mobilization briefs
August 28, 2023

Mobilization in Russia for Aug. 25-27, 2023 CIT Volunteer Summary

Authorities and Legislation

Mikhail Matveyev, Deputy Chairman of the Committee on Regional Policy and Local Self-Government, reported that a bill to revoke the acquired citizenship of draft dodgers will be considered next week by the State Duma [lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia]. According to an earlier post in his Telegram channel, naturalized citizens should be stripped of their citizenship if they fail to register for military service within the statutory time limit or attempt to otherwise dodge military service. The citizenship of their family members should also be revoked, added Matveyev, if it was acquired as a result of the dodger’s naturalization.

Vladimir Putin gave instructions to simplify the employment of minors and to ease limits on child labor, in order to deal with the shortage of at least 660,000 workers, according to official estimates. The president considers that teenagers aged 14 and up could be employed on "temporary assignments," while their employers should be given incentives.

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

According to human rights activist Tatiana Kotlyar, some immigrants in the Kaluga region cannot apply for Russian citizenship, unless they sign a military service contract to fight in Ukraine. Ministry of Interior Affairs officials directed applicants to the draft office to obtain a certificate of enlistment and refused to consider their applications without it.

In Omsk, a video showed a man in a mosque urging worshippers to sign military service contracts with the Ministry of Defense and join the war in Ukraine. He argued that it was necessary to defend the country against threats emanating from the West.

A contract military service recruitment facility has been set up right on the waterfront in Alushta, a town on the southern coast of the Crimean Peninsula. However, no men interested in signing a contract were observed at the time of filming.

Mobilized Soldiers and Volunteer Fighters

The list of mobilized soldiers killed in the war has been updated to include Aleksandr Zhuravlyov from the Samara region and Nikolay Mazin from the Khanty-Mansi autonomous region–Yugra [Russia's federal subject].

A former prosecutor from the Rostov region, who had been sentenced to nine years in prison for bribery, joined the Wagner Group to participate in the war effort. It has been revealed that the man lost one of his legs and subsequently received a pardon.

Mobilized soldiers from the 1234th Regiment and their relatives have reached out to Rustam Minnikhanov, the head of Tatarstan [Russia’s constituent republic]. The soldiers are expressing their concerns as their contingent of 30 men is being reassigned from the regiment to the 27th Motorized Rifle Brigade, with the intention of deploying them to the frontline alongside contract soldiers. They are requesting Minnikhanov to reconsider this decision, as he had previously assured them that they would be serving as one unit.

The Astra Telegram channel has reported that yet another Russian mobilized soldier has been detained unlawfully in the basement for refuseniks located in Zaitseve, a village in the Russian-annexed Luhansk region. According to the soldier's relatives, he refused to go on assault and requested medical assistance; however, he was instead put in the basement along with other soldiers.

Sentences, Legal Proceedings and Incidents

On August 23, in the city of Mytishchi in the Moscow region, the Ministry of Internal Affairs prevented an attempt to kidnap an eight-year-old girl for ransom. One of the suspects, Ruslan Bakiev, is a former member of the Wagner Group. He was sentenced to 24 years in a penal colony in 2019 for a string of similar crimes in the Samara region. Bakiev was released after participating in the war as part of the Wagner Group.

A man who raped and murdered a 19-year-old woman in the Kaluga region, was pardoned by Putin's decree. He joined the Wagner Group in October 2022 and was deployed to the frontline. Simultaneously, the victim's mother stopped receiving compensation payments from the colony. In August 2023, the woman received an official response from the Federal Penitentiary Service stating that he had been pardoned back in October 2022. However, according to the court verdict, he was supposed to remain imprisoned until 2037. Now she fears for her life.

In Saint Petersburg, a serviceman carrying synthetic drugs was detained in Pulkovo Airport. 35 grams of these substances were seized. The 36-year-old detainee, a native of Saint Petersburg, has two prior drug-related convictions, with the most recent one dating back to 2019. However, he turned out to be in the army now.

Since the beginning of 2023, the Garrison Military Court in Vladimir has issued 26 guilty verdicts against contract and mobilized soldiers for going AWOL. This figure is four times higher than the total for the preceding year. Human rights advocates note that virtually all of the accused are receiving actual prison sentences.

The 2nd Western District Military Court has registered a criminal case of high treason against Yegor Tyukin. While case details remain undisclosed, the involvement of a District Military Court implies that the accused is a serviceman. According to the Ostorozhno, Novosti [Beware the News] Telegram channel, Tyukin enlisted in the Northern Fleet in 2021. Journalists link the criminal case to an announcement by the Federal Security Service (FSB) about a foiled act of terror on a ship of the Black Sea Fleet in July 2023.

In Simferopol, a group of 23 Crimean Tatars were detained as they arrived at the court for the trial of Crimean Tatar activists accused of terrorism. During the detention, several individuals were injured by the police. A military commissar arrived to hand them draft notices, but the men refused to accept them. Protocols were drawn up against the detainees, leading to the court imposing administrative sentences ranging from 1 to 7 days.

An unknown person attempted to set fire to a contract military service recruitment facility in Saint Petersburg using a Molotov cocktail. The fire did not break out, and the perpetrator was apprehended by draft office personnel. It's reported that the man may have fallen victim to phone scammers.

In Novosibirsk, an unknown person set fire to a relay cabinet on the section between Ob and Novosibirsk-Zapadny railway stations. The arson resulted in several traffic lights shutting off, causing minor disruptions to the rail traffic. The arrest of the arsonist has not yet been reported.


Governor of the Astrakhan region Igor Babushkin announced sending the first batch of motor boats to the combat zone in response to a request from the soldiers.


The literary works of Russian Golden Age classics like Pushkin, Lermontov, Gogol and Griboyedov were excluded from the reading list for the Unified State Exam in Literature [graduation examination in Russia’s schools] in 2024. Instead, students are encouraged to read more books about World War II. Furthermore, the updated syllabus introduces Zakhar Prilepin [a Russian author, political and social activist], Sergey Lukyanenko and Sergey Tarmashev. All these writers are active supporters of the war in Ukraine. According to the Sota media outlet, this change is supported by the fact that the Unified State Exam primarily addresses the high school literature syllabus, which commences with the study of authors from the second half of the 19th century, such as Ostrovsky, Turgenev and Goncharov. Moreover, topics on democracy, international law, civil society, and alternative service were excluded from the Unified State Exam in Social Science.

New history textbooks, featuring sections about the war with Ukraine and written from the perspective of state propaganda, have started to be delivered to educational institutions in the Khanty-Mansi autonomous region. Currently, these new textbooks will only be enough for 11 schools.

During a session of the Council for State-Religious Relations under the leadership of the head of Bashkortostan [Russia's constituent republic] a representative of the Ufa Diocese, Archpriest Viktor Ivanov, suggested implementing mandatory visits to churches and mosques for educators and students in order to re-educate those who are against the war in Ukraine.


According to statistical data, the male population of the Novosibirsk region decreased by 16,000 people in the year 2022. The previous largest decline occurred in 2020 and amounted to 6,600 people. According to the data, as of 2022, the region is home to a total of 1,278,000 men.

During a meeting with the governor of the Samara region, military personnel proposed placing stars on facades or mailboxes of homes where war participants reside. However, not all soldiers’ spouses were enthusiastic about the initiative; some of them expressed concerns about their safety.

Residents of the village of Pervomaiske in Crimea have created a petition demanding the removal of military facilities from civilian areas during the "special military operation." Currently, eight individuals have signed the petition.

Russian soldiers involved in the invasion of Ukraine have recorded a video address, demanding the closure of a landfill in stanitsa [rural locality] Poltavskaya in the Krasnodar region. The soldiers themselves hail from this town. Local residents have been grappling with the landfill issue for several years, but the authorities had previously ignored their concerns. The Investigative Committee has already responded to the video address; Alexander Bastrykin, the head of the agency, has called for a report on the criminal case linked to the landfill.

A memorial for Wagner Group mercenaries killed in the war with Ukraine was unveiled at the Aleksandrovskoye Cemetery near Irkutsk. A volunteer from the Lyudi Baikala [People of Baikal] independent media outlet shared details of the event.


On the eve of Miner’s Day, journalists of Sibir.Realii [part of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty] online media outlet visited Prokopyevsk, one of the coal capitals of Russia and the twin town of Ukrainian Horlivka. They shared insights into what life is like in the town during wartime, where residents face dangers both in the mines and on the battlefield.

Vazhnyye Istorii [IStories, independent Russian investigative media outlet] published a story about life in Karelia [Russia’s constituent republic] during the war. After a year and a half of the full-scale invasion, the republic topped the anti-rating on the proportion of citizens waiting to be resettled from dilapidated housing. Each day of the war with Ukraine costs the Russian budget about 30 billion rubles [$315,000,000].