mobilization briefs
April 16

Mobilization in Russia for April 14-15, 2024 CIT Volunteer Summary

Crocus City Hall Terrorist Attack

A Moscow court has upheld the legitimacy of the arrest of Aminchon Islomov, the brother of the former owner of the white Renault car used by the perpetrators of the Crocus City Hall attack. At the hearing, Islomov once again strongly denied any involvement in the assault. Earlier, his father Isroil had also unsuccessfully contested the legitimacy of his son’s arrest. The Islomovs will be held in pre-trial detention until at least May 22.

Regional governments are pushing through new legislation and policies that undermine the rights of migrant workers. On April 15, Governor of the Novosibirsk region Andrey Travnikov signed a decree prohibiting business owners to hire foreign nationals, even those in possession of a work permit, to perform certain jobs. In particular, foreigners can no longer be employed as taxi drivers or as sales staff in retail outlets selling beverages and tobacco products. Foreigners already employed in these roles are subject to dismissal within two months. In annexed Crimea, the Russian-appointed governor Sergey Aksyonov also signed a decree prohibiting foreign nationals from being employed in 35 industries. Similar policies preventing the employment of migrant workers in specific industries have been introduced in nine other Russian regions.

Authorities and Legislation

Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin has signed a resolution which exempts mobilized soldiers from utility charges. Currently, in the absence of meters, utility companies calculate bills based on the number of individuals registered per dwelling, including any absentee residents. From now on, relatives of mobilized soldiers can request a utility company to exclude their share from the calculation by submitting a document issued by the draft office confirming their mobilization status.

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

Yet another raid on migrants took place in the city of Cheboksary on April 12. Following Friday Prayers marking the end of Ramadan, law enforcement officers blocked the exit of the city’s only mosque to check the worshippers’ IDs. In the course of the roundup, they identified 10 naturalized citizens, who had failed to register for military service, took them to a draft office and charged them with evading military registration duties.

The "cost" of a draft exemption in Moscow is now several thousands of euros higher than before the recent opening of the Unified Military Recruitment Center, according to reports from the Baza Telegram channel. Sources indicate that it has become much more complicated to illegally acquire a military ID that exempt its bearer from military service. The system centralization has led to a sharp increase in the cost of such a service, which can now range from 8,000 to 10,000 euros. Payment is reportedly only accepted in euros, not rubles. Despite these high prices, there are no guarantees, and they could increase several times over, if mobilization activities resume. According to Baza’s sources, fictitious service is no longer an option in many regions, either.

Viktoria Maladayeva, co-founder of the Indigenous of Russia Foundation, has reported that she received lists of people to be mobilized from the Okinsky district in Russia's constituent Republic of Buryatia. The published documents contain 82 names, including women working as nurses and paramedics. However, there is no confirmation that these lists were specifically compiled for mobilization. Maladaeva also stated that draft notices are being distributed in the Okinsky and Kyakhtinsky districts of the republic. In the meantime, Chechen activist Abubakar Yangulbayev claimed that individuals with dependencies and those caught using alcohol or drugs are being forcibly sent to war from Russia's constituent Republic of Chechnya, following a "verbal order" from Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov. Additionally, according to lawyer Artyom Faizulin, citizens who have previously served in the army are now receiving notices for "medical examinations" in the Perm region [Russia’s federal subject].

Mobilized Soldiers, Volunteer Fighters and Contract Soldiers

The list of mobilized soldiers killed in the war has been updated to include Vladislav Korolyov from the Vladimir region and Denis Vasilyev from the Volgograd region.

The Idel.Realii [part of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty] online media outlet has tallied up at least 13,002 people native to the Volga region who have been killed in the full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Russia's constituent Republic of Bashkortostan has seen the highest toll, with 1,852 men killed. Close behind are Russia’s constituent Republic of Tatarstan with 1,453 casualties and the Perm region [Russia’s federal subject] with 1,358 fatalities. Among all the deceased, 20.3 percent were individuals under the age of 35, totaling 2,640 deaths. The age group with the highest number of casualties was 30 to 34 years old, with 938 soldiers losing their lives.

Sentences, Legal Proceedings and Incidents

Student Semyon Kondrin successfully obtained a military draft deferral through the court, which had initially been refused by the draft office and the Lefortovo District Court of Moscow, likely due to Semyon changing universities. The Moscow City Court reviewed Kondrin's conscription decision and determined that he could not be drafted before reaching 18 years old, and therefore could not avail of a draft deferral during that period. Consequently, he is entitled to a draft deferral until the completion of his studies at the new university.

In the town of Novouralsk, an unknown individual left a grenade with the inscription "Happy Birthday" near a residential building. Upon arrival, sappers took the grenade away for examination. Currently, law enforcement officers are working to determine who the grenade might have belonged to.

The Vyorstka media outlet reported that in 2023, Russian garrison military courts issued verdicts in criminal cases against 7,779 men. This marked a record number of convictions over the past 13 years. The previous record for the highest number of convicted military personnel was set in 2010, with 8,632 convictions. In 2022, garrison courts issued verdicts against 4,191 military personnel. Therefore, in 2023, the number of convictions increased by 85.6%. Out of those convicted in 2023, 3,021 were sentenced to imprisonment, marking the highest figure in at least 14 years. Additionally, in 2023, there was an increase in the number of military personnel convicted for offenses related to the circulation of psychoactive substances, with 413 convictions, marking a seven-year record.

The court in Vladimir has placed local resident Vladislav Afanasyev in a pre-trial detention center for two months. Afanasyev threw Molotov cocktails at the regional government building and a nearby parked car. A criminal case has been initiated against him for deliberate property damage.

In Krasnodar, a 17-year-old teenager, Arsen, has been accused of attempting to blow up a draft office on the instructions of the "Freedom of Russia Legion." He was detained while taking a selfie near the draft office building. He allegedly was sending the photo to an unknown recipient. A criminal case has been initiated against Arsen, consequently, he has been ordered into custody.

Vladlen Menshikov, a resident of the town of Rezh, has been sentenced to 14 years of imprisonment for sabotage on the railway. Previously, the prosecution had demanded 19 years of imprisonment for him. Menshikov was detained in September 2022 while attempting to fly to Belarus.

An activist from Saint Petersburg, Daniil Krinari, has been sentenced in a case involving cooperation with Ukraine. While the press service of the Moscow City Court refused to disclose the duration of the punishment in a conversation with Mediazona [an independent Russian media outlet], according to the law, the sentence cannot be classified as secret. Krinari was detained by the Federal Security Service (FSB) in the Belarusian city of Grodno in December 2022 and subsequently transported to Moscow for legal proceedings.

The same court has also issued a guilty verdict to Nina Slobodchikova in a treason case. Although the two cases are unrelated, the court similarly declined to disclose the duration of the punishment. According to BBC News Russian, Slobodchikova moved to Moscow from Novosibirsk and worked as a programmer. She was detained in March of last year on suspicion of financing the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

The Southern District Military Court in Rostov-on-Don has received the case of Konstantin Evmenenko from Crimea and Oleksandr Litvinenko from the Kherson region, accused of treason. In May of last year, the FSB named the men among the detained "GUR [Main Intelligence Directorate of Ukraine] agents." Law enforcement officers claimed that they allegedly planned assassinations on the "head" of occupied Crimea, Aksyonov, as well as terrorist attacks on transportation infrastructure facilities in the region. Evmenenko and Litvinenko face charges of treason, preparing acts of terrorism committed in a group, participating in a terrorist community and possession of explosive devices.


In Chelyabinsk, "volunteers" organized meetings for the wives, mothers and daughters of military personnel with a tarot reader, makeup artist and aromatherapist, and also arranged family photoshoots for them.

Children and Educational System

In grades 5-7, an additional lesson titled the History of Our Region will be introduced, aimed at educating students about the "feats" during the war in Ukraine and highlighting the heroes of the "special military operation." The lesson will also focus on instilling traditional values among the students.

The school near Belgorod has set up a "Hero's desk" in honor of Igor Maslov, a graduate killed in the war in Ukraine after being previously convicted of murder. In 2020, he was sentenced to 12 years in a maximum-security penal colony for stabbing his female drinking companion more than 25 times. In May 2023, while still in prison, he enlisted in the war effort and fought as part of the Storm-Z unit, but was killed on June 1 of the same year. After media coverage revealed Maslov's criminal background, the school removed the post about the "Hero's desk."

The library in Tolyatti, Samara region, invited elementary school children to meet with former Wagner Group mercenary Sergey Alekseyev, who spoke to the children about war and the "truth about Nazism." Similarly, a school in Ulan-Ude, Buryatia, hosted a similar meeting with former Wagner Group mercenaries. In a published photo from the event, mercenaries and schoolchildren are seen holding the Wagner Group banner with Putin’s portrait in the background.


Chuvashia [Russia’s constituent republic] authorities allocated 5 million rubles [$53,600] from the republican Ministry of Health reserve fund to develop project documentation for the repair of civil defense shelters in the region.