mobilization briefs
August 11, 2023

Mobilization in Russia for Aug. 9-10, 2023 CIT Volunteer Summary

Authorities and Legislation

Minister of Internal Affairs Vladimir Kolokoltsev spoke of a "critical" shortage of police personnel. 5,000 employees left the service just last month, he admitted. This is in stark contrast with the goal, set by a presidential decree in 2022, to increase the ministry headcount by 28,000 people, starting Jan. 1, 2023. The plan was to add another 12,000 in 2024 and an additional 4,000 in 2025.

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

The military commissar of the Tyumen region indicated that no more than 100 reserve officers will be involved in the 5-day military training starting on Aug. 14. Its main objective is to strengthen methodological and commanding skills of regimental officers in the areas of tactics and fire control.

Rosgvardia [the National Guard of Russia] regional offices, together with the authorities of some federal subjects, are starting to recruit for "military service in the new regions of Russia." From now on, everyone will be allowed to join the Rosgvardia, including people, who had been declared unfit for service due to illness, trauma, contusion or injuries, sustained while "carrying out assignments in special circumstances."

The Mobilizatsiya [Mobilization] Telegram channel published a Vorkutaugol [coal mining company] internal document, which instructs its employees to visit the draft office in order to receive mobilization orders. They are required to have their passport and military ID with them.

A group of volunteer fighters, who signed contracts with the Ministry of Defense, has been sent for military training from Almetyevsk, located in Russia’s constituent republic of Tatarstan. The exact size of the group has not been disclosed, but judging from the photographs, it appears to consist of no more than 20 men.

In Saint Petersburg, the state unitary enterprise in public transport, Gorelektrotrans, continues to encourage citizens to consider employment opportunities at the enterprise, followed by signing contracts with the Ministry of Defense. Previously, the enterprise introduced a trolleybus acting as a mobile recruiting station for contract-based military service and distributed promotional leaflets throughout the city.

Residents of Mari El [Russia’s constituent republic] are receiving invitations by mail on behalf of the "Volunteer Recruitment Center" to sign contracts with named units in the Nizhny Novgorod region. Similar leaflets have been previously received by residents of Chuvashia [Russia’s constituent republic].

Mobilized Soldiers and Volunteer Fighters

The list of mobilized soldiers killed in the war has been updated to include Roman Debelov from the Tver region, Andrey Potapov from the Smolensk region, and Roman Sikhvart from the Volgograd region.

The Mobilizatsiya Telegram channel has published a video filmed by volunteers in a military hospital in Yeysk. Judging from the video, the hospital is overcrowded with wounded soldiers from the war in Ukraine. Some of them are occupying beds along the hospital corridors. Another video has emerged featuring wounded Russian soldiers. It was filmed on the runway of Rostov-on-Don airfield. According to the author, the morning flight to Moscow, which the wounded were supposed to take, was canceled due to drone attacks on the Russian capital. While awaiting the evening flight, the wounded are lying directly under the sun without food or water.

Wives and relatives of mobilized men from Russia’s constituent republic of Mordovia have recorded a video address to the President, the Minister of Defense, and the head of the region. According to the women, there are plans to disband a company of mobilized soldiers from the 203rd Regiment and incorporate them into the "LPR" assault units. Additionally, military specialties are changed without undergoing proper training. At the same time, the company commander opposed the disbandment, and the governor of Mordovia publicly promised that the drafted from the republic would serve together.

Within a month of its operation, 400 family members of killed soldiers from Russia’s constituent republic of Tatarstan who participated in the war in Ukraine have sought assistance from the Defenders of the Fatherland Fund. The most common concerns among relatives are the lack of financial support, the installation of gravestones, and benefits. Some approached the fund to reclaim the remains of their deceased family members and officially confirm their deaths. According to calculations by Mediazona [independent Russian media outlet] and BBC News Russian, at least 599 residents of the republic have been killed in the war.

A widow of a mobilized soldier is unable to receive state payments due to an error in her husband's date of death made by a morgue in Rostov-on-Don. The documents state his date of death as June 19, 2023, while he actually died on June 26. The incorrect date of death was conveyed from the morgue to other departments. Should the widow fail to correct the paperwork, she may miss the deadline to receive benefits and apply for inheritance.

The mother of a deceased mobilized soldier from the Irkutsk region has been unable to obtain the autopsy report. As previously reported by the Lyudi Baikala [People of Baikal] independent media outlet, Viktor Petrov was found hanged on May 8 in a military unit located in the Russian-annexed Luhansk region. After his mother's appeals, investigators opened a criminal case on charges of incitement to suicide and sent the body for examination. However, the woman cannot get the results and challenge them, if necessary, as they have been withheld from her.

Sentences, Legal Proceedings, and Incidents

The General Prosecutor's Office has declared the CIT team an "undesirable organization," accusing it of collecting and publishing information about the Russian Armed Forces. According to the authorities, this information, including personal data of Russian military personnel, was used to discredit the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. In the agency's press release, CIT is referred to as "so-called internet investigators" and "pseudo-journalists."

The Central District Court of Tyumen fined draftee Andrey Kovkov 15,000 rubles [$155.00] for draft evasion. He had fled from a regional collection point's medical unit on May 17. It is unclear from the court's report whether he voluntarily surrendered to the military or was apprehended, but according to the press service, he now "wishes to serve in the army and be conscripted."

In the Khanty-Mansi autonomous region–Yugra [Russia's federal subject], a court imposed a 45,000 ruble [$465.00] fine for draft evasion on Samiev D. Reportedly, the 26-year-old resident of Nizhnevartovsk did not appear at the draft office despite having previously undergone a medical examination by the military medical evaluation board. Later, he voluntarily surrendered and confessed at a police station.

The Investigative Committee declined to initiate a criminal case against a drafted serviceman on a charge of going AWOL from his military unit in Karachay-Cherkessia [Russia’s constituent republic]. The man took leave to seek medical attention due to health concerns. The medical tests prevented him from returning to his unit in time. Three days after his leave ended, he learned that he was wanted for leaving his duty station without authorization. On the same day, he reported to the commandant's office. The investigation deemed his actions to be of minor significance and consequently chose not to commence criminal proceedings.

The Court of Cassation overturned the higher courts’ decision, which deemed the mobilization of Nikolay Smolov legal despite a draft deferral certificate from his employer. According to the Committee of Military Lawyers human rights project, the man will now be sent home.

Federal Security Service (FSB) officers arrested a man at the airport in Blagoveshchensk for allegedly intending to join the AFU. According to the agency, via a messenger app, he maintained communication with "representatives of a Ukrainian nationalist army" and received instructions to leave the country. The city court of Blagoveshchensk held him under arrest for two months. The man is being charged with preparation to commit high treason, facing up to 10 years in prison. The FSB also detained a resident of the Samara region, who allegedly photographed military trains and sent the photos to the Ukrainian intelligence services. He has been charged with high treason.

Back in October 2022, an entrepreneur from Kaliningrad was arrested for disorderly conduct, and then charged with attempted high treason. Employees of the General Directorate for Countering Extremism of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation, known as "Center E" indicated that while on a walk the man was speaking loudly and obscenely on the phone, although his phone billing data shows that he did not make any calls at that time. Soon the case was classified, and the entrepreneur was charged with justifying terrorism and attempted high treason. The investigation has already been completed, and the case has been submitted to the court.

The wife of a participant in the "special military operation" has been charged with the murder of her nine-month-old son, whom she ceased to feed. The woman left the child alone in the apartment on Aug. 3. Four days later, on Aug.7, the infant’s lifeless body was found by his grandmother. A criminal case for the murder of a minor was initiated against the woman. In court, she stated that due to her husband's departure to the war, she "felt abandoned, there was no help."

Ivan Zyryanov, the third suspect in the case of assaulting a disabled veteran who returned from the war in the Zabaykalsky region, has been put on an international wanted list.


The Nizhny Novgorod region plans to purchase around 7,000 gas masks for preschool and school children. Funds for this purpose, nearly 50 million rubles [$510,200], will be allocated from the regional budget for the year 2023.

The Smolensk Printing Plant has started printing new history textbooks, which include a chapter devoted to the war with Ukraine. More details about the textbook can be found here.

The administration of a medical college in Krasnodar compels students to subscribe to pro-government Telegram channels and official pages. According to students, most fear expulsion and persecution during exams, so they prefer to comply with the administration's demands.


The founders of the Student Patriotic Association of Moscow State University turned out to be the son and daughter of Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Yury Trutnev. This is stated in the investigation of T-invariant media outlet. The association is raising funds to purchase equipment for the Russian soldiers, but its founders hide information about themselves.

An IT specialist who left for Europe created a parody app named "My Denunciation", for those interested in reporting on others. About 5 thousand Russians used it, with 50% of the submitted reports targeting neighbors and acquaintances. Another 20% included descriptions of alleged offenses, along with personal information and social media profiles of the "offenders." Nonetheless, a majority of the reports either humorously or critically address the concept of denunciations itself.

Four civilian hospitals in Saint Petersburg increased their purchases by a third in 2022 as they treat participants of the war in Ukraine. The growth could be much higher, as the military personnel are also being treated in two military hospitals.