31 October 2022

Not all families of the draftees received the promised compensation. How the city of Saint Petersburg does (not) support the wives and children of the recruits

Mobilization in Saint Petersburg lasts for more than a month. Compensations were announced at the federal and city levels, including free breakfasts and public transportation for children, lump sums, and credit holidays. Smolny says that families get help automatically.

In fact, dozens of wives and children do not get the money, and no one can solve this problem. Paperpaper.ru tells how the payments work and how the authorities of Saint Petersburg are unable to keep up with the support of the families of the draftees.

Mobilized men in Saint Petersburg are supposed to get paid between 100,000 and 300,000 rubles. Their children should get free meals and public transportation

On September 29, the Governor of St. Petersburg, Alexander Beglov announced a lump sum of 100,000 rubles for the recruits and 300,000 rubles for the volunteers who came to the recruitment center without receiving a draft paper.

In addition, on the day of the declaration of martial law in the annexed territories of Ukraine, Vladimir Putin announced the minimum pay to the recruits of 195,000 rubles a month. On October 22nd the decree was published introducing a moratorium on taxes, fees, and insurance premiums.

The city of Saint Petersburg also introduced a few benefits for children of drafted parents. They include:

  • Free breakfasts and lunches at schools and preschools;
  • Free public transportation;
  • Waived fees at preschools;
  • Free camps for children;
  • Priority admissions to educational institutions for children under the age of 23 years whose parents were drafted.

In addition, the mobilized and their partners can get married within a day at the Saint Petersburg registry offices. Zaliv TV has featured a story on an accelerated marriage ceremony; 43 couples got married in the Kurortny district within one day.

The authorities of St. Petersburg continue to promise support, but so far, the innovations have not been registered. On September 29, Beglov spoke about “some other measures” without specifics; he perhaps meant assistance with uniforms and legal advice. On October 22, Beglov mentioned, among other measures, “the work placement of recruits’ wives”. By the time this article was published, those measures had not been officially introduced in St. Petersburg.

Petersburg’s measures differ from those introduced in Moscow and the Leningrad region. At the federal level, the authorities promised credit holidays to the mobilized

Payments similar to those in Saint Petersburg were introduced in the Leningrad Region by Governor Alexander Drozdenko. Additionally, the region introduced:

  • Priority enrollment in preschools, as well as colleges, technical schools, and lyceums for children of recruits;
  • Reimbursement of 50 % utility payments to the families of the recruits;
  • Free wellness packages and free rent of rehabilitation equipment for elderly family members of the recruits.

Unlike the leadership of St. Petersburg, the authorities of the Leningrad region reimburse 75 % of preschool fees and do not exempt from them completely. Free meals at schools of the region are provided starting from the fifth grade, and not the first grade.

In Moscow, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin signed a decree providing more benefits for recruits’ families:

  • For children; priority enrollment in preschools and transfers to other preschools and schools;
  • Exemption from paying for the after-school programs, classes, and sections ran by the city (however, Sobyanin’s decree does not mention free public transportation);
  • Assistance to families with elderly or disabled family members;
  • Assistance to recruits’ relatives in vocational education and job search.

At the same time, support measures were introduced by the federal authorities. The government promised the mobilized:

  • Job retention;
  • Credit holidays;
  • Waiving penalties for overdue utility bills;
  • For entrepreneurs, the right of transfer of organizations to trust management.

Dozens of St. Petersburg women complain about problems associated with support measures. They haven’t received payment in a month

Dozens of women complain about not receiving payments on VKontakte profiles of the Governor of Saint Petersburg Alexander Beglov and the city government. Per their messages, they do not understand how to receive the money and other benefits, Paperpaper.ru noted.

Those who leave complaints are directed to the Ministry of Defense. “Payments to the recruits, as persons serving in the military under a contract, will be organized by the Ministry of Defense. The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation is a federal executive body, and it does not report directly to either the government of St. Petersburg or the governor of St. Petersburg,” the city’s social policy committee responds to complaints.

Four women shared with Paperpeper.ru about their inability to receive payments. All four women saw off their relatives at the end of September, and they have been trying to get an answer about support measures from the military registration and enlistment offices, the governor, and district administrations. Some say that their complaints have been deleted.

“I repeatedly asked Beglov on VKontakte about the timing [of payments], regulations, etc. I received no clear answers. On Monday I called the administration of the Krasnoselsky district. They agreed to accept the documents they needed by e-mail. I emailed everything. There is no money [as well as answers], ” says Ekaterina (name changed), the wife of one of the Saint Petersburg recruits.

Ekaterina notes that she cannot receive payments from the Ministry of Defense either. “In September, the amount of 27,000 rubles per month came. The President promised 195 [thousand] even while [the recruit] was in the training unit,” she explains. If there is no response from the city services, the Petersburger intends to turn to the president.

Probably, many relatives of the recruits receive payments but do not write about it on social media. Vice Governor Boris Piotrovsky reported that the first payments were made in Saint Petersburg in early October. “Everything has already been paid according to contacts in the other parts of the city, but there their husbands left earlier,” said one of the sources of Paperpaper.ru. “My Husband’s co-workers from the Kirovsky district have already received 100,000,” another Petersburg woman confirmed to Paperpaper.ru.

Family members of volunteers at the frontline or in Belgorod also face problems related to payments

There are also complaints on VKontakte from the wives of volunteers. One of them told Paperpaper.ru that on the 20th of September, her husband was promised 300,000 rubles at the military registration and enlistment office, but the family has not received the money so far. Marina’s husband (name changed), according to her, is currently “directly in the SMO zone.”

“The military registration and enlistment office does not comment, they say, “Wait, this cannot be not done that quickly,” Marina retells the answers of the military registration and enlistment office. On October 21, the city government asked the woman for her husband’s information and promised to solve the problem.

Marina received a call from the school and was asked to apply for free meals for the children of the recruit. “It seems that children can travel for free, but I don’t even know what I need to do and where to apply,” the woman emphasizes.

A brother of another Saint Petersburg woman also signed a contract voluntary, but the family has not received 300,000 rubles. “Eleven days have passed, they refer to the military commissariat, and the commissariat refers that there is no order to draw up lists for transfer to the administration,” she tells Paperpaper.ru. The district administration promised to sort it out, but there is no result.

Paperpaper.ru was also contacted by a Petersburger who introduced himself as a volunteer, who is now in the Belgorod region. According to him, eight St. Petersburg contractors, including himself, have never received payments or any support.

“Ten people went in, two were immediately taken to Ukraine, we stayed. We beg relatives and friends. We bought a quadcopter for 229,000, now we are saving up for a thermal imager. And it’s funny, and I want to cry,” the man said and stopped communicating after that.

The authorities admit that most of the appeals are related to problems with payments. But they say that citizens do not need to apply

The Saint Petersburg authorities do not comment what are the reasons for a large number of complaints about the support provided for the families of the recruits, and the procedure. Although the authorities admit that most of the appeals are related to the payments.

Oleg Ergashev

Vice Governor of St. Petersburg

“We understand that all the applicants need to be helped to receive payments as quickly as possible. As for the procedure, financial assistance is provided to citizens regardless of the application status, since the administration receives information about the draft from the district military registration and enlistment offices”

Ergashev claims that the payment will be made within a day from the date of receipt of the documents by the city information and settlement center. Money should go to the personal accounts of citizens.

The head of the social policy committee, Elena Fidrikova, assures that families do not need to go anywhere and submit any applications at all; all assistance is allegedly provided automatically.

Elena Fidrikova

chairman of the Committee on Social Policy of St. Petersburg

“In the interaction between the military recruitment office and, most often, [district] departments of social protection of the population, decisions are made from the first entry point to the military recruitment office. Our specialists are there, they will learn the “portrait of the family”: who has stayed, children, elderly relatives, and any household [issues]. And at this point, the program of actions of social protection departments gets personalized for the family members’ interaction. Application is not required. The money is transferred to the accounts of our citizens automatically”

In case of any problems with payments, Smolny recommends contacting the department of social protection of the population at the place of residence of the mobilized person, as well as the hotline at 122 and the district administrations.

In addition, the families of the mobilized can contact the district centers of social assistance to families and children and call the city information centers: 241-20-57 and 334-41-44.

Cover photo: Tatiana Gord / Kommersant

Paperpaper.ru — is independent media from Saint-Petersburg, Russia. We’ve been reporting on the Russian-Ukrainian war since the day it started. As a result, our website was blocked by the Russian government.

For ten years we’ve been writing about the local community, business and initiatives. Yet, our main goal was always to improve life in the city we love.

We are Russian-language media but now we translate our the most significant articles to share it with our English speaking audience. Help independent journalism — save the freedom of speech!

Authors: Бумага
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