mobilization briefs
April 30

Mobilization in Russia for April 28-29, 2024 CIT Volunteer Summary

Authorities and Legislation

On Nov. 1, 2024, Russia plans to launch the Unified Military Register [digital system to identify citizens subject to military service and serve draft notices], according to the resolution of the federal government covered in our previous summary. Meduza [international Russian-language online media outlet] examines in detail how the new system will work and how potential conscripts and citizens, subject to mobilization, can protect themselves. The Sirena Telegram channel lists the remaining methods to avoid conscription and the human rights organizations, which can help to do so.

We would like to remind potential conscripts that they can still apply for alternative civilian service in lieu of statutory military service. 72.RU [Tyumen city online media outlet] tells about the cases of two young men, who managed to defend their right to the alternative civilian service, and their experience of it.

Authorities and Relatives of Mobilized Soldiers

Representatives of the Put Domoy [Way Home] movement declared their intention to take part in the socialist rally set to take place in Novosibirsk on May 1. The organizers indicate that the event has been approved by the mayor’s office.

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

Independent media outlet Dovod reveals that in the city of Vladimir, a draft office has been summoning university and college students via a mass mailing, allegedly "for data verification."  Once in the draft office, the students are being subjected to medical examination, despite being eligible for a deferral. Earlier, the Voyennye Advokaty [Military Lawyers] Telegram channel pointed out that unless the students give their explicit consent to be examined, these practices should be viewed as unlawful. Moreover, having one’s health evaluated by the medical board in advance increases the chance of being conscripted via an expedited process in the future.

News emerged that the vice governor of the Samara region Dmitry Kholin was appointed assistant commander for political affairs of the battalion of the 30th Motorized Rifle Brigade. It should be noted that the official is going to be stationed in the Samara region and is not planning to deploy to Ukraine any time soon. In the fall of 2022, Kholin was mobilized to serve in Ukraine, but he managed to get an early discharge in February 2024 after which he spiraled up to become vice governor of the region. However, on April 25, Kholin was ordered to return to the frontline since his early discharge from the army was found to be illegal and was therefore canceled. Kholin was due to return to his military unit by April 26, but on April 29 he was spotted at a stadium in Samara watching a football match.

On April 27, in Moscow, unknown assailants attacked a local resident named Stanislav Netyosov at a bus stop. They stole his cell phone and knocked out one of his teeth. The next day, Netyosov went to the police station in the Tverskoy district to report the assault and theft. However, instead of accepting his statement, the police told him that they would force him to "kiss the soil of the motherland in the trenches" and handed him a draft notice. Additionally, they drew up a protocol accusing him of discrediting the Armed Forces because of Netyosov’s hair, which is dyed in shades of blue, green and yellow. According to the police, this act constituted "a means of visual agitation in the form of hair dyed with yellow and blue stripes, matching the national flag of Ukraine, thereby attracting the attention of an unlimited number of individuals."

Mobilized Soldiers, Volunteer Fighters and Contract Soldier 

The list of mobilized soldiers killed in the war has been updated to include Mikhail Minin and Ivan Gordeyev from the Irkutsk region, Alexandr Abgaldayev from Russia's constituent Republic of Buryatia, as well as Vladimir Treshchev from the Astrakhan region.

Relatives of soldiers from the 5th Motor Rifle Brigade complain about the lack of communication with the command and demand an investigation into the "lawlessness happening there." Women are extensively posting on social networks seeking help to find their loved ones who have gone missing in action. These posts, as well as video addresses, mention that soldiers from the brigade have been and continue to disappear near the town of Krasnohorivka, where fighting has been ongoing since the end of February. Meanwhile, the command, particularly the commander of the 3rd Motor Rifle Battalion, Aleksandr Troshin, does not evacuate the bodies of the deceased and does not officially declare the soldiers missing.

Sentences, Legal Proceedings and Incidents

According to the Astra Telegram channel, on April 25, a car with the bodies of two men was found on the road between the villages of Berdianske and Derevetske in the occupied part of the Zaporizhzhia region. Both men died from gunshot wounds, and their identities are being established.

Also, according to Astra, on April 24, an explosion occurred in one of the garages in the village of Zagorsky in the Stavropol region, resulting in the death of a 65-year-old local resident from multiple shrapnel wounds. His 60-year-old friend suffered shrapnel wounds and burns and was taken to hospital. Preliminarily, the cause of the explosion was the detonation of a hand grenade.

Former Wagner Group mercenary Andrey Motkov was sentenced to eight years in prison for drug trafficking. Upon returning to Astrakhan, the man attempted to sell drugs to an acquaintance who was collaborating with law enforcement. In court, Motkov pleaded guilty to the charges. Previously, the Astrakhan native had been criminally charged six times but was pardoned for his participation in the war against Ukraine. The court recognized this as a mitigating circumstance in handing down the new sentence.

In the Krasnoyarsk region, the court has sentenced Mikhail Bakhirev, another former Wagner Group mercenary, to eight years in a maximum security penal colony for beating a local resident to death in October 2023. Bakhirev had previously been repeatedly convicted of causing serious bodily harm, theft, and involvement in drug-related cases. He likely left the colony early to join the war against Ukraine. The court considered several mitigating factors in its decision, including Bakhirev's participation in the war, the military awards he received, including those from the Wagner Group, his expressed desire to return to the frontline, and his health condition.

Courts are starting to consider participation in the war with Ukraine as a mitigating factor, not only for the soldiers themselves but also for their family members. Chektek-Kat Irgit, a resident of the city of Kyzyl in Russia's constituent republic of Tyva, who assaulted her brother's ex-wife with a knife, was sentenced to three years of imprisonment for deliberate harm to health, an offense that carries a sentence of up to 10 years in a penal colony. In its ruling, the court took into account the death of her son in the war.

The Federal Security Service (FSB) has announced thedetention of the suspected arsonists of the Kamov Ka-32 (Helix-C) attack helicopter at the Ostafyevo airport in Moscow. According to law enforcement officers, they were identified as Bulgakov N., 22, from the Novosibirsk region, Yamskov D., 22, and Mochalina A., 19, from Norilsk, Khamidullin S., 21, from Novosibirsk and Yakovets R., 22, from the Rostov region. The Baza Telegram channel reports that Yakovets have recently returned from the army. Also, according to the publication, the detainees confessed and revealed that several days before the helicopter arson, on April 22, they set fire to a relay cabinet at the Belorusskaya railway station in Moscow.


According to the Mozhem Ob'yasnit [We Can Explain] Telegram channel, mobilized soldiers whose homes were flooded during the flood are being denied payments for loss of housing, despite the presence of documents confirming ownership. The cited reason for the refusal was "failure to confirm the fact of the applicant’s residence on the premises." Also, some mobilized soldiers attempted to return from the frontline to help their families, but were reportedly denied leave. At the same time, the right to a leave in connection with a natural disaster is directly stated in the Federal Law "On the Status of Military Personnel."

Children and Educational System

As journalists from TSN [Ukrainian Television Service of News] found out during their investigation, Sergey Mironov's illegally taken "foster daughter" from Ukraine has a guardian and a sister living in Greece. This information was confirmed by Dmytro Lubinets, Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights. According to the journalists, based on the hacked correspondence of Mironov's current wife Inna Varlamova, the chief physician of the Children's Home, Tatyana Zavalskaya, offered her two children: Margarita and two-year-old Ilya Vashchenko. According to the publication, Mironov and Varlamova later refused the boy because he was diagnosed with a disease. His current whereabouts are unknown.

As the Bumaga [Paper] independent media outlet reports, students of Saint Petersburg State Institute of Culture who did not attend the community cleanup day are being forced to donate 50 rubles [$0.54] each to purchase goods for participants in the war with Ukraine.

The founder of the Novocollege private school in Novosibirsk, Sergey Chernyshev, announced in his video address that his educational institution will be closed at the end of this academic year. Previously, Novocollege faced administrative pressure for refusing to conduct "Talking About Important Things" lessons [compulsory lessons held every Monday in schools across the country] while Chernyshev was recognized as a "foreign agent."


The Vyorstka media outlet discovered that the authorities of Mari El [Russia's constituent republic] plan to spend almost 36 million rubles [$391,600] to open a museum in Yoshkar-Ola dedicated to the history of the war with Ukraine. According to the museum's project, in addition to quotes from famous military leaders about the war, the walls of the museum will display an abridged quote from George Orwell's 1984 without attribution: "A peace that was truly permanent would be the same as a permanent war. War is peace."


Journalists from the SOTAvision media outlet have prepared an article about how Russian law enforcement officers are holding citizens criminally responsible for articles on treason, espionage and terrorism for ordinary photos on their phones. For example, Ibragim Orudzhev, a student, was accused of undergoing training for terrorism for a photo of the draft office's work schedule. High school student Kevin Lik received a real prison sentence for photos of a military unit, and teenager Nikita from the Kherson region photographed military vehicles in the occupied territories and was also accused of treason.