Vasiliy Krestyaninov, a journalist for The Insider, was enrolled as a volunteer for the war in Ukraine through Gosuslugi, Russia’s online government services portal, without his consent. His account was first accessed from a Russian IP address (the journalist left the country in 2021), followed by an IP address in Yerevan. Vasiliy claims the second login took place when him being in Armenia was already public knowledge.
The screenshots above show the IP addresses Krestyaninov’s Gosuslugi account was accessed from
Krestyaninov was conscripted in 2015-2016 and is currently in Russia’s military reserve.
“My Gosuslugi account is linked to my Russian e-mail, which I hardly use. I got a notification that I was enrolled in the Russian terrorist army – I can't call it any other way. I was shocked, I thought it was some kind of joke or mailing list – I receive threats on social networks and on Telegram from time to time.”
Hello, Vasiliy Alexeyevich! Application status: Service provided Service: Volunteer application Department: Russian Ministry of Defense
“I decided to check: I went to the Gosuslugi website, which I also hardly use, and found that an application was officially registered on my behalf, which, of course, I see as political persecution for me being an activist and a journalist. The Russian regime is trying to pressure me that way. It’s clear that mobilized people are in critical danger right now.”
In November 2021, Krestyaninov emigrated from Russia to Georgia after FSB officers threatened the journalist and tried to coerce him into becoming an informant. At the beginning of September this year, Krestyaninov was refused entry into Georgia – in addition to being denied entry, a border control agent “provocatively photographed” his passport and allegedly sent the photo to his superiors. An hour later, a police officer approached Krestyaninov and told him he had to get back on a plane to Yerevan.
On September 21, President Vladimir Putin announced the start of “partial” mobilization in Russia – the call-up of several thousands of reservists into the military. Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu later specified that the army aimed to draft “around 300,000 reservists.” Despite being labeled “partial,” draft notices are being handed out left and right. On October 3, Russians were enabled to sign up as volunteers for the war in Ukraine online – through Gosuslugi, Russia’s government services website. The following day, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Chernyshenko claimed that more than 2,000 people had already signed up as volunteers through the new function on the portal.