mobilization briefs
August 3, 2023

Mobilization in Russia for Aug. 1-2, 2023 CIT Volunteer Summary

Authorities and Legislation

The Russian government has supported amendments introducing criminal penalties for draft dodgers during mobilization. This initiative was first proposed as early as last autumn by Andrey Kartapolov, Chairman of the Defense Committee of the State Duma [lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia]. The proposed penalties for draft evasion include fines of up to 500,000 rubles [$5,315], forced labor, or imprisonment for up to five years. In November 2022, lawmakers stated that the proposal was initially considered at the beginning of the "partial" mobilization but the amendments lost relevance after its completion.

Governor of the Leningrad region Aleksandr Drozdenko stated that information about the casualties in the war in Ukraine should be publicly accessible. However, he himself refused to disclose the exact number of soldiers from the region who were killed. Additionally, according to Drozdenko, the region has mobilized around 6,000 men, and another 2,000 soldiers have enlisted in contract service over the last two years.

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

Several regions have reported the departure of volunteer fighters to the frontline. Specifically, 34 men from the Vladimir region and 19 men from the Yaroslavl region joined the war effort. From the Nurlatsky district of Tatarstan [Russia’s constituent Republic], four men have departed for the war, while ten more are planning to leave next week. Additionally, two volunteers from Noyabrsk, Yamalo-Nenets autonomous region [Russia's federal subject], have also been dispatched for military training.

The Sota media outlet, citing a source, reports that around 30 female convicts from penal colony No. 7 in the Lipetsk region have signed a two-year contract with the Ministry of Defense. The exact role they will perform on the frontline remains unclear; however, it is known that over 90% of the convicts in the colony have a positive HIV status.

The fighters of the Territorial Defense Forces in the Belgorod and Kursk regions, according to the governors' statements, were issued assault rifles. However, from the published videos, it can be seen that the fighters actually received only Saiga semi-automatic rifles. This is likely due to the fact that the bill, which would allow the governors to create and arm their own military companies upon the president's decision, has not yet come into effect as it has not been signed by the president and published.

Governor of the Zabaykalsky region Aleksandr Osipov introduced a bill according to which soldiers-orphans who participated in the war with Ukraine will have priority in receiving state-provided housing. Similar rules have been established by authorities in several other regions.

Mobilized Soldiers and Volunteer Fighters

The list of mobilized soldiers killed in the war has been updated to include Andrey Kozlov from the Orenburg region, Ivan Yarkov from the Perm region, Vasily Kuznetsov from the Sverdlovsk region, as well as Aleksandr Ponomaryov and Daniil Kalganov from the Tyumen region.

The name of one of the soldiers who was killed as a result of an attack by the AFU on a military truck in the Belgorod region has been revealed. The soldier was a conscript named Aleksey Savin from the Leningrad region.

The soldiers from the Kamchatka Battalion who had previously complained about the command, were pressured to sign new contracts with the Storm-Z unit, composed of former convicts. Now the soldiers are being transferred under the authority of the commands from the "DPR" and the "LPR." There are also female medics in the battalion who, under the new contract, will be classified as shooters. However, there are no records in their military IDs indicating which unit they are assigned to.

An appeal from mothers and wives of mobilized troops serving in the 1008th Regiment was launched on the VKontakte social network. The women are pleading for the bodies of soldiers, fallen over a month ago, to be recovered from the battlefield. In a rare public protest, the women are also demanding for their loved ones to be withdrawn from the forward positions and moved to the rear areas.

The Mozhem Ob'yasnit [We can explain] Telegram channel spoke with Aleksandr Teploukhov, a resident of the city of Kurgan with multiple prior convictions, who joined the military voluntarily to serve in a naval infantry unit of the self-proclaimed DPR. Having served on the frontline for seven months, he sustained a wound to his leg, which the medical staff of the battalion concluded to be a domestic injury. As a result, Teploukhov never received the payments or the war veteran status that he was looking forward to. Out of the company he served in, only six men remained alive.

Sentences, Legal Proceedings, and Incidents

In Bashkortostan [Russia’s constituent republic], a volunteer fighter Ildar B. escaped from custody while being escorted for psychiatric evaluation. The man got out of the vehicle onto the highway and threatened to detonate a grenade unless charges of desertion against him were dropped. Eventually, B. turned himself in to the authorities after speaking with Governor of Bashkortostan Radiy Khabirov.

The Novocherkassk Garrison Military Court sentenced a mobilized soldier Aleksey P. to five years and six months of suspended imprisonment on charges of going AWOL. In November 2022, the man left his temporary duty station, and in December 2022 he was detained by the military police.

The Stavropol Garrison Military Court has sentenced contract soldier Anatoly Ponomarenko to six years in a penal colony for going AWOL. The serviceman managed to escape from his unit three times between March and June 2023. On the first two occasions, he returned voluntarily, but after the third escape, he was arrested by commandant’s service.

The court has sentenced contract soldier A. Ponkratov to two years and eight months in a penal settlement for failure to execute an order. The man refused to go to war, motivating it by the fact that he had friends and relatives in Ukraine. However, the court dismissed this argument, deeming it a pretext for evasion.

It has been confirmed that the man who fatally stabbed a visitor of a snack bar in Vladimir participated in the war with Ukraine. The murderer is 43-year-old local resident Aleksey Demeshchenko. As a volunteer fighter, he had been wounded and came to Vladimir for treatment in fall 2022. Demeshchenko has been charged with murder and placed in detention for two months.

Sergey Sofonov, a former participant in the war with Ukraine, is now a suspect in the murder of six individuals in Derevyannoye village, Karelia [Russia’s constituent republic]. As discovered by local journalists, the man has a history of grave convictions and may have been recruited from the colony to join either the Wagner Group or a Storm-Z unit.

Three minors have been arrested in the Krasnoyarsk region, charged with setting fire to relay cabinets. We covered this arson attack in one of our previous summaries.

Draft Offices

There are new reports on another series of arson attacks on draft offices all over Russia (we have reported an outbreak of such attacks in our previous summaries 1, 2, 3). Over the past day, the following incidents have been reported:

  • On the evening of Aug. 1, a 66-year-old woman  attempted to set fire to a military commissariat [enlistment office] on Angliysky Prospekt in Saint Petersburg. The incident was captured on a CCTV camera. The detained suspect turned out to be a cashier in a supermarket. She had acted under the instructions of scammers.
  • On Aug. 2, a 70-year-old pensioner was detained while attempting to set fire to the Butyrka military commissariat in Moscow.
  • On Aug. 2, 82-year-old woman, chairman of the Children of Military Stalingrad organization Rimma V was detained while attempting to set fire to a draft office in Volgograd.
  • On Aug. 1, in the town of Ishimbay, Bashkortostan, an 18-year-old saleswoman of the Detsky Mir store attempted to set fire to a local military commissariat. The young woman managed to escape after the arson attempt, but was later detained.
  • On Aug. 2, police officers detained a 74-year-old man while attempting to set fire to a draft office in Vsevolozhsk, Leningrad region. Reportedly, he acted on the instructions of scammers.
  • On July 31, a 21-year-old woman was detained while attempting to set fire to a military commissariat in Maikop, Adygea [Russia’s constituent republic]. She carried four Molotov cocktails and a bag with two bottles of lighter fluid.
  • In Sestroretsk, Leningrad region, 53-year-old Natalya K. entered a draft office carrying three Molotov cocktails and threatened to set everything around her on fire. However, authorities managed to bring her out and apprehend her outside the office premises before any harm was done.
  • In Nakhodka, on the night of Aug. 2, an unknown man threw two bottles with burning mixture through the window of a military commissariat and fled. He is now on the wanted list.

Thus, from July 29 to Aug. 2, there were at least 29 attempted arsons of military commissariats in Russia.

Some details of the previous arson attacks have also become known:

  • It has been revealed that the attempted arson of the Kuzminki draft office in Moscow yesterday was carried out by a 65-year-old woman.
  • In Podolsk, a draft office was attacked twice during a day. First, by a 22-year-old employee of a fast food restaurant chain, and an hour or two later, by two retired citizens. In both cases, phone scammers convinced citizens to commit arson.
  • A 53-year-old man accused of setting fire to a draft office in the Central District of Saint Petersburg was put into custody, while a woman who attempted to set fire to a draft office in Sestroretsk was sent for psychiatric evaluation.

The Federal Security Office (FSB) in Udmurtia [Russia's constituent republic] warned citizens about phone scammers. According to the agency, there has been an increase in cases of damaging transportation and military infrastructure by deceived citizens. The FSB urges the population not to fall for phone scammers' manipulations and warns that damage to military property will be classified as sabotage or a terrorist act.


Several UAZ cars were donated to servicemen: one from Tver, and 13 from Kirov. Residents of Izhevsk provided building materials, food supplies and a car for water delivery. Diesel generators, office equipment and cars were sent to the front from the Rostov region.

According to Dmitry Afanasiev, Deputy Minister of Science and Higher Education, around 7,000 applicants were admitted to Russian universities within allocated quotas for war participants and their children. In total, more than 900,000 people applied to universities this year.


For the first time in many years, plans are being made to update the federal standards for school security guards. They will be required to have skills in repelling armed attacks and protecting facilities from terrorist attacks. Authors of the initiative state that these innovations are motivated by increased risks of terrorist attacks, especially in the "new territories."

Children from a kindergarten in the Sovetskaya Gavan town, Khabarovsk region, were forced to weave helmet camouflage nets.

Media faculty at Synergy University will introduce a course on OSINT. It will be taught by "analysts" from the team of Rybar, a prominent pro-Russian Telegram channel, who are referred to as "true professionals in their field" in the announcement.


According to calculations by 7x7 online media outlet, 79 civilians were killed in internationally recognized territories of Russia during the full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Forty-eight victims are from the Belgorod region. Meanwhile, according to the latest UN data, at least 9,369 civilians have been killed and 16,646 injured in Ukraine.


The Vyorstka media outlet has published a study on who and why teaches Russian women to be "convenient" for fighting men. Public pages designed for military wives teach them not to complain to their husbands during phone calls, admire them, tolerate potential rudeness, and avoid crying because "men cannot stand women's tears."