mobilization briefs
August 21, 2023

Mobilization in Russia for Aug. 18-20, 2023 CIT Volunteer Summary

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

According to documents published on the government procurement contracts portal, the Leningrad region will allocate 3.2 million rubles [$34,000] for advertising contract-based military service. The contractor is required to produce 180,000 A4-sized posters and 90,000 brochures. All the work needs to be completed by Nov. 20.

Grigory Sverdlin, the head of the Idite Lesom! [Flee through the woods/Get lost you all] Telegram channel, has launched a campaign called "Black Mark to the Draft Office." He suggested leaving reviews about all the draft offices across Russia. Those who plan to visit the commissariats will find these reviews on Yandex.Maps. "The first suggestion can be anything creative: very pleasant staff, excellent selection of zinc; if I’m alive, will definitely come again; came in as a diathetic, left with a prosthetic." Anton Gorbatsyevich, the coordinator of the assistance and evacuation department at Idite Lesom!, shared what to do if a notice from a draft office arrives. Idite Lesom! helps men avoid getting involved in the war. Legal assistance has already been provided to 11,000 people.

A mobile recruitment center for contract-based military service has been set up in Vyborg. Currently, the city is hosting the Pirate Harbor festival. Another recruitment tent for volunteer fighters has been set up in front of the central train station in Nizhny Novgorod.

The combat veterans' Oplot [stronghold] movement has announced the formation of a territorial defense unit in the Rostov region. The volunteer Cossack reserve battalion will be named Oplot-1. According to the initiator of the idea, the territorial defense forces will engage in "fighting external and internal enemies," with fighters receiving neither weapons nor payment. The plan is to recruit around 300 people into the battalion within six months, giving preference to Cossacks during the selection process. Allegedly, individuals with criminal backgrounds will not be accepted into the battalion.

Mobilized Soldiers and Volunteer Fighters

The list of mobilized soldiers killed in the war has been updated to include Aleksandr Kozyakov and Mikhail Khusnutdinov from the Sverdlovsk region, Aleksandr Dementyev from Buryatia [Russia’s constituent republic], Sergey Fedoseyenko from the Primorsky region, Andrey Lokotkin from the Tyumen region, and Dmitry Nesterov from the Vologda region.

Aleksey Tuzhilkin, an orphan from Bratsk, Irkutsk region, has been killed in the war. He joined the war to expedite his entitlement to a law-mandated apartment, as in 2022, after 9 years of waiting, he was the 1047th in the waiting list for housing for orphans.

Meduza [international Russian-language online media outlet] has published the stories of ex-convicts, now serving in the military, pardoned by Putin. They all share a common thread of brutality of the crimes they committed.

Sentences, Legal Proceedings and Incidents

As reported by the Astra Telegram channel, supposedly seven servicemen of the former 11th Oplot Regiment (now 114th Motorized Rifle Brigade [RuAF]) assaulted a man in occupied Donetsk and then took him to an undisclosed location in a car trunk. The man was said to have been serving as a volunteer fighter in the war against Ukraine since 2022 but left the unit after a conflict with the commander.

The police in the Kirov region are searching for Aleksey Kostromin, a former Wagner Group mercenary who assaulted and raped a young woman after his return from the war. The victim was hospitalized with an open head injury, brain contusion, facial fracture, stab wounds on her neck and eye contusion, and is currently in intensive care in critical condition. Kostromin, a former employee of the Federal Penitentiary Service, was previously convicted of murdering a 20-year-old woman whom he beat to death with a hammer.

In Murmansk, a man claiming to be a Ukraine veteran made a scene in a bar. First, he argued with a waiter and security because he believed they were against the "special military operation," then he hit one of the female visitors.

In 2022, Russian military courts received the highest number of cases of crimes against sexual inviolability by servicemen in ten years. The courts received 110 such cases last year, and at least 64 for the year 2023 that is in progress. Compared to 2012, the number of such crimes has increased by 4.5 times. At least half of the victims are minors. Sibir.Realii [part of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty] online media outlet analyzed the court files and found out the details and reasons behind the prosecution of military personnel in different regions of Russia.

69,119 grave and especially grave crimes were detected in seven months of 2023 in the Volga Federal District, which is 12.1% more than in the previous year. In total, grave and especially grave crimes have risen 26.8% in Russia since start of 2023. This data is based on the report of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia on the crime rate for January-July 2023. There is also an increase in crimes related to illegal arms trafficking. In Russia's constituent Republic of Tatarstan it has reached 18.6%, and in the Penza region, 32.6%.


The pro-government All-Russia People's Front movement is sending out letters calling to participate in a crowdfunding campaign for military medics. Citizens are asked to donate money for the purchase of X-ray machines, ultrasound machines, defibrillators, and quad bikes with trailers for the evacuation of the wounded. Among the supervisors of this crowdfunding initiative are doctors Leonid Roshal and Aleksandr Myasnikov, as well as Pyotr Tolstoy, a member of the State Duma [lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia].

In the Khanty-Mansi autonomous region–Yugra [Russia's federal subject], an additional program has been launched to support disabled combat veterans who have undergone lower limb amputations. They will receive certificates in the amount of up to 2 million rubles [$21,363] for the purchase of a car with manual controls. Governor of the region Natalya Komarova has said that since the beginning of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, 2,386 tons of aid have been sent from Yugra to the frontline.

Residents of the Maryanskaya village in the Krasnodar region are complaining about the insufficient amount of financial assistance provided by the authorities for funerals (25,000 rubles [$266], including an additional payment of 13,000 rubles [$138] for the Order of Courage). As a result, they are forced to seek help from their fellow villagers, who, however, do not show much sympathy.


During the demonstration performances of the Rosgvardia [the National Guard of Russia] fighters in the suburb of Elektrostal, one child was injured. Presumably, a cartridge case from a blank cartridge ricocheted and hit the child.

In the village of Donskaya Balka in the Stavropol region, following a report from the Mash [the Kremlin-aligned news outlet], employees and parents, the director of a preschool Svetlana Shelar was dismissed. She is originally from Ukraine and was accused of not supporting the war. According to Alexander Khinshtein, a member of the State Duma, the woman was dismissed "after the personal intervention of the governor of the Stavropol region," and her activities are being investigated by law enforcement agencies.


A monument to the "Heroes of the special military operation" worth 5.6 million rubles [$59,000] will be erected in Chita. The contract for its construction was awarded to ARM-1, the only company that did not reduce the price of the contract, as indicated on the government procurement website. Meanwhile, the city's budget for 2023 was adopted with a deficit exceeding 120 million rubles [$1,260,000]. A similar monument has already been ceremoniously unveiled in Nizhnyaya Tavda, Tyumen region.


The Bumaga [Paper] independent media outlet published an article about the evolution of support for political prisoners in Saint Petersburg over a year and a half of the war. The article explores the current state of the community assisting political prisoners in the city and highlights the number of individuals who continue to attend trials despite facing pressure and fear.