mobilization briefs
May 1, 2023

Mobilization in Russia for Apr. 28–30, 2023 CIT volunteer summary

Authorities and Legislation

As a follow-up to the newly adopted law on the digitization of military service records, Russia’s Ministry of Defense published a draft amendment to the conscription regulations. According to the draft, draft notices will be sent out by registered mail and issued online. A paper notice will be considered received on the date of delivery while a digital draft notice will be deemed received once delivered to the citizen’s personal account on the Gosuslugi public services website. If for whatever reason a notice sent by either of these two mailing methods fails to reach the recipient, it will be deemed delivered anyway within seven days after its publication in the conscription registry. Having received the draft notice, the conscript is no longer free to leave Russia. Should the recipient fail to report to the draft office within 20 days from the date specified in the draft notice, further restrictive measures will apply.

First Deputy Chairman of Russia’s State Duma Committee on Budget and Taxes Mikhail Shchapov claimed that taxes on luxury goods and excessive consumption, as well as tax rates for exporters, can be increased to help the state continue financing the “special military operation.” However, Shchapov believes that the government has not yet exhausted all available financial means, such as resources of the National Welfare Fund and state loans.

Member of the State Duma [lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia] Pavel Krasheninnikov announced amendments to the legislation on martial law. The amendments will impact the election processes in the regions where martial law has been imposed. Under the current regulations, any referendums and elections of members of state authorities and local government bodies are suspended if martial law is in effect. Russia’s authorities will be seeking to amend this legislation in order to proceed with elections on the annexed territories of Ukraine.

Member of the Legislative Assembly of Saint Petersburg Boris Vishnevsky arrived in Murino, Leningrad region, where the Yabloko party applied three times to hold a rally against digital draft notices. The rally on Apr. 29 was refused by a local administration under the pretext of holding the St. George Ribbon rally at the same time. However, according to Vishnevsky, no event was carried out in Murino that day.

Conscription and Military Service Advertising

The Ministry of Defense continues to push for military service under contract. The agency has released more commercials on its Telegram channel. Advertising posters appeared near apartment buildings in Saint Petersburg and Ryazan, and in the Kazan Federal University dormitory. In Perm, a mobile military recruiting station was opened.

Billboards advertising the Wagner Group were installed in Vladimir. Recruitment is done through a fitness club, whose address is advertised on the billboards. However, representatives of the fitness club deny the work of the recruitment office. The Wagner Group billboards are also seen in Rostov. In St. Petersburg, a girl was handing out Wagner Group’s leaflets near a subway station. Residents of Saratov found such leaflets in their mailboxes.

The VChK-OGPU Telegram channel [the name is a reference to the VCHK and OGPU, which were the intelligence and state security services in the early Soviet Union] published the dates of a patriotic nationwide tour organized by the Officers of Russia NGO, aimed at recruiting volunteer fighters into the Prizrak [Ghost] Battalion.

Mobilized Soldiers and Volunteer Fighters

The growing list of mobilized soldiers killed in the war have been updated with the names of Dmitry Kipa from the Novosibirsk region, Yury Dokunin from the Vladimir region, father of many children Aleksandr Karamzin from the Rostov region, Aleksandr Voloshin and Andrey Klenov from the Chelyabinsk region, Aleksandr Kalashnikov from the Murmansk region, Pavel Boltov from the Voronezh region, Aleksey Muralev from the Leningrad region, Mikhail Yakovlev from Saint Petersburg, Vyacheslav Mayorov from the Samara region and Fyodor Shugorev from the Krasnoyarsk region.

The Ministry of Defense continues to recruit convicts. A man, who is serving a sentence in the Tyumen penal colony, reported that convicts are offered to enlist for the contract-based military service in exchange for an amnesty, cancellation of conviction and a monthly pay exceeding 200,000 rubles. A few dozen convicts reportedly accepted such offers. It is known that representatives of the Ministry of Defense have already visited similar colonies in the Sverdlovsk and Yaroslavl regions.

The Astra Telegram channel continues to monitor the fate of the mobilized men, who were being pressured to join so-called “PMCs”. They are being held at the Stakhanov Railway Car Building Plant and have not been heard from in three weeks.

According to [radio and news outlet] mobilized individuals from the village Ugut of the Khanty-Mansi autonomous region [Russia’s federal subject] are being forced to sign a contract with the so-called Veteran Private Military Company. This was reported by the wives of the draftees, who said that their husbands' documents and phones were taken away and that they were threatened with being shot in the knees if they refused to fight. The regional authorities are not responding to the complaints, and the human rights commissioner of the Khanty-Mansi autonomous region, Natalia Strebkova, calls them fakes. The group of draftees also includes the nephew of the head of Ugut, Dmitry Ogorodny.

In the Moscow suburb of Khimki, the family of a mobilized father of three children is unsuccessfully trying to bring him home from the “special military operation.” The Baza Telegram channel published an audio recording of a conversation between the soldier's mother and a staff member of the Khimki military commissariat [enlistment office]. Despite the deferment for fathers of many children, the chairman of the draft board and also the head of the city, Dmitry Voloshin, is in no hurry to sign the protocol to cancel the wrongful mobilization of the man, while an enlistment office employee admitted that she "doesn't care."

In his annual report to the regional duma [legislature], the human rights commissioner for the Volgograd region, Valery Rostovschikov, stated that the most complaints received by his office were “partial” mobilization-related. Mainly, residents wrote when their relatives had been drafted despite suffering from serious illnesses or being eligible for deferral of their mobilization. Also, there were many requests for help in determining the whereabouts of mobilized relatives.

The Sibir.Realii [part of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty] news outlet published a report about draftees who were sent to the front despite suffering from serious medical conditions. We have already reported on one of these soldiers earlier.

Sentences, Legal Proceedings, and Incidents

A Volgograd region court delayed the start of the sentence to a drafted Volgograd man. The man was convicted to 8 months of forced labor and withholding 5% of his income for failure to pay alimony. However, due the man’s participation in the “special military operation”, the court delayed the start of his sentence until he is discharged from the military service or the maximum of six months since the conviction, whichever comes earlier.

A railroad sabotage has been committed in Novosibirsk. During the night of Apr. 29, someone set fire to a relay cabinet in the Lenin district of Novosibirsk. Despite the cabinet burning out, the railroad traffic reportedly was not affected and there were no delays. The culprit is still at large.


Reportedly, heads of all municipal enterprises of Irkutsk received letters from the city mayor’s office “kindly asking” to request a transfer of their day’s salary for the benefit of the “special military operation.” The letter urges each company to conduct “informational sessions” about the “necessity of each employee participating in this campaign without exceptions.”

The government of the Khanty-Mansi autonomous region – Yugra instituted additional benefits for war participants and their families. Now, wounded Yugra residents would receive compensation in the amount of 500 thousand to a million rubles and children of the “special military operation” participants will receive 100 thousand rubles when they are admitted to Yugra colleges. Also, contract servicemen will be compensated for travel expenses from their place of residence in Russia to their place of military service.

A "Good Saturday" campaign took place in St. Petersburg. Participants were weaving masking nets, making trench candles, planting trees and cleaning up garbage.

Activists of the All-Russia People's Front [a political coalition in Russia started in 2011 by then-Prime Minister of Russia Vladimir Putin] of the Kurgan region sent another batch of aid to the “special military operation.” Special equipment and off-road vehicles were delivered to the frontline. Additionally, according to Kurgan media, the regional department of education and science announced a fundraiser to purchase thermal imaging cameras and quadcopters for the front. It is expected that the entire educational community of the region will participate.

The Governor of the Pskov region, Mikhail Vedernikov, in his Telegram channel reported a transfer of 20 tons of aid to the Pskov paratroopers, which included generators, saws, building materials, household appliances and gear.

The Bumaga-S company has launched a promotion: when buying ZOV [letters associated with the “special military operation”) garbage bags, 1 ruble of the cost will be sent to military needs and support for families of military personnel.


A preschoolers military parade was held in Yeysk, where each daycare represented a different military branch. The following photo and video provide an idea of how it looked. An exposition "The life of the mobilized" is opened in school No.17 in Novy Urengoy.

At the “Talking About Important Things” lessons, dedicated to the Victory Day, the war in Ukraine will be discussed with Russian schoolchildren. This follows from the scenarios and methodological recommendations for classes of 10 and 11 graders, which appeared on the official website of the project.

Representatives of the Ministry of Education came with an emergency inspection sanctioned by the prosecutor to the Novocollege in Novosibirsk, whose administration is fighting war propaganda in educational institutions. Sibir.Realii spoke with Sergey Chernyshov, the director of the college.


After the reconstruction of Victory Park in Kemerovo, residents received an opportunity to walk through trenches.

The officers who completed military schools graduated two to three months earlier than usually expected.

Victory Day

Governors of the Oryol and Pskov regions announced the cancellation of parades, concerts, and fireworks on May 9. The fireworks in Lipetsk have been canceled, and in the cities of the Irkutsk region, some festive events dedicated to Victory Day have been called off. Earlier, parades on May 9 were canceled in the Belgorod, Kursk, and Voronezh regions, as well as in all cities of the Krasnodar region, except for Novorossiysk.

Stands with photographs of the heroes of the Great Patriotic War and those killed in the war in Ukraine were placed in Moscow and Vladimir.