mobilization briefs
August 8, 2023

Mobilization in Russia for Aug. 6-7, 2023 CIT Volunteer Summary

Authorities and Legislation

A group of senators headed by Andrey Turchak has submitted a bill to the State Duma [lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia] proposing to terminate the obligations of surety contracts for participants of the war in Ukraine who were killed or suffered first-degree disability. In the fall of 2022, a law was passed to ensure that in the event of a serviceman's death or disability, their obligations under the loan agreements would be terminated.

The Russian government has cut the subsidies for modernizing clinics in 61 regions by a total of 2.4 billion rubles [$25 mln]. The most significant reductions in subsidies were experienced by the Nizhny Novgorod region (230 mln rubles [$2.4 mln]), the Sverdlovsk region (199.3 mln rubles [$2.08 mln]), the Perm region (174.5 mln rubles [$1.82 mln]), and the Tula region(118.7 mln rubles [$1.24 mln]). At the same time, over 1 billion rubles [$10.43 mln] will be allocated to the regions of Ukraine that were annexed by Russia in 2022. In addition to the occupied territories, several regions of Russia have also received additional funding: the Novgorod (+531.1 mln rubles [$5.54 mln]) and Penza (+453.1 mln rubles [$4.72 mln]) regions, as well as the constituent republics of Kabardino-Balkaria (+173.3 mln rubles [$1.8 mln]) and Karachay-Cherkessia (+54.3 mln rubles [$566 thousand]).

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

Using public data, the independent media outlet Govorit NeMoskva has analyzed the difference in payments for those fighting in Ukraine across various regions of Russia. The highest payouts are offered by Saint Petersburg (500,000 rubles [$5,215] sign-up bonus) and Moscow (a cumulative of monthly payments). Furthermore, the regions that promise the highest payments include Chukotka, Yamalo-Nenets, and Nenets autonomous regions [Russia's constituent subjects], as well as the Sakhalin region (300,000 rubles [$3,129]). The bottom line is the regions with the highest average salaries in the country were among the leaders in terms of promised payments. A number of regions in the European part of Russia and some national republics [intended as homes to a specific ethnic minority] have the worst payments situation of all.

Governor of the Nizhny Novgorod region Gleb Nikitin has announced that Stal [Steel] Center is to be established in the region to provide professional training to fighters enabling them to tackle the most ambitious combat tasks. According to the announcement, the camp is already under construction. It is expected that servicemen will receive training in the center before being assigned to the units stationed in the region. Additionally, the center will host tactical medicine and UAV operation courses.

Mobilized Soldiers and Volunteer Fighters

The list of mobilized soldiers killed in the war has been updated to include Arslang Badmayev from Kalmykia [Russia’s constituent republic].

Sentences, Legal Proceedings, and Incidents

The Irkutsk Garrison Military Court has sentenced private Yegor Misaylov to five years in a penal colony for going AWOL. Misaylov failed to report back to his military unit on Oct. 17, 2022 and left for the Irkutsk region instead. Seven months later, he was apprehended by the police.

The Novosibirsk Garrison Military Court sentenced private Aleksey Krivda to five years in a penal colony for going AWOL. On Dec. 27, 2022, Krivda did not report to his unit by the designated time. A month and a half later, he voluntarily appeared at the commandant's office.

A 30-year-old serviceman from Yakutia suspected of raping a 20-year-old woman from Simferopol was detained in Crimea. The man has already confessed his guilt. He is married and has two underage children.

Murat K. from Adygea [Russia’s constituent republic] attempted to bring 13 grenades, an anti-tank grenade launcher, an assault rifle, a pistol and over 280 rounds of ammunition from the Russian-occupied territory of Ukraine to the Rostov region of Russia. He was detained at the Matveyev Kurgan check point. Now, he may be facing up to eight years in a penal colony for illegal transportation of weapons. The man’s status in the occupied territories remains undisclosed.

In the Krasnoyarsk region, three men beat up and robbed a man residing in close proximity to one of the attackers. Two of them, 28-year-old Andrey K. and 39-year-old Fyodor P., were identified as previously convicted mercenaries associated with the Wagner Group. Local police have reported the detention of two of the three suspects.

In Nakhodka, a 52-year-old sailor working in a navigation company was detained for an attempt to set fire to a draft office. A criminal investigation of attempted destruction of property has been launched. The suspect confessed his guilt and was put under house arrest.

The Bumaga [Paper] independent media outlet tells what happened to residents of Saint Petersburg and the Leningrad region accused of attacks on draft offices (all cases since the beginning of the invasion are considered). The arsonists are charged under various articles: from arson of other people's property to terrorism. Punishment also varies: from one year and four months of probation to 13 years in a maximum security penal colony. Some await sentences in pre-trial detention centers, others are put under house arrest. One of the suspects, a 74-year-old man who was detained for setting fire to the Vsevolozhsk draft office, probably committed suicide.

The Federal Security Service (FSB) and the police detained a suspect in a series of arson attacks on relay cabinets on the railroad in Lisiy Nos (July 29), Beloostrov (Aug. 1), and Lebyazhye (Aug. 6). He turned out to be a 41-year-old resident of Saint Petersburg. According to the investigation, for each sabotage he received 10 thousand rubles.

In the first six months of 2023, the FSB initiated 82 criminal cases on "high treason," "espionage," and the newly emerged "cooperation on a confidential basis," as calculated by journalists from Holod [independent Russian media outlet]. This marks a notable increase from the previous year, which witnessed a record-breaking 20 cases. However, the actual number of cases may be significantly higher. According to the calculations of Yevgeny Smirnov, a lawyer of the Pervy Otdel [Department One] human rights project, "high traitors" have been caught every working day since the beginning of 2023, which is a record pace for the last 20 years. By the end of the year, the number of such cases could reach 250, more than in other Soviet years. In April 2023, the State Duma increased penalties under the article on high treason. Whereas the previous range was 12 to 20 years, the amended legislation now introduces the potential for life imprisonment. There are no acquittals in treason and espionage cases in Russia.


At a fair in the Kabansky district of Buryatia [Russia's constituent republic], activists from the military assistance headquarters organized a fundraising event, selling pickles, kebabs, pastries, and souvenirs. They managed to raise over 20,500 rubles [$214]. The funds will be used to purchase equipment for frontline servicemen.


Presidential aide Vladimir Medinsky and Minister of Education Sergey Kravtsov have presented a new history textbook for the 11th grade, which will be taught starting from Sept. 1. The textbook completely revises the history from 1970 to 2000, and includes a new chapter on the war with Ukraine, which consists of 17 paragraphs containing propaganda theses about Ukraine, and urges not to trust alternative sources of information. According to Kravtsov, this educational material is necessary "to combat the division of peoples and the spread of distrust among people."

Questions about the war with Ukraine will be included in the upcoming Unified State Exam [graduation examination in Russia’s schools] on history, and preparation materials for it have already emerged. One of the questions asks to name three reasons for the start of the "special military operation." Among the "correct answers" is the violation of "verbal agreements" with the West. The exam will also inquire about the reasons and consequences of Crimea's annexation to Russia. The "correct answer" is the "irrationality of its transfer to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic [part of the former Soviet Union]."

The son of an individual involved in the invasion of Ukraine was granted admission through a state-funded place at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology via a special quota, despite having scored mere 127 points on the Unified State Exam. The minimum required score for a subsidized admission in this department is over 290 points.

At least 122 candidates have been admitted to various Saint Petersburg universitiesthrough a military quota, out of at least 1,038 people that applied for the benefit. A majority of these candidates exhibited a strong interest in pursuing IT-related disciplines, technical specializations, and social sciences.

Dozens of teenagers from the occupied regions of Ukraine were sent to study in the cadet corps of Russia’s Investigative Committee. By September 2022, over 40 children from Donbas had been enrolled, including those with the status of orphans. Children there undergo training for a career in criminal investigation, while also undergoing a reeducation process aligned with pro-Russian ideologies.

Members of the Belgorod "self-defense detachment" conducted training exercises involving children aged 8 to 14. During these drills, young participants navigated obstacle courses, assembled and disassembled assault rifles, and practiced shooting. At the end of the training, they were presented with shoulder patches in the shape of the letter Z, and Vyacheslav Gladkov, Governor of the Belgorod region, proposed to conduct such exercises on a regular basis.


Construction of an unspecified object has started on the roof of a residential building in Krasnogorsk in the Moscow region. Residents have been denied access to the area, with authorities claiming that the rooftop is not their property. According to a resident, there are rumors that an electronic warfare system is being installed atop the building, whereas written responses from the administration assert the involvement of "telecommunications equipment for improved connectivity." The Ministry of Defense denies any presence of military facilities within the building. Municipal authorities informed msk1 that the construction is being carried out "for security purposes."


The New York Times published a report by journalist Roger Cohen, who spent a month in Russia, meeting with supporters and opponents of the war. The reporter visited the Belgorod region, Moscow, and Ulan-Ude. He attempted to understand the prevailing sentiments in Russia after 17 months of war. Meduza [international Russian-language online media outlet] published the most important excerpts from this text.

Despite the apparent intentions of Russia to continue regularly striking Ukrainian territory and preparing for prolonged combat activities, in reality the country proved to be actually unprepared for a protracted war. Journalists from Nastoyashсheye Vremya [Current Time, an editorially independent US-funded Russian language media outlet] turned to military experts and economists for comments on this matter.

A correspondent from the Sibir.Realii [part of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty] online media outlet visited the Sakhalin village of Bykov, which is currently experiencing a period of decline, and found out that many local residents are joining the war to pay off debts since there is virtually no work left in the village.