mobilization briefs
August 7, 2023

Mobilization in Russia for Aug. 4–6, 2023 CIT Volunteer Summary

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

In Novosibirsk, a recruitment tent of the Ministry of Defense has been set up in the vicinity of the Oktyabrsky Market. Meanwhile, a funeral bureau located in the town of Kulebaki, Nizhny Novgorod region, denied putting up an advertisement for contract-based military service on its building and published a photo to prove it. However, the photo in fact features one of the advertisement posters.

The Tayga media outlet reviewed the contracts published on the governmental procurement web site by two subsidiaries of the Rosseti group [public power distribution companies] regarding the supply of uniforms and materiel for ''mobilized workers'' for a total of 182 million rubles [$1.92 mln]. According to the published information, procurement shipments for mobilized men are expected to continue until April 30, 2026.

Mobilized Soldiers and Volunteer Fighters

The list of mobilized soldiers killed in the war has been updated to include Yury Anikeev from the Volgograd region, Roman Vasilega from the Magadan region, Vladislav Polenov from the Moscow region (he had been missing in action since the fall of last year), Aleksey Keshvenov from the Altai region, Andrey Gorobets from the Voronezh region, Sanal Dondukov from the Astrakhan region, Andrey Ponomarev from the Arkhangelsk region, Eduard Turdymatov and Andrey Cherepanov from the Khanty-Mansi autonomous region—Yugra [Russia’s federal subject], Artyom Romensky, Dmitriy Ivanov, as well as Aleksandr Kuprianov and Aleksandr Silkin from Tatarstan [Russia’s constituent republic].

Member of the State Duma [lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia] Maxim Ivanov has shared that he has been receiving mass appeals from families of ex-convicts fighting in Ukraine, complaining about authorities neglecting the problems of these servicemen.

According to the Astra Telegram channel, a mobilized man from the Vologda region was allegedly taken to the basement for refuseniks in Zaitseve. His wife reported that the serviceman from the 25th Motor Rifle Brigade ceased getting in touch after Aug. 2. That night, he called his wife and said, "Call the police and whatever you can—the commander has ordered convicts to kill me." He did not have time to add any details. Despite her efforts to seek help from the Military Prosecutor's Office, military police, and the Investigative Committee her appeal was redirected to the military commandant's office, from which she never got the response.

Servicemen of the Aleksandr Dostovalov Volunteer Battalion from Bashkortostan [Russia's constituent republic] have complained about their commanders not allowing their transfer to another unit after the expiration of their contracts. In their address to Governor of Bashkortostan Radiy Khabirov, they reported that commanders "treated the humanitarian aid as their own property," and also got themselves "field wives" and were often drunk. According to the servicemen, their current commanders are exerting pressure on them, concocting charges against unfavored soldiers and labeling them as deserters.

Mobilized soldiers from the Pskov region are threatened with an underground prison for using smartphones as indicated by a directive issued by the commander of the 1428th Motorized Rifle Regiment which mandates taking away all soldiers’ and sergeants’ smartphones. Failure to comply with the order will be considered a serious disciplinary offense, like drunkenness, and the perpetrators will be locked up in a zindan [pit]. Servicemen are allowed to have one smartphone per platoon, and it has to be kept by the commander. The servicemen who provided this information haven’t been in touch for the past 24 hours.

BBC News Russian has published an article about the family of Andrey Kirilenko. Prior to his mobilization, he looked after his daughter with Down syndrome. Now, it is the girl’s mother who is taking full care of their daughter, while also needing to continue working to support the family. Amendments to the draft law that would grant draft deferment to fathers of disabled children have been rejected multiple times, and appeals from the families of the draftees who are raising children with disabilities are being ignored by the authorities.

The administrator of the ChVK Wagner. Chat rodnykh [Wagner PMC.Relatives' Chat] Telegram channel announced that the hierarchy of the mercenaries has decided to suspend the issuance of certificates of participation in the "special military operation" due to the emergence of what they called more important and prioritized tasks. Without this document relatives cannot receive the benefits entitled to war participants.

Sentences, Legal Proceedings, and Incidents

The Kamchatka Garrison Military Court sentenced a serviceman to two and a half years of penal settlement for refusing to participate in the war with Ukraine. In May, the serviceman, stationed in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, refused to participate in combat activities. No further details of the case are reported.

A contract serviceman has been sentenced to two years and three months of penal settlement for refusing to go to war with Ukraine. His military contract was supposed to expire in November 2022, but the man's request for discharge was denied because of the draft declared by the authorities. In December, he refused to follow the commander's order to go to the combat zone. A criminal case was initiated against him for disobeying orders during the armed conflict.

The Samara Garrison Military Court handed down a suspended sentence of three years with a two-year probationary period to a serviceman under the article on going AWOL. According to reports, on Feb. 26, 2023, the man was drafted as part of the mobilization, but he did not appear at the unit's location within the prescribed period and was absent until March 23.

On Aug. 5, an attempted arson at a draft office occurred in the Oryol region. An unknown person threw a Molotov cocktail at the building of the Verkhovye settlement's draft office. The fire did not reach the building, and the arsonist is currently being sought.

A criminal case for aiding terrorist activities has been initiated against a resident of the Tomsk region, who allegedly attempted to recruit an acquaintance into the "Freedom of Russia Legion." The case against 38-year-old Dmitry Kolmakov was triggered by their conversation in a messenger app. The accused left Russia before the case was initiated.

The Kursk regional court has sentenced a 19-year-old medical student, Danila Berdyugin, to six years in a maximum security penal colony for preparing for intended treason and attempting to illegally cross the border. His parents claim that Berdyugin went "to the frontline to help the wounded." The Sibir.Realii [part of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty] online media outlet spoke to the young man's relatives and friends to understand why Danila boarded a train in Novosibirsk and traveled to the Kursk region.

The Belgorod regional court has handed down a verdict of 12.5 years in a penal colony to Vitaly Krivoschlyk, a Ukrainian native, on charges of treason. According to investigators, Krivoschlyk was gathering information on the movements of military vehicles and personnel within the region.

In mid-July, a 24-year-old woman named Polina Yevtushenko (more details 1, 2) from the city of Tolyatti was detained and placed in a pre-trial detention center on accusations of treason. The Federal Security Service (FSB) alleges that she published propagandist materials and portrayed a positive image of the AFU on her social media accounts. Moreover, Yevtushenko allegedly provided information on how Russian soldiers could surrender to captivity. Mediazona [independent Russian media outlet], managed to identify acquaintances of Yevtushenko and interviewed her mother for more insights into the situation.

A 79-year-old Ukrainian citizen has been fined 200,000 rubles [$2,000] by the Bryansk court. The woman was accused by FSB of preparing for the illegal transfer of equipment for the production of weapons as part of an organized group.

The Zona Solidarnosti [Solidarity Zone] Telegram channel has drawn attention to the possibility that the Federal Penitentiary Service might have fabricated a letter from political prisoner Ivan Kudryashov to a psychiatric hospital. There is a significant difference between the handwriting in his recent letter and his previous correspondence. On July 27, Kudryashov, who had been sentenced to six years of imprisonment for attempting to set fire to a draft office, was transferred from a pre-trial detention center to the psychiatric department of the Federal Penitentiary Service hospital.

Anastasia Levashova has been releasedshe was one of the first who had been convicted for participating in protests against the war in Ukraine. During the Feb. 24, 2022 protest, she threw a Molotov cocktail at the police. The court found the 22-year-old woman guilty of committing a non-life-threatening violence against a law enforcement officer and sentenced her to two years in prison. Later, the sentence was shortened by two months.

In the Zabaykalsky region, two men who returned as amputees from the war were assaulted. The conflict reportedly occurred between the soldiers and a group of café visitors. When the soldiers opted to leave the café, unidentified individuals caught up with them and attacked one of the soldiers. The attackers also smashed their car, calling the soldiers murderers, and tore off medals from their uniforms. One of the victims is currently at the hospital. The Ministry of Internal Affairs in the Zabaykalsky region declared that law enforcement officials have identified all participants, witnesses, and bystanders of the incident, and a criminal case has been initiated. According to local social media platforms, the injured soldiers have been identified as Mikhail Taskin (a mercenary from the Wagner Group, the one who had been assaulted) and Sergey Yelgin (a draftee). One of the suspects involved in the assault has been detained.


Uniforms, body armor, water tanks and food were sent from Kerch to Russian servicemen. Meanwhile, the Nizhny Novgorod region provided clothing, water, and hygiene products for those on the frontline. Additionally, more than 250 tons of food, essentials and medicines were also sent from Sochi.


Anonymous coordinator handling Farkhad Ziganshin’s case explained that he was not actually required to have a ten-year record of opposition activity. Besides, the former military man has not applied for asylum in France yet, as he is currently in Kazakhstan and cannot apply from there. Olga Prokopyeva, a Russie-Libertés representative, who is also helping Ziganshin in seeking asylum in France, explained that he cannot exercise his right to asylum yet due to the French bureaucratic procedure. According to the rules of the French Foreign Ministry, Ziganshin must be an activist with a history of protests who has been subjected to repression in order to be able to obtain a travel document and come to France. However, such documents are issued extremely rarely, and now human rights activists are trying to expand the practice of granting travel documents for deserters.