mobilization briefs
August 10, 2023

Mobilization in Russia for Aug. 8-9, 2023 CIT Volunteer Summary

Authorities and Legislation

The text of the amendments to martial law recently introduced by President Vladimir Putin has been published in the database of the State Duma [lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia]. Previously, as required by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights, Russia was obliged to notify both the secretaries general of the United Nations and the Council of Europe in the event of introducing a regime of emergency or martial law. Now, however, the amendments propose to remove the words "inform the Secretary General of the Council of Europe," leaving the requirement for Russia to notify the UN. Additionally, the amendments exclude the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights from the list of Russia’s obligations due to Russia's withdrawal from the Council of Europe and the termination of the Convention in the country in this regard.

Putin signed a decree introducing the title of "Honored Worker of the Military-Industrial Complex," which will be awarded after 20 years of work in the industry, or after 15 years, if working in hazardous conditions.

Tax experts have explained the implications of suspending double taxation agreements for individuals who have relocated from Russia. As outlined in the decree, increased taxes will apply to share sales and royalties. The document should not affect the income of those working for Russian companies from abroad. However, the circumstances for expatriates could be significantly worsened by Russia's further denunciation of double taxation agreements, as well as retaliatory measures by Western countries in response to Moscow's actions.

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

Governor of the Tver region Igor Rudenya has reported on the completion of providing all payments introduced for mobilized men and their families. According to him, the total amount of payments was more than 615 million rubles [$6.33 million].

Draft offices have distributed letters to organizations and businesses in Cheboksary demanding to provide up-to-date data of the employees registered with the military by Aug. 25. Those who fail to comply are threatened with fines up to 80,000 rubles [$826] for office holders and up to 500,000 rubles [$5161] for companies. The legislation that increased the fine amounts was passed by the State Duma on July 25.

In the town of Sovetsky, Khanty-Mansi autonomous region–Yugra [Russia's federal subject], the OPLOT patriotic public organization has launched a military training project. Both men with no military experience and ex-soldiers may participate. Children will be trained as well. The initiative will be funded by the Governor’s grant.

Lawyers and subscribers of the Mozhem Ob'yasnit [We can explain] Telegram channel have shared details of the process of removal from military registration in Russia. As of now, this cannot be done via the Gosuslugi public services portal without visiting the draft office, although such possibility was mentioned when amendments to the relevant legislation were under review. According to the channel’s sources, however, the process is formalized without involving draft offices. Acceptable grounds for deregistration could be a passport of another country or a residence permit (subject to providing a proof of the reason for its issuance), as well as any other supporting document. In case your document is not accepted, lawyers recommend going to court.

Mobilized Soldiers and Volunteer Fighters

The list of mobilized soldiers killed in the war has been updated to include Lev Shignokhoev from the Irkutsk region, Artyom Getmanenko from the Bryansk region, and Vitaly Skiba from the Altai region.

Russian mobilized soldiers from the Storm unit of the 15th Motorized Rifle Regiment, who complained to their relatives that they are forced to go to minefields, have been sent to an illegal basement in Zaitseve. The Astra Telegram channel publishes a conversation recording between a mobilized soldier and a relative. In it, the soldier states that the command is sending their detachment on a fourth consecutive assault, with the task of capturing a fortified tree line spanning 700 meters without any support, as the command has already reported its capture. In the previous 20-minute assault, out of 100 individuals, 80 were wounded. Those who refuse to participate in the assault are allegedly shot in the legs by the commander personally. According to information from their families, all surviving 20 individuals have been transferred to the Zaitseve basement, and currently, there is no communication with them.

Volunteer fighters from Orenburg, who have signed contracts with the Ministry of Defense, have addressed the President and the Military Prosecutor's Office with criticism of the regional governor Denis Pasler. According to the soldiers, Pasler is incapable of resolving the issue of unpaid salaries, which prevents the military personnel and their families from even paying for utilities. The volunteer fighters have threatened not to vote for the governor in the upcoming September elections. Previously, 20 fighters from the Yaik Battalion had also approached the governor with similar complaints.

Sentences, Legal Proceedings, and Incidents

The Yugra Garrison Military Court has sentenced Private Yatsenko to five and a half years in penal colony for going AWOL. He fled from his unit in the Tomsk region on Dec. 12, 2022, and surrendered to the police on March 10. Meanwhile, the Barnaul Garrison Military Court has imposed a five-year suspended sentence on Private Aleksandr Yelsukov for going AWOL. Additionally, the Irkutsk Garrison Military Court has sentenced Sergeant Sergey Morogin to five years in prison for the same offense.

Governor of the Zabaykalsky region Aleksandr Osipov has posted four videos with threats to the men suspected of assaulting participants in the war in Ukraine, even though these men haven’t yet been found guilty. Furthermore, unidentified servicemen are threatening those who allegedly "failed to initiate a criminal investigation and are indirectly involved in the case." Meanwhile, the Sibir.Realii [part of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty] online media outlet has found out that the attack on war participants in the Zabaykalsky region was not connected with the war itself. The conflict was provoked by one of the victims, a mercenary from the Wagner Group named Mikhail Taskin. In 2019, he was found guilty of an attempted mass murder of 10 people, with one of the current attackers among his victims. Encountering his former victim in a café, Taskin resumed his threats, which led to a conflict.

Near the Kreyda railway station in the Belgorod region, a battery cabinet was set on fire. The cabinet burned down, and the police are currently searching for the arsonists.

In the Saratov region's Yershov District Court, a woman has been handed an eighteen-month suspended sentence for an attempt to set fire to a draft office on Feb. 10. Following directions given over the phone, she spilled a highly flammable liquid in the office bathroom and tried to set it on fire but was detained.

The 1st Eastern District Military Court has sentenced a forensic pathologist from Kemerovo to 17.5 years of imprisonment for three episodes of sabotage and preparing an act of terror. He was accused of causing the collapse of power pylons in the Zavodsky district of the city and near the Kemerovo-Promyshlennaya Road. The man was arrested in May 2022, and in September of the same year, he was added to the list of terrorists and extremists by the Federal Financial Monitoring Service of the Russian Federation. His trial commenced in May 2023.

The Federal Security Service (FSB) has reported the arrest of a suspect in the gas pipeline explosion in Crimea. According to the agency, he was recruited by Ukrainian intelligence services. It is also reported that explosive materials and detonators were seized from the man. The detainee has been arrested and allegedly has already provided confessions. A criminal case has been initiated regarding the act of terror and possession of explosive substances.

In Irkutsk, the FSB has arrested a 35-year-old programmer from Bratsk, Aleksandr Levchishin, who worked in a hospital. He is charged with "unlawful influence on critical information infrastructure." It is presumed that the case is related to the transfer of data to Ukraine.


Deputy Minister of Science and Higher Education Dmitry Afanasiev previously announced that around 7,000 individuals received placements in Russian universities in 2023 through preferential admission for participants of the war with Ukraine and their family members. Investigative journalists from Vazhnyye Istorii [IStories, independent Russian investigative media outlet] discovered that at least 833 people gained admission this summer under this privilege to the top 13 universities in Russia which disclosed information about such beneficiaries. Among them, 203 individuals secured budget-funded positions "without entrance exams" – a benefit granted to those bearing the title of Hero of Russia, three-time recipients of the Order of Courage, their children, as well as the offspring of those who died or were injured in the war with Ukraine. Among these beneficiaries who still needed to take the Unified State Exam [graduation examination in Russia’s schools], 429 individuals scored below the required level for admission without preferential treatment. Admission privileges for children of war participants were introduced as early as 2022, with over 1,800 prospective students availing themselves of these benefits that year. The Rotonda media outlet has calculated the number of individuals who will be studying at various universities in Saint Petersburg through the military quota.

A plaque at a children's playground in the town of Borzya, Zabaykalsky region, will be dedicated to Vasiliy Lopatin, who was killed in the war in Ukraine. Since 2015, he had served as a contract soldier in the tank unit based in Borzya and dreamed of building a children’s playground in his hometown.


In its annual report, the Ministry of Emergency Situations listed a record 83 explosions in Russia in 2022, in which 10,647 people were injured and 55 killed. The majority of these were caused by explosive devices. Arguably, such a dramatic increase in the number of explosions could be linked to combat activities.

The number of serious and grave crimes in the Belgorod region, which borders Ukraine, has risen by 42% in the last year. Across the country, the number of such crimes has also reached its 11-year maximum (348,983), with the Belgorod region seeing the largest increase. According to sociologist Kirill Titaev, this increase could possibly be related to Ukrainian attacks.


The Holod [independent Russian media outlet] published material about Russian soldiers returning from Ukrainian captivity. The men allege that they were kept in a windowless basement, slept on roll mats, were beaten and tortured during interrogations, fed poorly, and taken to the toilet twice a day. Also, the Russians say that they were tried to be "re-educated." They don't want to go back to war.

The Bumaga [Paper] independent media outlet published an article about the Leningrad Regiment, consisting of mobilized soldiers from Saint Petersburg and other regions of the Northwestern Federal District. In July, the unit commander was killed near Bakhmut, where the regiment held the defense of the Berkhivske Reservoir. Soldiers' relatives traditionally complain about poor supplies, lack of proper training, and heavy casualties among mobilized servicemen.

The Insider [independent Russian investigative media outlet] talked to psychologists and published a longread about how the state of both psychologists and their patients changed during the war. In recent months, Russians have gone from horror and suicidal moods (after Bucha) to apathy. Psychiatrists also note an increase in the number of cases in which their patients are diagnosed with "observer PTSD."