mobilization briefs
April 27

Mobilization in Russia for April 25-26, 2024 CIT Volunteer Summary

Authorities and Legislation

Putin has urged political parties to "nominate and support" participants of the war against Ukraine as candidates in "electoral campaigns at all levels." He expressed confidence that military personnel will "show themselves worthy" of positions in state and educational institutions. It is worth noting that Russian soldiers returning from Ukraine have killed at least 107 people in the last two years, according to data compiled by the Vyorstka media outlet.

The Investigative Committee has published the draft order that proposes granting Russian investigators who worked in the occupied territories of Ukraine, the status of combat veterans. Certificates would be issued to those investigators whose duties were related to the "special military operation" at any time since Feb. 24, 2022.

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

In Russia’s constituent Republic of Tatarstan, authorities have announced plans to form a new motorized rifle battalion. Named the Batyr [hero] Battalion, it will muster in the neighboring Samara region during May and June, with a target strength exceeding 400 personnel. The unit will be staffed with Tatarstan residents, but individuals from other regions can also join, if they enlist in the Republic. Regional authorities offer to pay recruits a 405,000 rubles [$4,390] sign-up bonus, with the Ministry of Defense contributing another 195,000 rubles [$2,115].

An 18-year-old resident of the village of Taseyevo in the Krasnoyarsk region, who did not serve in the army, has signed a contract with the Russian Ministry of Defense, explaining his decision by the lack of employment opportunities in his native village. Konstantin Dizendorf, the head of the Taseyevsky district, promised the young man's family and teachers to talk to commanding officers so that he would not be sent directly to the forward positions. Additionally, the official predicted an inevitable mobilization. After his statements were widely circulated on social media and in news outlets, Dizendorf expressed regret that his "imprecise wording became an information tool in enemy hands."

In response to calls for schoolchildren to report to the draft office, the Voyennye Advokaty [Military Lawyers] Telegram channel has meticulously analyzed whether students can be called up for regular biannual conscription during their studies or immediately after graduation, as well as whether high school graduates can be summoned for a medical evaluation board during the spring conscription campaign.

Mobilized Soldiers, Volunteer Fighters and Contract Soldiers

The list of mobilized soldiers killed in the war has been updated to include Aleksandr Ovsyanik from the Rostov region, Arthur Balasanyan from the Penza region, Ivan Cherepanov from the Perm region, Aleksandr Golikov and Sergey Igumnov from Buryatia [Russia's constituent republic], Maksim Ruzhnikov and Sergey Mantatov from the Irkutsk region, Maksim Kuznetsov from the Arkhangelsk region, Nikolay Sarapulov from the Zabaykalsky region [Russia's federal subject] and Yevgeny Sagunov from the Astrakhan region.

Based on open sources, Mediazona [independent Russian media outlet] and BBC News Russian, together with volunteers, have verified the names of 51,679 Russian fighters killed in Ukraine, including 6,159 mobilized soldiers. Over the past week, the list has been updated with the names of 583 military personnel, including 13 mobilized soldiers.

Members from the Kaskad military unit have complained about not receiving the promised payment for their service. Instead of the agreed-upon 195,000 rubles [$2,110] per month, the men were only receiving 50,000 rubles [$540], and after the new year, the payments were further reduced to 30,000 rubles [$325]. Additionally, according to the men, they are not being issued combat veteran certificates and are being denied one-time "governor's" payments.

The mother of Aleksandr Papuna, who was killed in the war, cannot receive the second half of the death gratuity payment in the amount of 5 million rubles [$54,200]. Papuna, originally from the town of Volnovakha, had joined pro-Russian separatists in 2016 before participating in the "special military operation" in 2022, where he was killed. Interestingly, his father is currently fighting on the side of Ukraine and does not claim the second half of the payment from the Russian government.

Yekaterinburg residents managed to raise 45,000 rubles [$490] in just three hours to cover fines for activists involved in the Put Domoy [Way Home] movement's rally. These activists were detained on Feb. 10 while laying carnations at a monument during a rally organized by military spouses. They were fined for their participation in what authorities deemed an unauthorized event.

Sentences, Legal Proceedings and Incidents

A court in the Belgorod region has sentenced Aleksey Khurdaylo, a Russian soldier who recently returned from Ukraine, to eight years of imprisonment for murder. In December 2022, Khurdaylo got into an alcohol-fueled altercation with a friend, inflicting more than 21 stab wounds to the victim’s neck and chest. He then dragged the body out of the house and dumped it in a cesspit in an attempt to destroy evidence. When passing the sentence, the court acknowledged Khurdaylo’s military service in Ukraine and his veteran status as a mitigating factor.

On the morning of April 16, two dead soldiers with gunshot wounds were found in Lysychansk in the Luhansk region. A suspect in the murders, identified as Vasily Sazhin, a fighter of the Russian Storm unit, was soon detained. He admitted to having opened fire at his fellow service members during a drinking spree. Prior to this incident, Sazhin had already had an extensive criminal record, with his most recent conviction in December 2022 for theft and the attempted murder of his ex-wife, resulting in a 2.5-year sentence in a maximum security penal colony.

In the Altai region [Russia’s federal subject], a court has ordered nine years of imprisonment for a military member Vladislav Yarullin, charged with causing bodily harm and with three AWOL incidents.

The Military Lawyers Committee in the city of Vladimir has secured the dismissal from military service for a resident of the Vladimir region who. This individual had initially submitted an application to sign a contract with the Ministry of Defense and subsequently reported to a military unit. However, he changed his mind the following day. Although the contract was not concluded, the man was already included in the personnel lists. According to human rights activists, the serviceman was discharged based on the expiration of the contract term.

The Southern District Military Court in Rostov-on-Don has found Ukrainians Dmitry Sergeyev, Anton Zhukovsky and Yanina Akulova guilty of conspiracy to commit a terrorist attack in the occupied city of Melitopol. Akulova was sentenced to nine years in a penal colony, while Zhukovsky and Sergeyev were each sentenced to 15 years in a maximum security penal colony. According to the court, Zhukovsky and Sergeyev received coordinates of a cache with explosives and weapons from an unidentified "member of a terrorist group," and were subsequently directed to the location where the explosion was supposed to occur. Law enforcement officers allegedly prevented them from carrying out their plan. The detainees were also accused of detonating a car with employees of the occupation administration. Official information regarding Akulova's role in preparing the explosion has not been disclosed.

The Federal Security Service (FSB) has reported the detention of two 17-year-old teenagers in Volzhsky who damaged cars with Z-symbolism and allegedly planned an explosion at a police station. According to the intelligence services, from March to November 2023, the teenagers, acting on the instructions of Ukrainian handlers, vandalized 16 cars.

Another suspect has been detained in connection with the Crocus City Hall terrorist attack. According to RBC [Russian media group], the detainee is Jumokhon Begidzhonovich Kurbonov, a Tajikistan citizen born in 2003. He has been charged under the same article as the other defendants. TASS [Russian state-owned news agency] refers to the detainee as a "possible accomplice in the terrorist attack." Thus far, a total of 12 individuals have been arrested in connection with the Crocus City Hall attack. Eleven of them face charges related to terrorism, while one individual is charged with the fraudulent registration of a foreign citizen.

The son of Aleksandr Demidenko, a volunteer who assisted Ukrainian refugees, has revealed how the FSB could have deceived his deceased father. In a conversation with the Sluzhba Podderzhki [Helpdesk] Telegram channel, Oleg Demidenko reported that after being tortured by fighters from the Akhmat unit who detained his father, he decided that the FSB wanted to save him from them.


The restaurant group Ginza Project has contributed to the purchase of a UAZ Bukhanka van for participants in the war with Ukraine. Allocating 300,000 rubles [$3,250], Ginza Project provided funds for a vehicle intended for a medical company.

Children and Educational System

Residents of the Khanty-Mansi autonomous region–Yugra [Russia's federal subject], have decided to adopt 52 orphaned children from Luhansk and Donetsk. Irina Kinzina, the deputy director of the Department of Social Development, has stated that preparatory work with the candidates is already underway.

Governor of Saint Petersburg Alexander Beglov has directed the installation of electronic displays featuring "the names of courageous participants of the special military operation in all schools where they studied." Beglov also called for naming schools after "heroes of the special operation" and organizing museum exhibitions in educational institutions dedicated to honoring "the courage of the participants of the special military operation." Furthermore, a lecture on "crimes of the Kyiv regime" took place at the law faculty of Saint Petersburg State University.

In school No. 2 in the town of Kostomuksha, Karelia [Russia’s constituent republic], there was a meeting with a participant in the war with Ukraine. He came to the meeting with children, in particular, with a bulletproof vest that had a patch featuring the emblem of the Wagner Group and the related slogan "Cargo 200 we are together," as well as a patch reading "My coffin still rustles in the forest." The fighter offered the students to try on this bulletproof vest. The school reports that "each such meeting is unforgettable."

Russian schools have started to receive pro-war comics about participants in the war, written by pro-war writer Oleg Roy on behalf of the Znanie [Knowledge] society. The comics tells the story of Russian fighters who oppose Ukrainian soldiers "tired of binge drinking and mocking civilians." Among the "heroes" featured in the stories is Colonel Azatbek Omurbekov, suspected of crimes in Bucha.

The Mozhem Ob'yasnit [We Can Explain] Telegram channel has reported that parents from Belgorod are facing difficulties in getting back their children who were evacuated to other regions due to strikes. These parents are eager to bring their children back home from orphanages, boarding schools and summer camps where they have been temporarily housed. The children have been complaining about the poor conditions, including terrible food, cockroach infestations and harsh treatment. In response to these complaints, authorities have threatened the parents with intervention by the Commission on Juvenile Affairs.


Researchers analyzed data from the Social Fund of Russia and found that the number of combat veterans in the Rostov region has increased by 7,600 people over the span of two years. Prior to 2022, veterans typically consisted of individuals older than working age. However, after 2022, there has been a shift in the age structure, with an increasing number of veterans falling within the working age category.

Advertisements of body armor for civilians and children have appeared in Belgorod. Buyers are being presented with three models designed for children and one model for adults. The manufacturer claims all of them can protect against pistol bullets and shrapnel.

A nonprofit organization for veterans of "special military operations" was established in Magadan, with Igor Minenko at its helm. Minenko had previously been sentenced to three years of probation for fraud in 2021.


The OVD-Info independent human rights project has published a story of Ivan Bukin, the son of a mobilized soldier, who was fined for laying flowers at a war memorial in Yekaterinburg on Feb. 10 during a protest organized by military wives from the Put Domoy movement.

Mediazona [independent Russian media outlet] has reported on the case of electrician Konstantin Kochanov, who was detained for creating anti-war graffiti. Despite threats from the FSB to charge him with treason, Kochanov was released from a pre-trial detention center because an investigator failed to file a petition for an extension of his arrest in time. Subsequently, human rights activists from the Pervy Otdel [First Department] human rights project assisted Kochanov in leaving Russia.

Reporters from the Sistema project have released a video about soldiers’ struggles with PTSD, while the Okno [Window ] publication has shared the story of Pavel Kotikov. Kotikov, who had been stripped of his parental rights and accused of child abuse, went to the frontline to earn money and regain custody of his daughter. However, during his service, Kotikov lost his leg, received no compensation and ultimately, was denied custody of his daughter.