mobilization briefs
May 1

Mobilization in Russia for April 29-30, 2024 CIT Volunteer Summary

Crocus City Hall Terrorist Attack

The Tajik Ministry of Foreign Affairs has summoned the Russian Ambassador Semyon Grigoryev over numerous reports of violations of its citizens’ rights in Russia. On April 29, an official note was handed to Grigoryev expressing serious concern over the significant number of cases demonstrating a negative attitude towards citizens of Tajikistan in Russia, as well as widespread violation of their rights and freedoms. Meanwhile, Maria Zakharova, spokesperson for the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, linked the extended border checks of Tajik citizens to the increased security measures introduced in the wake of the Crocus City Hall terrorist attack.

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

Aleksey Shelekhov, former Minister of Health of the Irkutsk region, has announced his departure for war. The ex-official stated his intention to serve as a field surgeon for at least one year at the front. Reports of Shelekhov’s plans to take part in the war surfaced two weeks ago, with speculation suggesting a possible connection to the criminal case opened against him.

Dmitry Vedernikov, the leader of the Metsenatovskie criminal group [active in the Zabaykalsky region until 2010], has left to fight in the war against Ukraine. In 2011, Vedernikov had been convicted on 52 felony counts, including robbery, carjacking and murder, and subsequently sentenced to 24 years of imprisonment. The news was reported by the media outlet, citing its sources, although it did not specify the exact date of Vedernikov's release, only that it happened in 2024. Vedernikov became the 11th crime boss known to have departed for war, according to an analysis conducted by the Agentstvo [Agency] independent media outlet, which concluded that only one of them has survived so far.

Since the beginning of 2024, 1,000 people who recently acquired Russian citizenship have undergone military registration in the Sverdlovsk region and only 41 individuals in Russia’s constituent Republic of Dagestan. Additionally, in Dagestan, two of the new Russian citizens and three foreign citizens have signed contracts with the Ministry of Defense.

Mobilized Soldiers, Volunteer Fighters and Contract Soldiers

The list of mobilized soldiers killed in the war has been updated to include Ivan Prokopyev and Yegor Boloshkinov from the Irkutsk region, Andrey Borisov and Aleksey Pyatkov from Russia's constituent Republic of Buryatia, as well as Vitaly Pashigorev from the Tambov region.

Between April 22 and 28, the Idel.Realii [part of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty] online media outlet identified the names of 269 soldiers from 15 regions of the Volga region who were killed in the war with Ukraine. This brings the total number of casualties from these regions to at least 13,473 soldiers. Among them, Russia's constituent Republic of Bashkortostan has the highest number of casualties, with 1,937 residents killed.

In Chelyabinsk, a mobilized soldier Nikolay Pasenko, who had an unexploded fragmentation grenade stuck near his spine and subsequently underwent surgery to remove it, is being redeployed to the frontline. Pasenko received the injury in the fall of 2022, shortly after his mobilization. He was found fit for limited military service, but the military commissariat [enlistment office] ignored his medical report and sent him back to his military unit. Now, Pasenko is waiting to be sent back to the war.

Sentences, Legal Proceedings and Incidents

Over the past six months, Russian authorities have revoked the citizenship of 398 naturalized foreigners who committed crimes. According to the Citizenship Law, which was enacted in October 2023, individuals can lose their acquired passports based on convictions related to various offenses. These offenses include actions deemed as  "discrediting" the Russian Army, spreading fake news about the army, sabotage, desertion, incitement to anti-Russian sanctions, espionage, treason, violations of the law on "foreign agents," involvement in "undesirable" organizations and other crimes.

The court in the city of Taganrog has sentenced former Wagner Group mercenary Nikolay Konnov to five years and three months in prison. He was found guilty of property destruction and violence against law enforcement officers. Konnov took part in the war with Ukraine in June and July 2023.

Mobilized soldier Dmitry Nesterenko from the city of Rostov has been sentenced to a year in a penal colony for the unintentional murder of a fellow soldier. In June 2023, while intoxicated and stationed in the occupied territories of the Donetsk region, Nesterenko boasted to a relative over video call about his AK-74 assault rifle. Another soldier approached him and attempted to take the weapon. In the ensuing struggle, Nesterenko accidentally fired twice, hitting the soldier in the chest and abdomen, resulting in his death.

Moscow’s Dorogomilovsky District Court has arrested five young individuals detained on suspicion of setting fire to the Kamov Ka-32 (Helix-C) attack helicopter at the Ostafyevo airport in Moscow. Stanislav Khamidulin, Daniil Yamskov, Nikita Bulgakov, Anastasia Mochalina and Roman Yakovets have been charged with a terrorist attack committed by an organized group. According to investigators, one of the suspects, Stanislav Khamidulin, was recruited by Ukrainian intelligence services to become the organizer of the criminal group and involve other young people through social networks.

The Second Western District Military Court has sentenced Sergey Karmazin, a 46-year-old native of the Kharkiv region, to 25 years of imprisonment, with six years to be served in prison and the remaining time in a maximum-security penal colony. The court also fined Karmazin 700,000 rubles [$7,510]. He was found guilty on eight charges under the Criminal Code. Karmazin was detained in February 2023. According to the Federal Security Service (FSB), he was involved in setting fire to railway equipment in the Moscow region. Karmazin and his court-appointed lawyer have appealed the verdict.

The Mozhem Ob'yasnit [We Can Explain] Telegram channel has analyzed the statistics from the Judicial Department, revealing a two to threefold increase in property confiscations by courts under political charges. In 2023, the number of confiscations rose by 45% compared to 2022 for charges of crimes against public safety, and by 210% compared to the pre-war year of 2021. These charges encompass offenses such as disseminating "fakes" about the army and justifying terrorism. Moreover, confiscations for crimes against the constitutional order surged by 85% over the year, marking a 358% increase compared to the pre-war year. Offenses falling under this category include treason, espionage, organizing extremist communities, among others. However, the total number of convictions did not exhibit as significant a rise compared to 2022.


The Lipetsk Zoo has sent two peacocks to the frontline of soldiers as part of the "Who, if not us" campaign as "emotional support animals." Aleksandr Osipov, the director of the zoo, personally arranged for the rare birds to be sent to the 252nd Motorized Rifle Regiment. A Russian soldier has already expressed gratitude in a recorded video. However, the zoo later removed the related message from its VKontakte social network group.

Families of war participants whose homes were damaged by flooding in the Orenburg region have been granted an extension of up to six months to apply for payments. Additionally, local authorities are required to personally meet with all affected families of invaders to provide support.

Saint Petersburg State University offers free education in additional educational programs to participants in the war with Ukraine. The university provides courses in various fields, including safety and labor protection, work with youth and programming languages. Individuals with the required level of basic education—from secondary professional and higher—are eligible to enroll in these courses.

Children and Educational System

Russian schools have been advised to hold an Immortal Regiment rally as part of their Victory Day commemorations and to combine it with festive activities. Additionally, they are encouraged to invite participants in the war with Ukraine as special guests. Another recommendation is to engage students in sending letters of support to Russian soldiers serving on the frontline.


BBC News Russian has reported on the potential complications arising from the new procedure for sending draft notices and the increased restrictions for draft dodgers, particularly for conscripts and mobilized soldiers. The article also discusses strategies to minimize the risk of being drafted.

An investigation by the independent Russian media outlet Holod has revealed a significant increase in illegal arms trafficking in the Belgorod region. Presently, people can buy Kalashnikov assault rifles, hand grenades and even silenced pistols used by special forces for prices ranging from $300 to $350. According to court records, authorities have confiscated a substantial amount of illegal weapons from locals over the past two years, including 14 Kalashnikov assault rifles, three pistols, three grenade launchers, 6,500 rounds of ammunition, 63 hand grenades, 120 kilograms of gunpowder and 16 kilograms of explosives such as TNT and plastid. Despite these findings, most cases of illegal weapons possession in Belgorod courts have resulted in probation or community service sentences.