladimir, Belgorod and Tyumen regions.