mobilization briefs
August 18, 2023

Mobilization in Russia for Aug. 16-17, 2023 CIT Volunteer Summary

Authorities and Legislation

The Vyorstka media outlet released a comprehensive analysis of the spring session of the State Duma [lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia], which finished recently. 13 initiatives introduced new bans and restrictions on civil and political rights. Out of 320 proposed bills, the government introduced 142. Some parliamentarians noted that they had to increasingly "rush" legislation during this session.

Meduza [international Russian-language online media outlet] examined the amendments to the federal law on operational activities for investigations, proposed recently by the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The publication covers what would actually change, how individuals can protect themselves from police information gathering, and what legal experts and human rights activists think of the bill.

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

TV Rain [independent Russian television channel] reports that draft notices, which summon men for a military registry data check-up, are being sent across a number of regions, not just Saint Petersburg. In July and August, such draft notices were served to residents of the Amur, Moscow, Penza and Lipetsk regions. In some cases, in the midst of the data check-up, men were requested to indicate in writing that they were not interested in contract-based military service. Earlier, we noted the distribution of draft notices in the Krasnoyarsk, Ulyanovsk and Chelyabinsk regions.

The Voyennye Advokaty [Military Lawyers] Telegram channel has published an explanation regarding raids on migrants who have recently acquired Russian citizenship. According to the law, they are indeed required to register at draft offices based on their place of residence or stay. However, the law does not permit law enforcement personnel to forcibly take citizens to draft offices or mobilization centers.

According to Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin, during mobilization, 20,000 city residents were conscripted for the war with Ukraine. According to the calculations by the Agentstvo.Novosti [Agency News] Telegram channel, this accounts for less than 1% of the total mobilization reserve of the city. Meanwhile, research by Vazhnyye Istorii [IStories, an independent Russian investigative media outlet] and CIT showed that, for example, in the Krasnoyarsk region, 5.47% of the mobilization reserve was called up for the war, and in the Vladimir region, it was 2.44%. Sobyanin cited the figure of 20,000 mobilized Moscow residents as evidence against the widespread belief that Muscovites "don't like to fight" and "stay at home through connections," while people "from other regions go to war."

Mobilized Soldiers and Volunteer Fighters

The list of mobilized soldiers killed in the war has been updated to include Aleksandr Grishin from the Penza region and Vladimir Kotov from the Krasnodar region.

The brother of the hanged mobilized soldier from Irkutsk disclosed his true surname to the independent media outlet "Lyudi Baikala" [People of Baikal]. The man initially referred to as Aleksandr Samoilov, at the request of his relatives, was actually Aleksandr Tirsky. Relatives feared that the voicing of the real name would interfere with the work of the investigation; however, as the deceased's brother said, the investigation ended with no results.

NGS42.RU media publishes two stories of relatives looking for their loved ones missing in action. Similar to the stories highlighted in yesterday's summary, these families face complete indifference from the authorities.

Rustyam Abushaev, Mayor of Bolshoy Kamen, Primorsky region, has been awarded with the Order of Courage for "his involvement in the evacuation of fighters from the battlefield and in the capture of NATO weaponry." In March of this year, Rustyam Abushaev was put on a federal wanted list on charges of land fraud and illegal business activities, and in April, he appeared at the war with Ukraine.

Sentences, Legal Proceedings and Incidents

Valery Fadeyev, Chairman of the Presidential Council for the Development of Civil Society and Human Rights, confirmed that the former mercenary of the Wagner Group, Mikhail Taskin, himself provoked a brawl in the village of Nerchinsky Zavod. The villagers who assaulted Taskin are not allegedly considered war adversaries, but, on the contrary, they are "actively involved in patriotic activities." Local lawyer Alexander Zhdanov previously provided the same account of events in an interview with the Sibir.Realii [part of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty] online media outlet.

In the Stavropol region, a former convict named Artyom Grechkin has evaded administrative supervision in a criminal case related to sexual assault and went to war as a volunteer fighter. Upon his return from the war, he robbed and killed a 71-year-old pensioner. Two new cases of murder and robbery have been brought against Grechkin. Police officers responsible for monitoring him are currently being sought.

Public officials have allocated 10,000 rubles [$106] in aid to the family of one of the seven victims of the tragedy that happened in the village of Derevyannoye, Karelia [Russia’s constituent republic] (more details). Both suspects of the murder previously came back from the war. The aid has been allocated to the family of a 39-year-old man who was stabbed to death before his two children’s eyes. The children managed to escape before the attackers set the house on fire.

The Federal Security Service (FSB) has detained two members of the USSR Citizens community who were allegedly preparing a terrorist attack in the Krasnoyarsk region. The agency claims that the suspects have been apprehended when buying explosives. The investigators’ version is that they planned to blow up cell base towers to impede the distribution of draft notices via the Gosuslugi public services portal. A criminal case for attempted illegal purchase of explosives and attempted act of terror has been initiated. The suspects have been put under arrest.

In the Pskov region, the FSB has arrested a resident of Dnipro, Ukraine, on charges of espionage. The FSB alleges that he collected data on Russian border guards, as well as Ukrainians who cooperated with the region’s law enforcement agencies.

The alleged arsonist who attempted to set fire to a military commissariat [enlistment office] on the night of Aug. 15 in the town of Chernyshevsk, Zabaykalsky region, has been detained. The suspect justified his actions by saying that his brother serves in the army. According to the Chita.Ru Telegram channel, the man's brother is a contract soldier.

Roskomnadzor [Russia's internet censorship agency] has blocked the website of the Udmurtia Against Corruption movement, as well as the list of residents of Russia's constituent Republic of Udmurtia killed in the war with Ukraine, since they deemed the content to be "calling for extremist activity."

The prosecutor's office of the occupation authorities in Melitopol stated that Leonid Popov, who was kidnapped and tortured almost to death, has no complaints against the law enforcement. The story of Leonid, a 22-year-old with a mental disorder, was previously reported by Vazhnyye Istorii [IStories, independent Russian investigative media outlet].

A session was held in the Ostankino Court of Moscow regarding the case of Moscow resident Yury Kokhovets, accused of "spreading fake news about the army." According to the prosecutor’s office, the man criticized the Russian invasion of Ukraine in a street interview with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Kokhovets could face up to 10 years in prison.

The Second Western District Military Court sentenced 22-year-old Ukrainian refugee Prokhor Neyzhmakov to three years in a penal colony and a two-year ban on creating social media accounts, based on accusations of calls for terrorism. In March 2023, he was arrested for messages in a Telegram chat concerning the war in Ukraine.


The Surgut Dermatovenereological Dispensary gathered aid for soldiers participating in the war in Ukraine. Alongside medical supplies, the package included food and writing utensils for children in occupied territories. A former head of the Tsivilsky district of Chuvashia [Russia’s constituent republic], Sergey Becker, reported that assistance was provided to a woman, whose two sons are in the Russian Army, to acquire firewood. The photo report included logging waste.

Members of the Vyazhem dlya Soldat [Knitting for Soldiers] pro-war community from Surgut, announced their intention to provide help not only to the soldiers but also to lonely people in nursing homes.

About 5,000 families of Russian servicemen from Nizhnevartovsk received discount cards as part of the Zabota [Care] regional project. The card gives a 3% discount on shopping in stores in the region.


According to Minister of Education Sergey Kravtsov, Russian colleges will train drone operators.

Representatives of the United Russia party [Putin's ruling party] gifted backpacks with stationery to children whose fathers had been sent to war. According to the authorities, such families "have found themselves in a difficult life situation."

The village of Krasnoobsk, Novosibirsk region, reported on the victory of children cadets of the local military-patriotic club in military competitions. The children were taught tactical medicine, engineering training, communications, orientation and operating drones.


The pro-government All-Russia People's Front movement developed the Radar app to inform the authorities about explosions, strikes, or enemy UAVs and sabotage and reconnaissance groups detected in the area. Among other things its users are encouraged to upload photos of incidents.

In Vladimir, with the support of the regional scientific library, a collection of poems about the invasion of Ukraine has been published under the title "Language of Victory." According to regional authorities, the compilation features works by 44 authors from the Ukrainian town of Dokuchaievsk, which is currently under Russian occupation.


In a recent feature, Novaya Gazeta Europe [European edition of the independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta] spoke with three Russians, who do not want to participate in the war and remain in Russia. They discuss their reasons for staying and shed light on the lives of their families. Two of the interviewed individuals initially left the country after the war's outbreak but were later compelled to return to Russia.

Sibir.Realii published material about the uranium capital of Russia, the town of Krasnokamensk. The local employment options  are limited to uranium mining or war effort.

59.RU [Perm city online media outlet] spoke with Dmitry, a former Wagner Group mercenary, and his father. Dmitry, who had previously served a 10-year sentence in a maximum-security penal colony for murdering an elderly couple, was recruited for the war in Ukraine. After receiving a pardon, he returned to his village, but local residents and the family of the deceased are not happy about his presence.