mobilization briefs
August 25, 2023

Mobilization in Russia for Aug. 23-24, 2023 CIT Volunteer Summary

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

Comparing theory and practice, the Voyennye Advokaty [Military Lawyers] Telegram channel shared known cases of remote military service deregistration. For instance, several citizens were removed from military rolls after proxies with power of attorney visited the draft office on their behalf, while two managed to get it done online using the Gosuslugi public services portal. On the other hand, there is also a set of cases where requests submitted on the portal were denied and citizens were told to come to the draft office in person.

Pskov regional authorities plan to recruit at least 1,000 people until the end of the year into Druzhina, a local Territorial Defense Force unit. In 2024, the headcount is expected to grow by another 100 people. The budget of this regional law enforcement program is 245 million rubles this year and 252 million rubles next year.

The 7x7 online outlet reports the mass distribution of draft notices to residents of at least 8 regions: Leningrad, Belgorod, Ulyanovsk, Chelyabinsk, Kemerovo, Krasnoyarsk and Chuvashia [Russia's constituent republic]. There are also reports of people, who were freshly granted Russian citizenship, being forcefully taken to a draft office to register for military service. One such raid took place in Chelyabinsk, where 15 men, who had been naturalized recently, were added to the military rolls, while another 25 were served draft notices requiring them to report to the draft office. Raids on foreign citizens took place not long ago in Chuvashia, Novosibirsk and Khabarovsk, although these reports did not mention people being taken to draft offices. Meanwhile in the Lipetsk region, policemen surrounded a correction center while performing a similar raid, after mistaking it for a migrant camp. Lawyer Maksim Grebenyuk, creator of the Voyenny Ombudsmen [Military Ombudsman] project, links these raids and mass distribution of draft notices with either the creation of the unified register of Russians subject to military service or the intensification of covert mobilization.

In the city of Neftekumsk in the Stavropol region, the outdoor warning system is used to encourage residents to sign contracts with the Ministry of Defense.

Mobilized Soldiers and Volunteer Fighters

The list of mobilized soldiers killed in the war has been updated to include Aleksey Fisenko from Khakassia [Russia’s constituent republic] and Fyodor Voyevodsky from the Volgograd region.

Two Russian soldiers were wounded in a mine explosion in the Bryansk region. At the time of the incident, the servicemen were in the Klimovsk district bordering Ukraine, where an alleged attempt by a sabotage and reconnaissance group from Ukraine to break through took place on Aug. 22. It was previously reported that on the same day in the same area, Senior Lieutenant of the Border Guard Service of the Federal Security Service (FSB) Aleksandr Nikolayev was killed.

The wife of an ex-convict who signed a contract with the Ministry of Defense is unable to locate her husband. Neither the Ministry of Defense nor the penal colony where he was recruited could provide information about his whereabouts. None of the government agencies could indicate his location or status. We've previously reported on the Ministry of Defense's treatment of former convicts—the ministry fails to deliver the payment promised at signing the contract and refrains from disclosing the soldiers' whereabouts to their families.

A fighter from the Kamchatka Battalion attempted to organize a protest and, presumably, was detained by security forces. Andrey Feoktistov, a convict recruited into the Wagner Group, and now a member of the volunteer Kamchatka Battalion, recorded a video address in which he stated that the command neglected military training, and he himself was given only three days to train his men. After that, they were sent to combat assault alongside ex-convicts from the Storm-Z unit. As a result, Feoktistov and several other soldiers ended up in hospitals, and at least 12 wounded from the battalion were sent to a "prison for the wounded" in Donetsk. Feoktistov planned to appear in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky to organize a rally in front of the regional government building, involving the relatives of the battalion's soldiers. However, he was unable to organize the protest as security forces detained him preemptively on the night of Aug. 23.

Sentences, Legal Proceedings and Incidents

The Irkutsk Garrison Military Court sentenced Private Andrey Aseyev to nine years in a maximum security penal colony for murder. According to investigators, the soldier, while intoxicated, stabbed a man in the neck due to "personal hostile relations following a verbal conflict," resulting in the man’s death. The court also sustained a civil claim filed by the relatives for 3 million rubles [$31,780] as compensation for moral damage and 86.9 thousand rubles [$921] for funeral expenses.

The Irkutsk Garrison Military Court also sentenced Private Vladimir Farkov to five years and four months of imprisonment for evading military service and presenting a forged medical report. According to the court’s findings, on Jan. 22, 2022, the man failed to report for duty and, in order to conceal his unauthorized absence from the unit, obtained a fake medical report, which he then submitted to a draft office.

The Krasnoyarsk Garrison Military Court sentenced a private to six days in a guardhouse for bringing an iPhone into the military base. The court expressed concerns that such a device could collect and disseminate audio, photo, video, and location data. The soldier was found guilty of a "serious disciplinary offense."

Oleg Vazhdaev, a resident of the city of Krasnodar, was sentenced to six years in a high-security prison for setting fire to a draft office. We covered his story in one of our previous summaries. Vazhdaev does not deny that he attempted to set the draft office on fire. He explained his actions by fear for his family after the start of mobilization. The prosecution had sought a seven-year sentence for Vazhdaev.

The head of a unit within an enterprise of the military-industrial complex in the Kaliningrad region has been charged with treason. The details of the charges are unknown. The man traveled to Armenia despite travel restrictions from Russia.

The Bryansk Regional Court sentenced Mikhail Glukhov to eight years in a penal colony for attempting to join the "Freedom of Russia Legion." The man tried to enter Ukraine twice — once from Belarus, resulting in his expulsion from the country, and the second time from the Bryansk region, where he was detained while crossing the border. Glukhov expressed remorse for his actions and declined to give a final statement in hopes of a reduced sentence. As a result, he received a punishment below the minimum limit.

The FSB detained a Pskov resident for allegedly planning an arson attack on a relay cabinet at the Pskov-Tovarny railway station. According to the FSB, the man was given instructions by a "volunteer of a Ukrainian public humanitarian project." On Aug. 2, he attempted to open the relay cabinet in order to set it on fire, but was detained. He faces charges of sabotage.

In Rostov-on-Don, 54-year-old Aleksandr Smirnov has a criminal case opened against him for setting fire to a relay cabinet on a railroad, which is categorized as property destruction. Additionally, law enforcement discovered a Telegram account on Smirnov's phone, bearing the Azov Regiment flag as its profile picture, resulting in an administrative case against him for displaying "extremist symbols."


The first two horses, sent from Bashkortostan [Russia's constituent republic] to the combat zone for the mobilized soldiers, have begun to "perform combat tasks." It is planned to increase the number of horses on duty up to 10.

Servicemen from Khakassia complained about the lack of assistance from the authorities of the republic. According to them, all support comes exclusively from volunteers.


In Krasnoyarsk, a labor squad of five children is engaged in sewing t-shirts, sweatshirts, and balaclavas for the military. Reportedly, over the summer break, the children produced a total of two tons of clothing. Additionally, Mayor of Krasnoyarsk Vladislav Loginov has promised to expand the production.


There is a shortage of workers in industrial enterprises across Russia, particularly the ones with specialized skills. Employers are enticing specialists with a salary of 100,000 rubles and benefits packages. NGS.RU publication features a conversation with three workers who shed light on the real situation.

The Kazan archive will establish personal archival collections for participants of the war with Ukraine.


According to the Lyudi Baikala [People of Baikal] independent media outlet, at least 86 people killed in the war with Ukraine are being buried in Russia every day. Authorities conceal the number of servicemen who return home in coffins or are listed as missing. Lyudi Baikala discussed the reasons behind officials' reluctance to allow reports from funerals to be published with culturologist Svetlana Eremeeva.

Sibir.Realii [part of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty] online media outlet journalists visited the village of Peschanka near Krasnoyarsk, where an ex-convict, who had killed a couple of labor veterans, returned from the war. The murderer's father believes that "his son paid a price with blood," but neighbors and relatives of the murdered do not agree with him. However, only few people are ready to speak openly against the recidivist.