mobilization briefs
April 26

Mobilization in Russia for April 23-25, 2024 CIT Volunteer Summary

Authorities and Legislation

Federal lawmakers are preparing a bill to increase the maximum sentence for acts of sabotage from 30 to 35 years in prison, wrote Vasily Piskaryov, a member of the State Duma [lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia], adding that harsher punishments are necessary to step up security measures amid the war and a "surge in enemy sabotage activity." Moreover, lawmakers are aiming to toughen the sentences for deliberate destruction or damage to property due to political or ideological hatred, which can carry up to 5 years in prison. Prosecutors often bring such charges against those they suspect of setting fire to draft offices and railway infrastructure.

Furthermore, lawmakers have introduced a bill into the State Duma, which would grant mobilized soldiers the right to an early discharge from military service, if their family is classified by authorities as having many children within one year of mobilization.

Participants of the war and state employees serving in the "new regions" [occupied territories of Ukraine] now have access to mortgages at a 2% interest rate when purchasing previously owned homes. Residents of the Belgorod region, whose houses have been deemed uninhabitable as a result of enemy strikes, can also apply for these mortgages for new construction. However, the subsidy is only available for one year, until April 30, 2025.

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

The Russian Ministry of Defense reports that more than 700 new recruits were sent from the Moscow region for statutory military service. In total, it is planned to draft 41,000 people from the regions comprising the Moscow Military District.

The Moscow region contract military service recruitment facility, located in Balashikha, claims that over 15,000 volunteer fighters signed contracts over the course of the year.

School principal Oral Musabekov from the Tomsk region volunteered for the war to avoid criminal prosecution for suspected corruption. The Investigative Committee suspended the criminal case against Musabekov, who was detained in August 2023 on the charge of bribery.

Vadim Gabdullin, a suspect in a case of assaulting teenagers in the Bashkir village of Iglino, expressed his desire to go to the "special military operation zone." One of the teenagers ended up in the hospital. Gabdullin was sent to pre-trial detention for two months during the investigation. Additionally, Daniil Talapov from Yekaterinburg volunteered for the war after killing his ex-wife's boyfriend.

Mobilized Soldiers, Volunteer Fighters and Contract Soldiers

The list of mobilized soldiers killed in the war has been updated to include Denis Markin from the Vladimir region, Alexandr Korostelyov from the Saratov region, Roman Molchanov and Ilya Kharlanov from the Volgograd region, Igor Konoshanov from the Irkutsk region, and Nikolay Kokorin from Russia's constituent Republic of Buryatia.

In the town of Yasynuvata, Russian-occupied Donetsk region of Ukraine, a funeral was held for Vladimir Frolov. Frolov was a disabled man who was illegally mobilized and kidnapped, held in a basement prison and then forcibly sent to an assault. He was injured there and died without medical care. Frolov was buried in a closed coffin due to the "horrible condition of his body."

Dmitry Kholin, a mobilized deputy who had resigned from military service early, was ordered to return to the frontline. Kholin was mobilized in the fall of 2022, and it is not clear on what grounds he managed to be dismissed in February 2024, after which he was appointed to the position of vice governor of the Samara region. However, the order for his early dismissal has now been declared illegal and canceled, as only regional heads and senators have the authority to resign early from military service. On April 25, Kholin was handed a draft notice requiring him to return to his military unit by April 26.

Aleksandr Mikhailov, a former fighter of the Storm-Z unit from Bashkortostan [Russia's constituent republic], has complained to Putin that he and his fellow servicemen are not receiving compensation for their injuries and are not being issued combat veteran certificates. Another resident of Bashkortostan, Artur Karimov, also reported a similar problem. He joined the Storm-Z unit while serving a sentence in a penal colony for double murder. According to Karimov, he was only paid half of the money promised for his service, and he received no compensation for his injuries.

Another appeal to Putin has been made by former mercenaries of the Storm-Z unit and the Wagner Group from the Tyumen region. The men are complaining that some of them are being threatened with conscription into regular military service. They have also raised concerns about the lack of combat veteran certificates, as well as financial compensation for injuries and awards.

Over 110 participants in the war from the Samara region have complained about the lack of gubernatorial payments. The authorities have stated that the funds are only allocated to those joining the 25th Army. According to one of the soldiers, when signing the contract, they filled out consent forms for a payment of 150,000 rubles [$1,620]. However, just before departing for the frontline, they were given another document to sign, which was identical to the contract but had no mention of payments.

Sentences, Legal Proceedings and Incidents

Russian soldiers returning from Ukraine have killed at least 107 civilians and caused bodily harm to at least 100 since Moscow launched its full-scale invasion over two years ago, the Vyorstka independent investigative news outlet reported citing media reports and court filings. Vyorstka said it tallied up the violent crime convictions of 91 ex-convicts pardoned after fighting in Ukraine and 84 regular soldiers who returned from the front lines. These offenders have committed at least 84 crimes resulting in fatalities. In murder cases, the courts sentenced former convicts to prison terms ranging between 6 and 11 years and regular soldiers between 7.5 and 10 years. The prison terms increased to 22 years and 20 years, respectively, in concurrent sentences. In two thirds of the cases, the courts recognized the defendants’ military experience in the war zone as a mitigating factor. Moreover, in 42 cases, the victim’s "wrongful conduct" was found to be a mitigating circumstance.

Two Russian military members suspected of murdering five people in the occupied part of the Kherson region have been detained by law enforcement agencies. Valentina Starchenko, 65, was executed in the village of Podo-Kalynivka in the Kherson region. In Abrykosivka, Lyubov Tymchak, the Russian-appointed "head of the village," and a Russian serviceman, Aleksey Glinin, were bludgeoned to death over their heads. Just outside of Abrykosivka, two more people were shot dead: local resident Sergey Shuvayev, 32, and a Russian soldier whose identity remains unknown. In an attempt to cover up their crimes, the killers set the bodies on fire. On April 24, two members of the 114th Motorized Rifle Brigade [RuAF], Aleksandr Osipov, 34, and Aleksandr Kaygorodtsev 36, were apprehended for their involvement in the murders. The latter already had a long criminal record with prior convictions for murder and drug trafficking. The Astra Telegram channel reports that no criminal case has yet been initiated.

Ivanovo resident Dmitry V., for several months after returning from the war, walked the streets in an inadequate state, threatening passersby with a combat pistol. In a video published in local media and filmed by the assailant himself, he insults a young man and threatens him with a pistol because of his hair color and anti-war stance. After threatening to kill him, the man fired in the air and demanded that the young man go fight "for Russia, for Ivanovo." After the video was posted, the military man was detained and his combat weapon was confiscated. He has been charged with hooliganism and illegal possession of firearms. Earlier, local media reported that the same person had stalked his ex-wife in the summer of 2022.

A court in Kirov has sentenced Ivan Rossomakhin, 28, a former Wagner Group mercenary who killed an elderly woman upon returning from the war, to 22 years in a maximum security penal colony. The man was found guilty of murder threats, rape and murder with extreme brutality. The court also ordered Rossomakhin to pay 2 million rubles to the victims' family as compensation for moral damages. In 2020, he was sentenced to 14 years in a maximum security penal colony for the robbery and murder of a female fellow villager.

The Second Eastern District Military Court sentenced serviceman Bato Zhambalov to 11 years in prison for going AWOL and attempted murder.

Contract soldier Vladimir Khit’ from Pskov was sentenced to six years in prison for repeated desertion.

Courts in the Southern Military District considered new criminal cases against servicemen for going AWOL:

  • Military Dmitry Silantyev was sentenced to seven years in a general regime colony for two episodes of going AWOL.
  • Mobilized soldier Artyom Danilin participated in the war but later fled to his family. He explained his actions by the need to help his mother raise children. Danilin was sentenced to five years and three months in a general regime colony.
  • Contract soldier Makhti Sozaev, previously convicted of theft, robbery, and drug offenses, received seven years in prison, taking into account his previous drug sentence. Sozaev did not appear at the temporary location of the military prosecutor's office, citing the need to recover his lost military identification card.
  • Serviceman Vadim Khaidarov was sentenced to five years in a penal colony after being absent from his unit for over a month before voluntarily returning.
  • The Southern District Court reduced the sentence of mobilized soldier Ilya Platonov from seven to six years in prison. He was found guilty of desertion and going AWOL. After fleeing, he lived at home and worked on restoring his documents.
  • Nikolay Beskrovny, previously convicted of causing grievous bodily harm resulting in death, was sentenced to one year in a penal colony. In November 2023, he was undergoing treatment in a hospital but was released early due to alcohol consumption. Two weeks later, he was apprehended by military police.
  • Arthur Sadykov was sentenced to two years in a penal settlement. Like others, he escaped from his unit and lived at home before voluntarily surrendering to the commandant's office.

A lieutenant colonel from the Tyumen Penitentiary Service has been sentenced to three years in a penal colony for failing to report for mobilization duty. According to 72.RU [Tyumen city online media outlet], he was mobilized in October 2022. He did not report to his unit in the "DPR" on the specified date. Later it became known that during the alleged deployment to the front the lieutenant colonel sought medical help. However, the doctors prescribed outpatient treatment, which, according to the law, does not exempt him from military service.

Artyom Begoyan, a 20-year-old native of Mordovia [Russia's constituent republic], was sentenced to 15 years in prison for treason and an act of terror for setting fire to relay and battery cabinets on the railway in Chuvashia [Russia’s constituent republic].

Aleksandr Matkheev, who attempted to join the "Freedom of Russia Legion," was sentenced to 10 years in prison. The Sota media outlet suggests that the man contacted a fake bot controlled from Russia. Most likely, it was created by law enforcement officers for the fabrication of cases.

The Second Eastern District Military Court sentenced a 26-year-old resident of Buryatia to 10 years in prison and a fine of 500,000 rubles [$5,410] for treason. According to investigators, the convicted man was in contact with a resident of Ukraine and planned to join the "Freedom of Russia Legion."

A court in Samara sentenced Vladislav Dilmukhametov, a resident of Perm, to 10 years in prison for aiding terrorist activities and preparing for a terrorist act. According to the court, in 2022, Dilmukhametov planned to set fire to one of the draft offices in Perm using a homemade incendiary device.

In the Bryansk region, a court sent a local resident to pretrial detention for two months on charges of inciting voluntary surrender. According to investigators, in May 2023, the man corresponded with a Russian soldier at war with Ukraine and urged him to surrender. The man faces up to 10 years in prison.

Another resident of the Bryansk region, Aleksey Bredikhin, was detained for allegedly corresponding with the "Freedom of Russia Legion" and attempting to transfer explosive devices to third parties. According to Astra, a criminal case was initiated against him on charges of supporting and participating in terrorist activities.

Vladislav Poruchikov, detained in the Belgorod region on suspicion of attempting to join the "Freedom of Russia Legion," has been subjected to six falsified administrative proceedings.

Sergey Tsivilyov, Governor of the Kemerovo region, spoke in his speech about "millions of rubles" allegedly transferred by residents of the region for weapons for the Armed Forces of Ukraine due to the activities of scammers.

Tenth-grader Lyubov Lizunova, who identifies herself as an anarchist, has been sentenced to three and a half years in a penal colony for anti-war statements. Aleksandr Snezhkov, 19, and Vladislav Vishnevsky, 20, prosecuted along with Lyubov, were sentenced to six years in prison and 18 months of community service, respectively.


The Immortal Regiment marches have been canceled throughout Russia "due to existing threats to public safety." In the Krasnodar region, the parade on May 9 will be held without spectators and not in the regional capital, but in Novorossiysk. In addition, separate parades will be held for veterans near their own homes. All these measures were explained by the authorities as safety considerations. In Yeysk, the military parade of children was also canceled.

A participant in the war in Ukraine has been appointed head of a district in the Khanty-Mansi autonomous region–Yugra [Russia's federal subject]. This is the first case of its kind in Russia. On April 24, the Duma of the Beryozovsky district unanimously voted for the candidacy of Ruslan Aleksandrov. He volunteered for the war and spent two months on the frontline. After being wounded, he returned to Khanty-Mansiysk, where he served at a contract military service recruitment facility.

Roskomnadzor [Russia’s internet censorship agency] did not find any violations in the actions of the Volgograd TV hosts, who disclosed on air the names and personal data of residents who laid flowers in memory of Alexei Navalny. According to the agency, the information was taken from "open sources."