mobilization briefs
April 22

Mobilization in Russia for April 19-21, 2024 CIT Volunteer Summary

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

Saint Petersburg authorities are using SMS text messages to summon conscription-age residents to the draft office, reports the Idite Lesom! [Flee through the woods/Get lost you all] Telegram channel. Its administrators argue the messages have no legal force and urge recipients to ignore them. Reports of similar messages had previously surfaced in Moscow. The Bumaga [Paper] independent media outlet published a detailed explanation of the rules, which apply to the conscription campaign this spring, and the steps to follow to avoid being called up.

In Yekaterinburg, a police raid disrupted a town hall meeting with anti-war politician Yekaterina Duntsova. Officers took down the attendees’ details and detained one of them, claiming he was evading military service. Later, they released the young man without charge, after checking the databases of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Stanislav Kiselyov, a member of the Yekaterinburg City Duma [city parliament], left for the war against Ukraine after joining the BARS (Special Combat Army Reserve) volunteer unit. He will provide medical aid to wounded soldiers. Kiselyov is the second member of the City Duma to volunteer. In November 2022, Timofey Zhukov had announced his intention to fight. He left for the "special military operation" on Dec. 31, 2022, but returned home in April 2023, claiming to have suffered a concussion on the frontline.

Also heading to the war is Vladimir Astafyev, the son of a former deputy governor of the Tambov region. He has signed a contract with the Ministry of Defense pending the outcome of his criminal case related to illegal gambling activities. In addition to Astafyev, his accomplices—former Tambov City Duma deputy Sergey Grishaev and former law enforcement officer Alexey Kolyagin—have also signed contracts with the Ministry of Defense pending the outcome of their respective cases. The regional prosecutor's office and the Investigative Committee have stated that the cases against them have been suspended and will be resumed upon their return from the war.

Marat Mirkhaidarov, Deputy Prime Minister of the Zabaykalsky region [Russia's federal subject], will return from the war after his contract expires. The official went to the frontline at the end of January as a volunteer with the Akhmat unit, and within a month he received a medal from the authorities of the "LPR." Recently, he stated that his contract will end in late May to early June, after which he plans to return to his position in the regional government. Thus, he will spend only four months at war. As highlighted by Meduza [international Russian-language online media outlet], according to Putin's decree on "partial" mobilization, all existing contracts with the Ministry of Defense are automatically extended indefinitely until the decree is revoked, effectively becoming open-ended. Voluntary termination of the contract is not possible.

Authorities and Relatives of Mobilized Soldiers 

Participants of the Put Domoy [Way Home] movement conducted their regular weekly actions: laying flowers at monuments and holding an "Empty Pots March" [a form of protest when people make noise by banging pots and pans from their balconies, also known as a cacerolada]. According to the movement, residents of Russia’s constituent republics of Khakassia and Bashkortostan, as well as the town of Shebekino in the Belgorod region, also took part in these actions.

Mobilized Soldiers, Volunteer Fighters and Contract Soldiers

According to the Astra Telegram channel, 49-year-old draftee Andrey Sakharov disappeared after being held in an illegal basement prison for refuseniks in the village of Zaitseve in the occupied territories of the Luhansk region. Sakharov was drafted in October 2022, and in the fall of 2023, he was deployed on a combat mission. Subsequently, the command decided to reassign him and his comrades to a new mission, however, "the entire squad submitted reports stating its inability to perform the assigned combat task due to the lack of resources provided by the command." Consequently, Sakharov was incarcerated in a basement prison in Zaitseve. The last contact with him was in late December 2023. It was not until April that his relatives were notified that the draftee was allegedly missing in action.

Astra also posts further evidence of the forced dispatch of military refuseniks from units in the Primorsky region. A video, allegedly filmed at the home base of the 60th Motorized Brigade in the village of Sibirtsevo, shows a draftee—a refusenik soldier—handcuffed to a piece of rail track for attempting to escape. According to relatives, the soldiers have been detained at the unit for two weeks now. Previously, a video emerged showcasing a handcuffed draftee, Yevgeny Leskov, being sent to the frontline. He had also refused to participate in the war for health issues. Relatives of soldiers detained at the 114th Motorized Regiment have also complained about the practice, while the families of soldiers from the 60th Brigade have informed Astra that there are plans to send 92 refuseniks to the frontline.

A soldier with a head injury was found unconscious in the Orenburg region. 41-year-old Yevgeny Tsaregorodtsev from the Novosibirsk region decided to sign a contract with the Ministry of Defense. On March 31, he arrived in the village of Totskoye in the Orenburg region to the unit 01007. Already on April 5, he was found unconscious and with a head injury about 60 km from the unit. He spent four days in intensive care and only contacted his relatives on April 11. The injured man was diagnosed with a cerebral contusion and skull fractures. Recently, Tsaregorodtsev was released from the hospital and is now in the unit under the supervision of officers. His mother has not been informed of the details of what exactly happened to him.

Sentences, Legal Proceedings and Incidents

In the Leningrad region, a member of the Wagner Group, who participated in the war, dismembered a woman from Saint Petersburg. Aleksey Serov, 42, was discovered with a suitcase containing human remains. Before the police arrived, Serov threw another suitcase out of the window. According to the Fontanka [pro-Russian media outlet of the Leningrad region], Serov came to the Leningrad region to work last summer after returning from the war, where he was recruited from a penal colony at the end of 2022. He was serving a 12-year sentence for murder there.

In the Zabaykalsky region, Aleksandr Nekrasov, a "volunteer collecting humanitarian aid for servicemen of the special military operation," assaulted his common-law wife, being jealous over a life-size doll. The man was sentenced to 10 months in a maximum security penal colony for physical abuse. Previously, he had been sentenced to eight years for causing grievous bodily harm resulting in death. Last June, he was also sentenced to nine months’ probation for repeated drunk driving.

Ruslan Khammatov, a resident of Ryazan was assaultedby Russian soldiers who mistook him for a Ukrainian saboteur as he was riding his motorcycle near a military airfield. When the soldiers realized their mistake and called the traffic police, they ordered Khammatov to tell the police that he had fallen off his bike. The police fined him for riding without a license plate and called him an ambulance. Medics diagnosed him with multiple fractures and bruises, a left eye contusion and a pneumothorax. Khammatov filed a complaint with the Military Prosecutor's Office on the same day, however, after two weeks no action has been taken.

The administration of the Amginsky district of Russia's constituent republic of Sakha (Yakutia) was fined 100,000 rubles [$1,070] for "failing to take measures to prepare for the defense and protection of the population and property from risks arising from military activities." The district lacks a civil defense unit, food reserves, medical supplies, personal protective equipment, or designated burial sites.

A Ukrainian citizen has been detained at the Russian-Georgian border. According to the Federal Security Service (FSB), the 36-year-old detainee has been charged with espionage. No further details were given.

The Southern District Military Court received a case of treason and collaboration with the special services of Ukraine. The defendants were residents of annexed Crimea: Kirill Barannik, Igor Zorin, Olga Kravchuk, Elena Voynarovskaya and Sergey Voynarovsky. According to the media outlet, Kirill Barannik was arrested in Simferopol on criminal charges of sabotage in May 2023. Previously, Barannik stated that he was forced to confess under torture. According to the Defense Ministry's Zvezda television channel, Sergey Voynarovsky provided the Ukrainian Main Intelligence Directorate with data that was used to plan a terrorist attack against Sergey Aksyonov, the Russian-appointed head of Crimea. Nothing is said about Elena Voynarovskaya. Sevastopol resident Olga Kravchuk was previously charged with a misdemeanor for "discrediting" the Russian Army.

In the Smolensk region, schoolchildren were detained on suspicion of setting fire to relay cabinets. According to investigators, on April 17, three teenagers aged 13, 14, and 16 burned two relay cabinets and damaged a third between the Krasnoye and Gusino stations. Investigators believe that the schoolchildren did this for 70,000 rubles [$750], and that the task was given by a stranger on Telegram.

A criminal case for "justifying terrorism" has been initiated against Andrey Tkach,33,  from Tambov for comments on the VKontakte social network justifying the arson of the draft office in Murmansk. The suspect's whereabouts are unknown.

Roman Paklin, a defendant in the "Tyumen case," was declared mentally incompetent. His mental condition began to deteriorate after torture. In the summer of 2022, six antifascists from Tyumen, Surgut, and Yekaterinburg were accused of preparing terrorist acts on the railway and in draft offices amid the war with Ukraine. All the detainees reported beatings and torture by asphyxiation and electric shock. After the torture, Paklin's health and mental state deteriorated. According to friends, he was diagnosed with a schizophrenia-like disorder. Due to these circumstances, Paklin's case was separated into a different proceeding, while the main case has already gone to court.


The authorities plan to turn the Korf estate in Irinovka, a cultural heritage site in the Leningrad region, into a rehabilitation center for participants in the war with Ukraine.

In the Saratov region, public sector employees are being coerced into donating one day's pay to the needs of the "special military operation." Letters with such a demand were received by the heads of schools, kindergartens, and other budgetary organizations in the town of Balashov.

Children and Educational System

Aleksandr Glazov, who previously encouraged teenagers to commit suicide, is now talking to schoolchildren about patriotism. As part of the event "Where Patriotism Begins," Glazov told 8th grade students of School No. 1 in the town of Kotelniki about service in the "special military operation" zone. In 2019, Glazov was sentenced to six years in a colony for inciting teenagers to commit suicide. According to the court protocol, on his personal pages on VKontakte, he posted content for those planning to end their lives by suicide. He drove a girl to attempt suicide, but she was saved by police officers. He was released early after participating in the war in Ukraine.