mobilization briefs
April 17

Mobilization in Russia for April 15-16, 2024 CIT Volunteer Summary

Crocus City Hall Terrorist Attack

A court in the city of Tver has detained a man accused of fraudulently registering the residency of the brothers Aminjon and Dilovar Islomov, who are facing charges related to the Crocus City Hall terrorist attack, in his home. All that is known about the detainee is that his last name is Ashurov, and he holds dual citizenship of Russia and Tajikistan. Ashurov is charged with fraudulent registration and has allegedly admitted his guilt. The Islomov brothers and their father, Isroil, were arrested on March 25 on charges related to an act of terror. Dilovar Islomov was the last owner of the white Renault used by the terrorists in the assault on the concert hall.

The Russian Investigative Committee is conducting widespread interrogations of migrants working at Crocus City. Investigators are trying to determine how long they have been in Russia and under what circumstances they were employed at Crocus. Among the Crocus staff are citizens of Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan. Investigators have allegedly discovered that some employees live in Russia illegally. According to the Baza Telegram channel's sources, a total of 25 foreign workers will be investigated for potential involvement in the terrorist attack. Landlords renting out apartments to migrants will also be questioned.

Following the Crocus City Hall terrorist attack, the police in Russia’s constituent Republic of Tatarstan conducted 566 "inspection activities to identify immigration law’s violators." Since the beginning of the year, the number of checks has already exceeded 2,500, while in the entire 2023, the police conducted 2,800 such checks.

In Kamchatka, following the example of several other Russian regions, migrants have been banned from working as taxi drivers. The region's governor, Vladimir Solodov, explained the decision by saying that "illegal migrants who commit various crimes in the region are often employed in taxis." The decree will come into effect by the end of spring and apply to foreigners working under patents. According to the Agentstvo [Agency] independent media outlet’s tally, Kamchatka has become the 29th region to restrict the employment sectors available to migrants, with half of these restrictions introduced this year.

Authorities and Legislation

Vladimir Putin signed a decree, which further aligns the benefits available to Rosgvardia [the Russian National Guard] volunteer fighters with those provided by the Ministry of Defense. The decree concerns access to life and health insurance, which is mandatory for members of the units composed of volunteer fighters. As noted by the Sota media outlet, the bill authorizing Rosgvardia to muster its own volunteer fighters’ units entered into force back in December 2023.

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

Referring to the text of draft notices being distributed electronically, Alexey Tabalov, Head of Shkola Prizyvnika [Conscript School, a human rights organization], points out that the following sentence is not accurate: “Receiving a draft notice in a user’s digital inbox is equivalent to a paper draft notice being served.” Even though the law on digital draft notices has come into effect, the electronic register of Russians subject to military service is not yet operational. As a result, digital draft notices are not enforceable without a paper copy for now. The authorities have yet to prosecute anyone for failing to comply with a digital draft notice. Lawyer Maksim Grebenyuk, creator of the Voyenny Ombudsmen [Military Ombudsman] project, agrees with Tabalov. He argues that the "notifications" sent electronically by the authorities do not have any legal consequences. For his part, Sergey Krivenko, head of the Grazhdanin. Armiya. Pravo [Citizen. Army. Law] human rights society, says that, in theory, draft offices could impose restrictions for failure to report in, regardless.

A member of the Alatyr town council in Chuvashia [Russia’s constituent republic], Daniil Vaganov, announced that he is heading to the frontline. Vaganov will serve in the BARS Kaskad military unit. Previously, the Mozhem Ob'yasnit [We Can Explain] and the VChK-OGPU Telegram channels reported that the Kaskad military unit is a special "privileged" unit within the BARS structure, which enlists deputies and children of officials who wish to make a name for themselves in the war but are not ready to participate in combat operations. So far, the unit has included members of the State Duma [lower house of the Russian Federal Assembly], with professional military personnel fighting on their behalf.

Mobilized Soldiers, Volunteer Fighters and Contract Soldiers

On the evening of April 15, two conscript soldiers were wounded in a UAV attack on Russian soldiers' positions in the Kursk region, as reported by the Astra Telegram channel. The soldiers were sent to a hospital. There were no civilian casualties.

Sentences, Legal Proceedings and Incidents

According to VChK-OGPU, the District Military Court has sentenced Captain Aleksey Krylov to 12.5 years in a maximum security penal colony for murder committed by a generally dangerous method from molester motives and hooliganism. On the night of Aug. 15, 2022, Krylov shot and killed a native of Azerbaijan, 51-year-old Roman Govasari, after an argument about Ukraine. At some point during the altercation, the officer pulled out a pistol and shot Govasari twice.

Yevgeny Teterin, the chairman of the Sverdlovsk branch of the Union of the Russian Airborne Forces, accused of mediating the transfer of a bribe totaling 12 million rubles [$128,300], has been sentenced to nine years in a colony but was released from punishment right in the courtroom because he had fought in Ukraine. During the trial, Teterin went to the frontline, where he was wounded, discharged from service and awarded the medal "For Courage." The state award became the basis for applying the norm of exemption from punishment from the day of the award. According to the defendant's lawyer, this is the first case in Russia where this legal norm has been applied, as noted by the It's My City media outlet.

In the Yaroslavl region, a mobilized man has been sentenced to five and a half years in a penal colony for failing to report to his unit. Even before the invasion, the man suffered from a complex eye disease. In December 2022, he was scheduled for surgery, after which he stayed home for treatment and did not serve for almost a year, which led to criminal charges against him.

In Tomsk, a soldier who went AWOL has been sentenced to seven years in a penal colony. He did not return to his unit from leave in May 2023, and he was found by police in July. In September, the soldier again voluntarily deserted his duty station and went to the town of Leninsk-Kuznetsky, but he was once again discovered in December.

The Magnitogorsk Garrison Military Court has sentenced a mobilized soldier to seven and a half years in a penal colony for going AWOL. According to the court, in 2023, he was absent from duty from April 11 to October 10 and from Nov. 24 to Dec. 22.

The court in Vladivostok has placed a suspect in a treason case in a pre-trial detention center. The name of the arrested individual and other details of the case remain unknown.

In the Kemerovo region, law enforcement officers have detained a 27-year-old man suspected of preparing a series of arson attacks on relay cabinets at four sections of the West Siberian Railway. He faces up to 10 years of imprisonment.

In the city of Kirov, Yegor G., 16 and Kirill K., 18, were sentenced, respectively, to six years in a juvenile correctional colony and six years and three months in a penal colony for setting fire to a railroad relay cabinet. According to the Investigative Committee, the youths were paid 10,000 rubles [$110] each for the deed. Law enforcement claims that the young men were receiving instructions from Ukraine via one of the messaging apps. They were convicted under the criminal code article on sabotage.

A court in the Krasnodar region sentenced a 42-year-old teacher to four years in a penal settlement for smuggling military goods to Japan and the USA. In search of customers, the woman published ads for military items for sale. During the search of her apartment, optical sights for sniper rifles and firearm components were allegedly found. The woman mailed her first shipment to Japan in December 2021.

A Moscow court sentenced Tatyana Petrukhina, a 70-year-old retiree, to 18 months’ probation for setting fire to a voting booth at a precinct during the elections in March of this year. She faced charges of interfering with the work by an election commission. According to investigators, the woman had been in contact via WhatsApp with an "undetermined group of people" and entered into a “criminal conspiracy” with its members.


Authorities in Arkhangelsk are planning to fit wounded participants of the war in Ukraine with prosthetic devices. A prosthetic and orthopedic facility is under construction in the city.

Children and Educational System

Tatarstan government plans to employ schoolchildren aged 14 and older to work at defense industry enterprises. The new youth employment program of the republic’s government aims to facilitate enrollment for minors aged 14-18 and teenagers from "families in socially dangerous situations." Local authorities intend to overcome unemployment and labor shortages resulting from the war and migration outflows by employing teenagers aged 16 and above in hazardous industries.


A museum dedicated to the "special military operation” has been opened at a children's art school in Ulan-Ude. Additionally, the release of “The Best in Hell” computer game dedicated to the activities of the Wagner Group in Ukraine, has been announced in the Primorsky region. It is stated that the game is based on the real stories of combat operations’ participants.

Mobilized soldier Mikhail Dushin, a "pro war-poet," was elected to the regional Duma in Kostroma. Moreover, another "veteran of the special military operation," Ruslan Aleksandrov, is running for the post of head of one of the districts in the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous region–Yugra. Aleksandrov volunteered for the war, spent two months at the frontline, and returned home after being wounded.


Vazhnyye Istorii [IStories, independent Russian investigative media outlet] delved into the black market of weapons. From the dealers, they discovered how Russian combat weapons from the frontline make their way into the country and Europe, and eventually become tools of terrorism. Some of the weapons are exported and sold by Russian soldiers themselves.

Mediazona [independent Russian media outlet] reported the story of Konstantin Zinovkin, a resident of Melitopol who was abducted by Russian law enforcement in May 2023. Zinovkin endured torture and is currently being held in a pre-trial detention center, while his family remains uninformed about the precise charges brought against him.

Journalists from the Spektr media outlet conducted interviews with residents of the so-called Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) and Luhansk People's Republic (LPR) about the mobilization and deployment of people from the occupied territories of Ukraine. They also discussed the tactics used by local residents to evade serving in the trenches, either within the ranks of the armed formations of “DPR” and “LPR” or in the Russian Army.

Novaya Gazeta Baltiya [independent Russian newspaper] reported the story of a Ukrainian refugee who was raped by a Russian soldier. She fled to Russia in August 2022 from a city occupied by Russian soldiers, having endured six months of shelling. In March 2023, the woman gave birth to a child conceived as a result of the rape and discarded the infant in a trash bin. Police were able to locate her through surveillance cameras and brought charges against her for "attempted murder of a minor." She is currently in a pre-trial detention center.