mobilization briefs
April 8

Mobilization in Russia for April 5-7, 2024 CIT Volunteer Summary

Crocus City Hall Terrorist Attack

The Investigative Committee has charged the fire safety officer and the chief of the fire brigade of Crocus City Hall with criminal negligence. The names of the accused have not been disclosed at this time. They could face up to seven years in prison.

In Moscow, the police are conducting door to door visits, collecting personal information from residents. The VChK-OGPU Telegram channel has reported that the police are checking every apartment in every residential building for illegal migrants. One resident indicated that a police officer took down the names and birth years of everyone living in the apartment and inquired about migrants in the building. In the Kommunarka district, the police conducted a raid following requests from residents. Police officers photographed foreigners and checked their IDs, claiming it was part of their community outreach efforts. According to residents, the police detained around 50 people for overstaying, took them to a police station and released many later. Returning detainees reported paying 5,000 rubles [$54] for their release, likely referring to an administrative fine.

Authorities and Legislation

On April 6, Putin signed two bills into law:

  • The first bill exempts participants of the war from interest payments on consumer loans. This measure applies to Rosgvardia [Russian National Guard] fighters, too;
  • The second bill prohibits the termination of employment of widows of war participants within one year of their death.

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

Chairman of the Defense Committee of the State Duma [lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia] Andrey Kartapolov has stated that during the ongoing spring regular conscription campaign, which began on April 1, Russians may receive both paper and electronic draft notices. He emphasized that if individuals receive notices in both formats, they should respond to the draft office using the paper draft notice. Kartapolov further highlighted that the content of both the paper and electronic draft notices is identical.

Governor of the Pskov region Mikhail Vedernikov has announced that the Alexander Nevsky territorial defense unit, established in 2023, now consists of 2,000 people. According to him, the initiative stemmed from the people's desire to contribute, with men and women, hunters, veterans, and volunteers expressing a wish to assist the region and the country during challenging times. Earlier in September 2023, Vedernikov mentioned that the territorial defense unit consisted of 800 people and was expected to grow to 1,000 fighters by the end of the same year. The plan for 2024 was to recruit between 140 and 190 additional members into the unit. The budget allocated for financing the unit was nearly 10 million rubles [$108,300].

The Orlets Telegram channel has published a photograph of brochures advertising service in the Russian Army for foreigners.

Authorities and Relatives of Mobilized Soldiers

On April 6, activists from the Put Domoy [Way Home] Telegram channel, as part of their weekly initiative, laid flowers at monuments dedicated to the victory in the Great Patriotic War. Through these actions, the women aim to draw attention to the issue of open-ended service by mobilized soldiers and demand their return home. During the event at Mars Field in Saint Petersburg, one of the movement's participants, Yulia Demensienko, was detained by the police. She brought carnations tied with a brilliant green ribbon bearing the inscriptions "No to War" and "Demobilization." According to 78.RU [Saint Petersburg city online media outlet], the woman was detained for "discrediting the Armed Forces." Activists from the Put Domoy movement have concluded, based on conversations they overheard among law enforcement officers, that all detentions of wives and relatives of mobilized men in the city are coordinated with the deputy chief of police in Saint Petersburg, Dmitry Baranov.

On April 6, for the first time, an event known as the "Empty Pots March" took place, as previously announced by the activists of Put Domoy. In this event, participants were encouraged to step out onto their balconies at 5:00 p.m. and bang on pots to make themselves heard and visible to like-minded individuals. According to the movement, participants from cities such as Novosibirsk, Ulan-Ude, Chelyabinsk and others—a list of which was published by the activists—joined in the action. The movement has announced that it plans to hold this event every Saturday.

Mobilized Soldiers, Volunteer Fighters and Contract Soldiers

The list of mobilized soldiers killed in the war has been updated to include Aleksandr Muzipov, Aleksey Gorbunov and Oleg Komin from the Sverdlovsk region.

Over the past three months, the Krym.Realii [part of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty] online media outlet has identified 160 Crimea residents who have been killed in the war. Among the obituaries, 29 individuals were from the 810th Guards Naval Infantry Brigade, and an additional 8 were from the 126th Coastal Defense Brigade of the Russian Federation. However, details regarding units and formations were not specified in over a third of cases.

Sentences, Legal Proceedings and Incidents

While not citing any sources, the VchK-OGPU Telegram channel has reported the detention of three Russian servicemen from the BARS-12 unit in the Russian-occupied part of the Luhansk region of Ukraine. The three servicemen, Magomet Zhashuyev, Zafir Miziyev and Denis Kiselyov, are suspected of kidnapping and murdering a local resident, 65-year-old Oleksiy Kyrychenko. The suspects claimed that Kyrychenko owed them a debt, which they intended to "settle" by taking his vehicle. A conflict ensued between the servicemen and Kyrychenko, resulting in his shooting and disposal of his body in water. The VchK-OGPU noted that Miziyev had previously been sentenced to seven years in a penal colony for being an accomplice to an ISIS militant.

According to the Kommersant daily newspaper, the Basmanny District Court of Moscow has ordered the arrest of Andrey Esipov, the head of the Piket company, in connection with a case of large-scale fraud involving supplies to the Ministry of Defense. Investigators allege that Esipov and other suspects embezzled 2 billion rubles [$21.65 million] by delivering substandard products under a contract for 20,000 body armors. Esipov denies the accusations, claiming that the case relies on false testimonies from former employees of the supplying company, who were dismissed for theft, and asserts that the body armors met quality standards. He also stated that he returned from the frontline when investigators summoned him.

Alexander Bastrykin, the head of the Investigative Committee of Russia, has taken an interest in the assault on a war participant at a café in a village in the Novosibirsk region. Following the incident, the agency initiated a criminal case for hooliganism. Earlier, media reported that the participant in the "special military operation," who was recovering from injuries, defended a café employee against customers. In response, one of them assaulted the man, causing him injuries. In a separate incident in Novosibirsk on April 5, five individuals assaulted a 50-year-old volunteer who was distributing leaflets for collecting aid for the "special military operation" participants. The victim was hospitalized, and the attackers turned out to be aides to Dmitry Saveliev, a State Duma [lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia] member from the United Russia party [Putin’s ruling party].


Crowdsourced aid for Russian soldiers was discovered in garbage containers in the village of Maslova Pristan near Shebekino, Belgorod region. Local residents managed to save 80% of the discarded items. The police have initiated an investigation into the incident.

Children and Educational System

Parents of schoolchildren have informed to Vazhnyye Istorii [IStories, independent Russian investigative media outlet] that some children from the shelled settlements of the Belgorod region were evacuated to orphanages and boarding schools in Dagestan [Russia’s constituent Republic] and the Stavropol region. The Department of Education of the Belgorod region stated that due to a shortage of accommodation, children were "quartered as best as they could." At the same time, parents of the children accommodated in camps and health resorts complain en masse about poor sanitary conditions.


Governor of the Rostov region Vasily Golubev has signed a decree proposing to name city facilities, law enforcement units and sports teams in honor of soldiers who were killed in the war with Ukraine. Additionally, various initiatives such as competitions, commemorative plaques, new museums, online posts and more will be dedicated to honoring these fallen soldiers.

There are plans underway to transform one of Krasnoyarsk's city parks into a memorial square dedicated to those who were killed in the war and to build a temple there. The memorial square will be named "Mother's Heart."

The Putin Foundation has allocated 3.5 million rubles [$37,900] for an ice show about a boy named Alyosha, who went out with a flag to meet Russian soldiers. Relatives of military personnel will perform in the production. Meanwhile, Alyosha himself has been evacuated to the Penza region, while his parents are participating in the war.

The libraries of Novosibirsk have signed a contract worth 100,000 rubles [$1,080] with the Veche publishing house for the procurement of books. A significant portion of the books is dedicated to the "special military operation" in Ukraine.


Holod [independent Russian media outlet] has published the story of 24-year-old conscript Oleg, who was deemed unfit for service in the fall of 2022 due to hypertension. Despite having documents confirming his illness, he was forcibly sent to a military collection point. Oleg managed to gain his freedom by simulating an appendicitis attack after being subjected to physical assault during transport to the military collection point.

Human rights activist Aleksandr Cherkasov has described the evolution of the system of torture and extrajudicial reprisals in Russia, drawing parallels with the two Chechen wars and late Soviet practices. The Mozhem Ob'yasnit [We Can Explain] Telegram channel analyzed court data on the article about exceeding official powers. It observed that, according to judicial statistics, not a single case was initiated in Russia in the first half of 2023 under the parts of this article that provide for punishment for crimes related to torture.

Novaya Gazeta Europe [European edition of the independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta] has published a review of the war films "Call Sign 'Passenger'" and "20/22" timed to coincide with the second anniversary of the full-scale invasion. According to the author, the films do not glorify the war; rather, they provide justifications for it.