mobilization briefs
August 22, 2023

Mobilization in Russia for Aug. 20-21, 2023 CIT Volunteer Summary

Authorities and Legislation

The Ministry of Construction of the Rostov region has commented on the mass appeals of refugees from the Kherson region, who have been waiting for months for housing certificates payments approved in the period from May to July. The housing certificates were not funded due to the lack of federal budget funds. However, all approval forms indicate a timeframe for money transfer ranging from 25 to 45 working days. Local residents who agreed to sell their housing to those displaced have also been affected by the payment delays as some transactions were disrupted.

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

A contract military service recruitment facility was set up in Cheboksary during the city's celebration. Additionally, a booth named "Fighter's Rest Stop" was installed offering the opportunity to don military uniforms, learn to weave camouflage nets, or make donations to support the war effort in Ukraine.

The recruiting competition between regions continues. The Surgut city administration shared a story about a man from Crimea who traveled to the Khanty-Mansi autonomous region–Yugra [Russia's federal subject] to sign a contract with the MoD to receive higher compensation. Earlier, the city authorities increased regional payments by 150,000 rubles [$1,600] from the municipal budget. Consequently, when signing a contract in the Khanty-Mansi autonomous region, a soldier receives a one-time payment of 745,000 rubles [$7,970].

The Rosgvardia [National Guard of Russia] department in the Amur region is recruiting personnel for service in the annexed territory of the Donetsk region. The minimum contract period is 12 months, and candidates are promised a sign-up bonus of 395,000 rubles [$4,225]. The agency is willing to recruit men who were previously dismissed for negative reasons, as well as citizens with expunged criminal records, and those who have previously served sentences for minor or moderate offenses.

The administration of Tyumen Medical University has required students, including girls, to provide their personal information to the mobilization service department by Sept. 5. Students who fail to provide the required information may face fines ranging from 1000 to 5000 rubles [$10–50]. The university's press service stated that this is an annual "standard procedure."

Mobilized Soldiers and Volunteer Fighters

According to the information from the Astra Telegram channel, in Chystiakove (a town in the Russia-occupied part of the Donetsk region), military personnel reportedly broke into the apartment of local residents in search of an "escaped volunteer fighter." The police refused to investigate the unauthorized intrusion and advised the residents to contact the Military Prosecutor's Office. The unknown intruders were looking for a volunteer fighter from the 1st Brigade who had left his unit along with several other fighters in early February. It's worth noting that we previously reported that an unknown group in Donetsk assaulted and kidnapped a man believed to be a former volunteer fighter.

A serviceman from the 810th Naval Infantry Unit revealed that he and another soldier were sent on a suicide mission. Previously, the military had requested medical assistance, but instead of receiving help, they were placed in confinement. There, they were extorted for 50,000 rubles to avoid physical harm. After a few days, they were forcibly sent to the assault. The fellow soldier accompanying the serviceman was killed, leaving him alone in an abandoned school, tasked with holding defense under artillery fire. The man later made contact from Melitopol. Suffering from post-concussion symptoms, the man has been plagued by panic attacks and is urgently seeking access to psychiatric care.

Former Russian prisoners, repatriated from Ukrainian captivity, have been redeployed to the frontlines. In the summer, around 30 military personnel, most of whom were ex-convicts recruited by the Ministry of Defense, returned to Russia as part of an exchange procedure. They were held at a military facility for several months and were promised hospital treatment. Instead, they were brought to occupied territory and forced into digging trenches.

Sentences, Legal Proceedings and Incidents

In the Rostov Oblast, a contract soldier attacked his fellow soldiers with a knife. During a trip to their deployment location, a dispute erupted among the military personnel, escalating to the point where one of them pulled out a knife, striking one fellow soldier near the ear and another in the thigh. The injured were taken to a hospital, while the assailant was apprehended.

In the Rostov region, 42-year-old serviceman Sergey L. was found dead. The circumstances of his death remain unclear. The man, who had numerous bruises and abrasions, as well as a fracture in his left thigh, was laying on a dirt road, where a fragment of a car bumper was also found. It is possible that an unknown person hit the soldier and fled the scene. Police are searching for the car involved.

The Vyorstka media outlet analyzed the files of 14 garrison military courts and noted an increase in cases against servicemen driving under the influence of alcohol or without a license. The number of such offenses has spiked in the border and southern regions of Russia over the past year, with the courts receiving more than 2600 misdemeanor protocols in the period from January to August 2023. This is 4.5 times more than in the same period in 2022 and 4.8 times more than in the same period in 2021. The offenders are fined and have their driving licenses revoked, but the analysis of court decisions reveals that some servicemen continue driving without a license and are subsequently caught by the State Inspectorate for Road Traffic Safety and Military Automobile Inspection.

In Chelyabinsk, law enforcement officers detained a 29-year-old resident suspected of setting fire to a relay cabinet on the railway tracks on the night of Aug. 13. He was charged with sabotage and faces up to 20 years in prison. During questioning, the man allegedly said that he decided to set fire to the cabinet because of an old grudge against the police, who did not accept his report. However, the SHOT Telegram channel claims that the man was subscribed to the social media of the "Freedom of Russia Legion."

In Moscow, a relay cabinet was set on fire between the Solnechnaya and Peredelkino stations of the Kiyevsky suburban railway line. As a result, trains were delayed by about an hour. The automation system has been restored, and measures are being taken to stabilize the train schedule.

Natalia Kolyadina and Zhumagul Kurbanova, defendants in the cases of arson attacks on draft offices in Saint Petersburg, were added to the list of terrorists and extremists. According to the women’s testimony, they became victims of scammers. One of them has been charged with deliberate damage to someone else's property and is under house arrest. The second woman is charged with attempted arson. She's been sent to a psychiatric evaluation.

A criminal case has been initiated against Barnaul resident Tatiana Solntseva for secret cooperation with a foreign organization. The woman allegedly corresponded with a member of the "Freedom of Russia Legion" and, according to the Federal Security Service (FSB), agreed to cooperate with the unit. Human-rights activists from the Pervy Otdel [First department] project note that in such cases, correspondence can be conducted by FSB officers who later offer the interlocutor to go to Ukraine or to perform "some radical actions" on the territory of Russia.

In the Rostov region, the FSB has apprehended a Ukrainian citizen who, according to the agency, was transmitting information on air defense and troop movements. The woman is facing up to 20 years in prison.

A serviceman in Murmansk has reported a woman whom he had punched in the face at a bar on Aug. 20. Previously, the victim had reported the incident to the police, after which the assaulter filed a report in response. We covered this conflict in more detail in our previous summary.


The Vmeste my silneye [Together We Are Stronger] headquarters of the governor of the Arkhangelsk region reported that Young Army [pro-Kremlin youth organization] members assisted a military family by helping them move firewood into a shed.


In Belgorod, before the start of the academic year, the windows of the ground floors of schools are being boarded up with sandbags. Additionally, all windows will be covered with armored film on the inside. Face-to-face and blended learning from Sept. 1 will only begin in educational institutions of the Belgorod region that are located more than 20 kilometers from the border.

Nikita Anisimov, Rector of the National Research University Higher School of Economics, announced the number of children of war participants in Ukraine who have enrolled in the university. 159 students will receive free education at HSE under the quota for "children of participants in the special military operation." Another 29 children of war participants will be educated at the university's expense, as they did not secure state-funded places.

Students in the 10th and 11th grades of Russian schools will study the basics of UAV control as part of the basic military training course. At the end of the course, students should gain an understanding of the specifics of drone deployment on the battlefield. The curriculum also includes firing live ammunition. Students should be able to handle firearms, throw hand grenades, dig trenches, and classify types of nuclear explosions.


The authorities are preparing a "soft" blocking of YouTube in Russia. Rostelecom [Russia’s largest provider of digital services] is testing the portal, which, according to Mikhail Klimarev, executive director of the Society for the Protection of the Internet, will probably filter the video service's content according to the rules of military censorship. As Klimarev believes, direct access to YouTube will be blocked, and viewing videos from the platform will only be possible through this portal.


Yesterday we reported on the death of Aleksey Tuzhilkin, an orphan from Bratsk, who went to the war to get the housing he was entitled to from the state. As the Cherta media outlet has calculated, at least 20 orphans who went to serve as volunteer fighters have been killed in the war in Ukraine. Read more about why orphans go to war and how the state pushes them to take this step in Cherta's article.