mobilization briefs
April 10

Mobilization in Russia for April 8-9, 2024 CIT Volunteer Summary

Authorities and Legislation

Putin has signed an order to change the distribution of death gratuities among beneficiaries of military personnel and volunteer fighters killed in the war. Under the new order, adult children will be prioritized first, with full and half siblings considered only in the absence of adult children. This adjustment comes in response to complaints from adult children who had previously deemed the law on this matter as unfair.

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

Vazhnyye Istorii (IStories), an independent Russian investigative media outlet, has uncovered four additional penal colonies where representatives of the Ministry of Defense were actively recruiting women for war last fall. These colonies are located in the Perm, Mordovia, Ivanono and Vladimir regions. The officials were recruiting for medic, sniper and assault roles. According to one convict’s relative, the inhumane treatment by Federal Penitentiary Service employees and constant obstacles to parole facilitated the recruitment campaign. However, despite the cases outlined by the media outlet, none of the convicts have been sent to war as a result of this recruitment effort.

In Yekaterinburg, draft offices are calling local residents and inviting them for a data check-up. Officials claim that this kind of activity is conducted throughout the year.

Draft offices in the Tomsk region have started sending electronic draft notices to conscripts, as reported by the 7x7 publication, which has provided examples of such notices. These notices are being sent through government services and other channels; one subscriber to the publication received a scanned copy of a paper draft notice via email, along with a warning of penalties for non-compliance. According to the regional military commissar, both electronic and paper draft notices are being sent out. It is anticipated that the distribution of electronic notices will increase in frequency starting in the fall of 2024. In total, slightly over 750 residents of Tomsk are planned to be conscripted in this round. In annexed Crimea, Russian authorities plan to conscript 2,500 people, as announced by the "military commissar of Crimea" Yevgeny Mashukov. Additionally, 1,700 people from the Khanty-Mansi autonomous region–Yugra [Russia's federal subject] are slated to be conscripted for military service.

In the city of Nefteyugansk, Khanty-Mansi autonomous region, out of 193 migrants who obtained Russian citizenship in 2024, 135 men were handed notices for military registration. Meanwhile, roundups of migrants persist in various regions. For instance, during a raid in Chuvashia [Russia’s constituent republic], 37 migrants who had obtained Russian passports but failed to register for military service were taken to the draft offices of the republic. Another raid took place in the city of Ivanovo, where 12 migrants were brought to the draft office. On April 9, a roundup of migrants was carried out in the city of Novosibirsk, resulting in the expulsion of five detainees from the territory of the Russian Federation, while four others faced misdemeanor charges for failure to register for military service. In the Rostov region, 150 out of 913 migrants who underwent checks during a raid were issued draft notices. According to the Interfax news agency, since the beginning of the year, as a result of such raids, 12 migrants have signed contracts with the Ministry of Defense as a result of such raids.

The authorities of the Samara region will spend 436,000 rubles [$4,710] for the delivery of promotional materials that address issues related to enlisting in military service under a contract.

Mobilized Soldiers, Volunteer Fighters and Contract Soldiers

The list of mobilized soldiers killed in the war has been updated to include Ivan Ilyin, Pavel Nikolaev and Aleksandr Sergeyev from the Sverdlovsk region, Airat Gaifullin from the Astrakhan region, Sergey Matatov from the Irkutsk region and Abdulkadir Malyshev from Russia’s constituent Republic of Dagestan.

More than 90 conscripted soldiers from the Primorsky region were ultimately not forcibly sent to war in Ukraine following publications from the ASTRA Telegram channel. Officially, the soldiers were informed that their "departure was postponed indefinitely due to weather conditions." Representatives from the Federal Security Service (FSB), the prosecutor's office, and military investigators arrived to investigate the matter. It was also reported that on April 9, Colonel Igor Chernenko, who personally selected refuseniks and those under-treated for deployment to the frontline, was expected to arrive at the military investigation department.

Relatives of Vladimir Frolov, an illegally drafted soldier with a 3rd degree disability who was previously detained in Donetsk and held in a military unit, received a letter from the military medical examination center. The letter stated that Frolov needed to return for a follow-up medical examination. Despite this, Frolov informed his relatives that the command still planned to send him to the forward positions.

Russian military police in Gyumri, Armenia, abducted Anatoly Shchetinin—a Russian soldier who is wanted in Russia for refusing to fight—at the exit of the Russian consulate. According to human rights defenders, Shchetinin is being held on the territory of the 102nd Russian military base, awaiting transport to the Russian Federation by plane. This incident echoes a similar case involving Dmitry Setrakov, a military deserter from the Russian Army, who was detained in Gyumri in December 2023. Setrakov was taken to Russia twelve days after his detention, and his current fate remains unknown.

Sentences, Legal Proceedings and Incidents

As reported by the Ukrainian Center for Journalistic Investigations, citing sources, several individuals, including twin brothers Ivan and Anton Shtep from Hornostaivka and Denys Shum, who were abducted by occupying authorities in November (with Ruslan Rusnak, detained with them, reportedly was tortured), are being held in the basement of a community center in the village of Odradivka, Kherson region. Additionally, Oleksandr Herchakovskiy from Kakhovka and Oleksii Hrynko from Lyubymivka, who were abducted in March, are also among the detainees. Sources indicate that a makeshift prison with solitary cells has been established there, where the abducted men are allegedly subjected to torture in an attempt to coerce cooperation with the occupying authorities.

In the self-proclaimed South Ossetia, former Wagner Group mercenary Georgiy Siukaev, aged 35, has been sentenced to four years in a penal colony for the killing of a local disabled resident. The incident occurred on April 17, 2023, when Siukaev fatally stabbed Soslan Valiev, who was reportedly swearing in the street and had developmental disabilities. Siukaev claimed in court that he had only intended to scare Valiev. Although the maximum sentence for murder is 15 years, the court took several mitigating factors into consideration. These factors included Siukaev's lack of prior convictions, reconciliation with the victim's family, parental status, previous military honors and expression of remorse. Siukaev's history includes volunteering as a fighter in the Donbas conflict in 2015, during which he killed his commander following a dispute and subsequently fled. He was apprehended in 2017 and sentenced to imprisonment. However, in 2022, he was recruited into the Wagner Group and deployed for military service.

The Southern District Military Court has upheld the verdict in the case of Sergey Vakhonin, who was mobilized and subsequently sentenced to eight years in a maximum-security penal colony for the murder of a fellow soldier in the occupied territories of Ukraine.

In the Zabaykalsky region [Russia's federal subject], the Borzya Garrison Military Court has sentenced soldier Mikhail Dyomin to two years and two months in a penal settlement for failing to execute orders. Dyomin refused verbally and in writing to participate in combat. This marks the 20th verdict of this court for this type of charge in 2024.

On the night of April 8 to 9, an attempted arson occurred at a museum dedicated to the "history of the special military operation" in Saratov. According to ASTRA, an unknown individual broke a window and threw a bottle with a flammable liquid into the building. The fire was extinguished by a duty security guard. This incident follows a similar arson attack on the museum last year. A 21-year-old resident of the Samara region, who was detained for the previous arson, is currently awaiting trial for an act of terror.

In the Samara region, unknown individuals set fire to a relay cabinet and a battery cabinet on the railway section between Zhigulyovskoye More and Tolyatti on April 5. The arson reportedly did not disrupt the operation of the railway.

The Federal Penitentiary Service of the Belgorod region has stated that activist Aleksandr Demidenko, who died in a pre-trial detention center on April 5, committed suicide. Authorities found no signs of violent death, and investigations are underway. According to a source close to Demidenko's family, they have not yet been able to view the body. The source claims that Demidenko was not only assaulted but also tortured with an iron and a stun gun. Nevertheless, the volunteer refrained from reporting the torture due to threats from Akhmat fighters against him and his wife.

Children and Educational System

Sources close to the presidential administration have revealed to the Vedomosti [the Record] business daily newspaper that authorities are considering the establishment of a new ministry responsible for youth policy and patriotic education. Currently, these responsibilities are shared by the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Education and Science and Rosmolodyozh [the Federal Agency for Youth Affairs]. The Idel.Realii [part of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty] online media outlet illustrates heightened ideological pressure on schoolchildren in the Volga region. At the same time, NGOs unwilling to actively participate in state propaganda face oppression from authorities or management. For example, in Moscow, the administration of the Higher School of Economics dissolved the Student Council after it refused to enlist members of the pro-Kremlin organization Dvizheniye pervykh [Movement of the First].

Yakhya Buchaev, the Minister of Education and Science of Dagestan, has directed the organization of trench candles and camouflage nets production as part of design and technology classes. Dagestani children have already donated over 7,000 candles they made for the frontline.

Patrice Lumumba Peoples' Friendship University of Russia has reported sending 1 million rubles [$10,800] to support the military.


According to RBC [Russian media group], Rosaviatsia [the Federal Air Transport Agency] has sent recommendations to airlines and airport operators to prioritize service for passengers who are participants in the war in Ukraine. The department also requests to eliminate cases of improper communication by staff with servicemen. At the same time, war participants have repeatedly exhibited unacceptable behavior on airplanes. The Sirena Telegram channel recalls such cases. Meanwhile, Novaya Gazeta Europe [European edition of the independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta] has compiled a comprehensive list of measures to support war participants and their family members on the part of Russian authorities.


Authorities in Saint Petersburg have classified information about the quantity and quality of bomb shelters in the city in case of drone attacks. In December 2022, bomb shelters were transferred to the city's ownership. Currently, they are being assigned to various state institutions to oversee repairs and ensure their readiness to accommodate residents in case of emergencies.

Residents of Izhevsk have created a petition addressed to the Head of Udmurtia [Russia’s constituent republic] Aleksandr Brechalov. In the petition, residents expressed concerns about the safety of military enterprises currently situated in former shopping malls within the city. They are demanding that all military industry be relocated outside the city limits for safety reasons.

Olga Kolmogorova, a canine expert from the Khanty-Mansi autonomous region, plans to train dogs for deployment to the frontline. She intends to train them to detect explosives, drugs, people and overcome obstacles.