mobilization briefs
April 20

Mobilization in Russia for April 18-19, 2024 CIT Volunteer Summary

Authorities and Legislation

The classified share of the Russian Federation’s budget reached a record 22,6% in 2023, or 7,3 trillion rubles [$77 billion]. For comparison, it was 19,1% and 15,2% in 2022 and 2021, respectively. When planning the 2023 budget, authorities allocated 6,37 trillion rubles [$68 billion]. In the future, the share of classified expenditures is expected to grow: in 2024, it is expected to represent 26,8% of the budget, or 9,8 trillion rubles [$104 billion].

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

In 2023, Russia delivered around 3,000 visas to Nepalese citizens, as reported by Mediazona [independent Russian media outlet] based on statistics published by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, Russia had never delivered this many visas to Nepalese citizens. The most common stated purposes were tourism (1,756), work (660), and education (459). The data from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are in line with the border crossing statistics published by the Federal Security Service. In February of this year, CNN reported that the Russian authorities had recruited up to 15,000 Nepali mercenaries for the war against Ukraine. In January, Nepal halted issuing permits for its citizens to work in Russia after several Nepali nationals were killed in the war in Ukraine.

In the Irkutsk region, employees of the Angarsk mayor’s office, together with bailiffs, police, and the National Guard, have initiated a door-to-door campaign offering debtors the option to sign a contract with Russia’s Ministry of Defense and participate in the war. The city administration stated that these operations are regular events, during which citizens are informed that, by law, military personnel can expect a partial or total suspension of debt enforcement proceedings. Meanwhile, in Karelia [Russia’s constituent republic], debtors are receiving letters from bailiffs proposing the signing of a contract in exchange for the suspension of debt enforcement proceedings.

Dmitry Levinsky, the former head of the capital construction department in the Perm region [Russia’s federal subject], who was sentenced last year to nine years in a maximum security penal colony for embezzling 353 million rubles [$3.75 million] during the construction of a zoo, has now gone to war. Levinsky was also involved in several other criminal cases.

Mobilized Soldiers, Volunteer Fighters and Contract Soldiers

The list of mobilized soldiers killed in the war has been updated to include Vladimir Shurov from the Kursk region, Aleksandr Yesin from the Tambov region, and Valentin Yelyo from the Chukotka region.

Journalists from Mediazona and BBC News Russian, in collaboration with volunteers and based on open sources, have been able to confirm the deaths of 51,096 individuals in the war with Ukraine, including 6,146 mobilized men. Over the past week, the list has been updated with the names of 625 military personnel, including 79 mobilized soldiers. The largest share of the deceased still comprises ex-convicts (18%, or 9,372 people). They are sent to storm Ukrainian positions on the most challenging sectors of the frontline. As previously discovered by the BBC, half of the convicts fighting in the Ministry of Defense units die within the first eight weeks after being released from penal institutions.

Relatives of mobilized men with severe injuries have reported that their loved ones are being forcibly held on the premises of the 114th Motorized Rifle Regiment in Ussuriysk. In addition, the military police are detaining soldiers accused of going AWOL. The men were transferred from various regiments and divisions, stripped of their documents and phones, and confined within the unit. According to relatives, the soldiers, having returned from the "special military operation" zone and submitted reports refusing further deployments due to their injuries, are locked up there. By order of Colonel Chernenko, they are being denied the opportunity to undergo a military medical board examination that would determine their fitness category. A recording surfaced earlier showing military police officers handcuffing one of the refuseniks and taking him onto a bus. The man was forcibly sent to Ulan-Ude, and on April 19, it was revealed that he had already been transferred to Rostov-on-Don.

Sentences, Legal Proceedings and Incidents

The Nalchik Garrison Military Court ruled the denial of military service member Amir Dolov's request for discharge due to the need to care for his children as unlawful and ordered the command of the military unit to reconsider the report. Dolov, who joined the service from the reserves, had signed an 11-month contract. After the death of his spouse, he is the sole caretaker of his minor children.

Over two years, 10 Russian soldiers have been convicted under the law against "spreading fake information" about the army. While these verdicts are rarely public, Mediazona learned some details from available information. Among those convicted was Daniil Frolkin, who was sentenced for admitting in an interview with Vazhnye Istorii [IStories, an independent Russian investigative media outlet] to the murder of a civilian in Ukraine.

Member of the State Duma [lower house of Russia's Federal Assembly] Alexander Khinshtein has reported the detention of two 16-year-old teenagers from Tolyatti who attempted to set fire to a Mi-8 helicopter at the Kryazh airfield in the Samara region. According to him, the teenagers confessed that they were given instructions by Ukrainian intelligence services. A criminal case for the attempted terrorist attack has been initiated against them. Previously, the Main Directorate of Intelligence of Ukraine statedthat a Mi-8 helicopter was destroyed at the Kryazh airfield in Samara on April 17. A video of the helicopter's alleged destruction was also published.

According to the Astra Telegram channel, on the evening of April 17, at the 466th km of the Moscow railway, between the Krasnoye and Gusino stations in the Smolensk region, unknown individuals set fire to two relay cabinets. The equipment was completely burned out. As a result, passenger trains were delayed.

BBC News Russian has identified the individual in a treason case whose name has not been disclosed by the FSB and the courts. The secret accused under the "spy article" turned out to be 26-year-old athlete Nikolay Martynov from the Moscow region, who previously participated in the pro-Kremlin We Are Together volunteer movement and worked at the Patriot Park of the Ministry of Defense.

The court in Krasnodar sentenced 21-year-old resident of Leningradskaya settlement, Daniil Zinkovsky, to seven years in a maximum security penal colony under the charge of preparing for treason. According to investigators, in September 2022, Zinkovsky called a phone number for those interested in joining the "International Legion of Territorial Defense of Ukraine" and traveled to the Rostov region, allegedly heading towards Ukraine, where he was subsequently arrested.

As noted by the Mozhem Ob'yasnit [We Can Explain] Telegram channel, the number of convictions for cases involving sexual offenses has noticeably increased over the past two years of war. The number of convictions for rape has risen by almost 10% over the two years, those convicted for acts of sexual violence have increased by nearly a quarter, and convictions for lewd acts involving minors (up to 16 years old) have risen by 61%. Veterans returning from the "special military operation" zone, including former convicts, contribute to this statistic. Considering that victims are less likely to report to the police during wartime, this increase in statistics is just the tip of the iceberg.

Vazhnyye Istorii highlights the "trends in repression." For instance, women are increasingly being tried for extremism and vandalism, elderly people are more often prosecuted for offenses related to the illegal circulation of explosives and weapons, while teenagers are becoming subjects of extremism cases and are persecuted for insulting veterans. In turn, an analysis of the court report by the Voyennye Advokaty [Military Lawyers] Telegram channel shows that all trends of violence in the army compared to previous years have been preserved. Beating with hands and feet remains the main form of violence, and the guilty are usually sentenced to a fine. In rare cases, courts impose suspended sentences and only in isolated cases — actual imprisonment. A detailed analysis of the data from the Judicial Department of the Supreme Court for 2023 is in the material by the Vyorstka media outlet.

As reported by the lawyer of Nadezhda Buyanova, a 67-year-old pediatrician from Moscow, she was charged in the final version.Buyanova is accused of spreading "fakes" about the Russian Army motivated by political, national or ideological hatred. Now she faces up to 10 years of imprisonment. The case against the medic was initiated based on a complaint by Anastasia Akinshina, who did not like how she was spoken to during an appointment.


The Federal Bailiff Service in the Perm region announced that vehicles confiscated from drunk drivers will be donated "for the needs of the 'special military operation.'" The governor of the Astrakhan region, Igor Babushkin, suggested transferring fish seized from poachers to the military. Meanwhile, a confiscated batch of contraband worth 10 million rubles [$106,200] has already been sent to the war zone from the Volgograd region.

Chechnya will involve Palestinian refugees in the production of vehicles for the military at the Chechenavto plant, which produces "Jihad-mobiles."

Children and Educational System

The "Across the Centuries" flash mob, designed to commemorate a new Memorial Day adopted in 2021—the Day of Unified Actions in Memory of the "Genocide of the Soviet People"—is taking place in schools across various regions of Russia. In the two weeks since its launch, nearly 2,000 schools and colleges have participated and published photo reports of their events. In several cases, children were organized into the shape of a five-pointed star, and some were even forced to kneel. After reports of these incidents spread in the media, all the schools mentioned in the post published by the Agenstvo [Agency] independent media outlet removed their photos.

In the last lesson of the "Talking About Important Things" series [a compulsory lesson held every Monday in schools across the country], schools and colleges are set to promote student labor teams, work outside of school hours, and the benefits of employment from the age of 14.


In Sevastopol, a monument to the sailors of the 30th Surface Ship Division, including the cruiser Moskva, who were killed in the war against Ukraine, was unveiled. It bears the names of 21 sailors, 11 of whom were born in 2000 or later. For 19 of them the date of death is given as April 13, 2022. On that day the cruiser Moskva was hit by a Ukrainian missile.

In the higher religious educational institutions of the Russian Orthodox Church, a new course will start in the near future—"The basics of clergy training for serving in a combat zone."

Russian regions are canceling mass celebrations of Victory Day. For safety reasons, the parade will not be held in the Kursk, Bryansk, Pskov, Belgorod, and Ryazan regions. In the Sverdlovsk region, it has been announced that festive events would be held only at sites that "meet the requirements of anti-terrorist security." In the Voronezh region, mass celebrations have been canceled in three districts.

As reported by Vyorstka, in Russia, from January to March 2024, the number of jobs offering draft deferments increased more than two times compared to the same months of the previous year. Draft deferments have become an important competitive advantage for employers.

Mediazona discovered that, in 2023, Russians abroad registered a record number of vital records.


The Lyudi Baikala [People of Baikal] independent media outlet told the story of Natalia Maltseva, whose husband and eldest son are fighting in Ukraine.

Mediazona reported on the criminal case against Polina Yevtushenko, who was detained on July 12 last year. Now she faces 22.5 years in prison for anti-war posts on Instagram.