mobilization briefs
May 3

Mobilization in Russia for April 30-May 2, 2024 CIT Volunteer Summary

Crocus City Hall Terrorist Attack

Not only Tajik nationals but also migrant workers from Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan are hit by the backlash of the Moscow terrorist attack, being denied entry into Russia at external borders, as reported by human rights activist Valentina Chupik the Agentstvo [Agency] independent media outlet. According to Chupik, never before has Russia denied access to Central Asian citizens on such a large scale. Mass detentions of migrants on their arrival started on April 24, and by May 1 approximately 4,500 people were being held in detention in the Russian airports. About the same number of people were denied entry at the ground checkpoints. Roughly 25% of the detainees are from Tajikistan, 50% from Uzbekistan, while the rest are mainly Kyrgyz nationals. Media also reported that 643 citizens of Tajikistan out of 3,101 foreign nationals who arrived in Russia by air from April 26 to April 30 had been deported from Moscow’s Vnukovo airport. Another hundred migrants are currently kept in a temporary detention center awaiting to be expelled.

Kyrgyzstan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has warned its citizens against traveling to Russia unless necessary, "until the enhanced border security and immigration enforcement measures are lifted." Anyone who needs to enter Russia is urged to "inform themselves of entry restrictions in advance." Earlier, a similar statement was issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Tajikistan.

The Governor of the Kursk region has issued a decree prohibiting migrants from working as taxi drivers. Prior to that, he conducted a poll in his Telegram channel, with 42,000 users participating. 82% of respondents expressed support for the measure. Authorities in a number of regions across the country have also introduced similar prohibitions (1, 2, 3).

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

In addition to serving draft notices, authorities will leverage the Unified Military Register, scheduled to launch in the fall, to identify citizens to add to the military rolls, using the data collected from various government agencies. The register include teenagers, who have reached 16 years of age and will therefore turn 17 the following year, as well as men who have not yet registered for military service with the corresponding draft office in their place of residence. The Federal Service for Supervision in Education and Science (Rosobrnadzor) has been tasked with providing data into the Register for this purpose. It has been mandated to collect information about students from all educational institutions since last year.

In Gorno-Altaysk, authorities have issued a 20,000 rubles [$210] fine to a 22-year-old local resident for evading conscription. According to the prosecutor’s office, the young man failed to report to the draft office in November 2021 and December 2023 after being served draft notices to undergo a medical examination.

Dmitry Malyshev, a convicted serial killer and cannibal, has been granted early release after joining the Storm-V unit and participating in the war with Ukraine. Ten years ago, Malyshev killed an acquaintance, cut out his heart, fried it, and ate it while filming the whole ordeal. Prior to that, in 2013, he killed two businessmen as part of an organized criminal group, robbing them of their possessions. In 2015, Malyshev was sentenced to 25 years behind bars. In October 2023, he signed a contract with the Ministry of Defense and sustained injuries on two occasions while in combat. Aleksandr Maslennikov who, along with Malyshev, left the penal colony to fight in the war, had been serving a 23-year sentence for killing and dismembering two young women in 2017. Malyshev published snapshots of himself posing with Maslennikov to social networks. The prospect of these criminals returning to Volgograd and Volzhsky has instilled fear among residents. According to the Mozhem Ob’yasnit [We Can Explain] Telegram channel, cannibals pardoned in exchange for fighting in the war are responsible for the deaths of at least 12 victims.

Former deputy agriculture minister of the Krasnodar region Kim Tertits, sentenced to 12 years behind bars for accepting bribes, signed up to participate in the war with Ukraine as part of a Storm-Z unit. Tertits has been involved in the war effort since May 2023.On July 22, he sustained injuries and underwent medical treatment until December. Subsequently, he requested a military medical board examination, but his request was denied. This denial stemmed from the fact that ex-convicts who joined Storm-Z units are not formally recognized as military personnel.

Mobilized Soldiers, Volunteer Fighters and Contract Soldiers

The list of mobilized soldiers killed in the war has been updated to include Aleksey Batarshin, Mikhail Zverkov and Aleksandr Bolgotov from Russia’s constituent Republic of Buryatia, Roman Vodin from Russia’s constituent Republic of Khakassia, Ivan Balan and Vladimir Chugaynov from the Rostov region, as well as Sergey Gerasimov from the Volgograd region.

The Sibir.Realii [part of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty] online media outlet has interviewed the relatives of soldiers from the Primorsky region [Russia's federal subject], who are currently held captive and face the imminent risk of being forcibly sent to Ukraine. According to the relatives, nearly one hundred soldiers who have either refused to participate in combat or have gone AWOL are currently confined at the home bases of the 114th Motorized Rifle Regiment and the 60th Motorized Rifle Brigade and threatened with forced deployment to the frontline. Recently, the relatives of the soldiers managed to meet with their commanding officers, during which they were told that the men would be sent to the combat zone despite their wounds and serious illnesses. The relatives of the soldiers recorded a video address to Sergei Shoigu [Russia's Minister of Defense] and Putin, but this only resulted in increased pressure on them. Furthermore, it has been reported that one of the military units has been withholding medical assistance from the soldiers.

Zoya Voloshina, the Commissioner for Human Rights in the Kemerovo region, has reported a staggering increase in complaints regarding the rights of military personnel. In 2023, the Commissioner received 377 appeals, a fourfold rise compared to the 95 received in 2022. According to Voloshina, a significant number of appeals concern draft exemption from regular conscription. Additionally, servicemen have complained about unfulfilled payments promised by the authorities, the absence of regional social support for mobilized soldiers and their families, and the retention of funds for enforcement proceedings. Moreover, relatives of the killed soldiers are burdened with paying off loans and arranging funerals without any assistance from the authorities.

The authorities of the Stavropol region have denied former Wagner Group mercenary Munir Dautov social benefits. Following his injury, he requested one-time assistance, as stipulated by local law, wherein war participants receive 1 million rubles [$10,700] for state awards and a matching amount for serious injuries. The Ministry of Labor justified the refusal by stating that the Wagner Group is not recognized as an official military structure, and social guarantees are not applied to mercenaries.

Sentences, Legal Proceedings and Incidents

According to the Astra Telegram channel, soldier Adam Baziyev, accused of murdering at least two people, escaped during transportation to a pre-trial detention center in Luhansk following investigative procedures. Sources indicate that Baziyev was escorted by two unarmed men. Prior to this incident, Baziyev had a history of convictions for robbery and drug offenses, and he was apprehended in November of last year.

Rail Khayrov, a 36-year-old from the Ulyanovsk region and a pardoned former mercenary of the Wagner Group, who was previously convicted of murder, has killed muezzin Ibrahim Isyanyaev near Saratov and stolen 300,000 rubles [$3,200] from him. The murder occurred on April 16. After the crime, Khayrov attempted to hide the body, then went to the "DPR" to enlist as a volunteer fighter on the frontline. Later, he was detained in Donetsk. The Investigative Committee has initiated a criminal case for murder, and Khayrov is currently in pre-trial detention, facing possible life imprisonment. In 2019, he was sentenced to 11 years in a penal colony for murder and destruction of other people's property. However, in 2022, he was recruited from the colony into the Wagner Group, went to war and was then pardoned by Putin's decree.

A contract soldier, who attempted to commit suicide, has been charged with self-harm, which, according to his commanding officer, carries a possible sentence of eight years of imprisonment.

In the Rostov region, mobilized soldier Maksim Shirin has been fined 15,000 rubles [$160] for petty fraud. In January 2023, Shirin was transferred to a military police unit in the Rostov region. There, the platoon commander informed him that each soldier had to pay 5,000 rubles [$53] monthly to the command for "general patronage." Otherwise, they were threatened with being transferred to another unit in the occupied territories of Ukraine. A separate criminal case is being investigated against the officer who received the money.

Anatoly Shchetinin, a deserter from the Russian Army who was unlawfully detained in Armenia and is currently being held on the territory of the Russian military base in Gyumri, has agreed to accept assistance from human rights advocates. According to his lawyer, Shchetinin is confused about why he has been on the base for a month and can only leave under the supervision of military police. Additionally, he is unaware of the current status of the criminal case initiated against him in Russia. Previously, Shchetinin had declined aid from human rights defenders, and there have been two failed attempts to extradite him from Armenia, both prevented by border guards.

In the Primorsky region [Russia's federal subject], the Federal Security Service (FSB) has detained a local resident who is suspected of working for the Ukrainian Main Intelligence Directorate. It has been asserted that the man, under directions from his handlers, was collecting information on military facilities and enterprises within the military-industrial complex. A criminal treason case has been initiated against him, with the potential penalty of life imprisonment.

In the Ivanovo region, a local resident has been detained under suspicion of setting fire to cell towers for 350,000 rubles [$3,740], according to law enforcement officers. According to SHOT, 18-year-old Aleksandr accepted an offer from an unknown person on Telegram to "earn some money" and subsequently caused a fire at a base station during the night of May 1, resulting in partial destruction. He was apprehended later that same evening. A case has been initiated under the charge of attempted destruction of property, which carries a possible sentence of five years of imprisonment.

In Chelyabinsk, a criminal case has been sent to court against a 17-year-old teenager who allegedly planned to set fire to relay cabinets on the railway in June last year. According to law enforcement, the accused submitted a form and a copy of his passport to a representative of a certain "terrorist organization." The teenager received instructions on where and how to commit arson via a messaging platform and was promised a reward for his actions. The equipment was left undamaged. The teenager is charged with preparing for arson aimed at destroying transportation infrastructure and preparing to participate in the activities of a terrorist organization. Due to his status as a minor, he cannot be sentenced to more than 10 years of imprisonment for these charges.

According to the Zona Solidarnosti [Solidarity Zone] Telegram channel, Angel Nikolaev, a 38-year-old activist from Khabarovsk, faces 18 years in a penal colony for his involvement in setting fire to a draft office and damaging flags on the graves of war participants in the war with Ukraine. Nikolaev was arrested in the summer of 2023 on suspicion of desecrating the state emblem and flag on the Alley of Glory in Khabarovsk, where participants in the war in Ukraine are buried. Later, he was accused of setting fire to a draft office, with claims that he threw several Molotov cocktails into the building in September 2022. Nikolaev admitted that he painted the flags with paint but disputed the allegations of desecrating burial sites and committing an act of terror.

According to the Vyorstka media outlet, at least 54 men in Russia have become subjects of cases related to attempts to join the "Freedom of Russia Legion" and the "Russian Volunteer Corps." The actual number of those pursued may be higher, as Russian courts conceal data on such cases. The most common charge has been treason or preparation for it—Vyorstka found 23 such cases, with nine instances where the detainees were also accused of terrorism offenses. Another ten men were charged with participating in illegal armed groups or preparing for it. Verdicts have been issued against at least 28 men. The harshest known sentence is 14 years in prison, while the mildest was imposed on a resident of the town of Shebekino in the Belgorod region—he was fined 70,000 rubles [$750] for attempting to cross the state border without valid documents.


According to Dovod, an independent Russian media outlet, a special unit has been established at the Sudogodsk Central District Hospital in the Vladimir region to provide psychological support to participants in the war with Ukraine.

In Tatarstan [Russia’s constituent republic], children were involved in raising funds to send a UAZ vehicle to the war. Meanwhile, in Buryatia, seven cars confiscated from debtors for drunk driving have been sent to the frontline.

Children and Educational System

Two participants in the war with Ukraine led a "lesson of courage" at a school in Chuvashia [Russia’s constituent republic]. The soldiers were identified as Mikhail Vakhidov and Ivan Danilov by the 7x7—Gorizontalnaya Rossiya [Horizontal Russia] news outlet from photographs. Vakhidov had been sentenced to a fine in a criminal case for beating his wife and mother-in-law at the beginning of 2022. Prior to that, he had already been charged with a misdemeanor for assault.

In Tyumen, war participants and marine veterans are planning to organize a large all-Russian symposium for children aged 12 to 17 years. The program will include training sessions on UAV control, reconnaissance, military engineering, tactics and medicine. Through these activities with teenagers, the organizers aim to provide social rehabilitation for soldiers after their return from the frontline.