mobilization briefs
December 13, 2023

Mobilization in Russia for Dec. 11-12, 2023 CIT Volunteer Summary

Authorities and Legislation

The State Duma [lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia] approved several related bills in the third reading, allowing Rosgvardia [the Russian National Guard] to muster volunteer fighter units (read more). These units would be allowed to perform "specific defense tasks" should martial law, mobilization, an armed conflict or a counter-terrorism operation be declared. The president would decide when to form new units. Rosgvardia would be on par with the Ministry of Defense in terms of financial compensation and social guarantees provided to its volunteer fighters. Moreover, the State Duma voted to extend the application of the articles on "discrediting" the Russian Armed Forces and spreading "fakes" about them to the new Rosgvardia volunteer fighter units, so that the same penalties would apply.

While considering the aforementioned bills, the State Duma also approved several amendments, which had been introduced ahead of the second reading, allowing conscripts to perform their compulsory military service within the ranks of the Federal Security Service (FSB). However, the following exclusions apply: citizens or permanent residents of other countries, individuals in possession of "any other document granting the right to reside in another country," individuals with a criminal record, even a sealed one, individuals taking recreational or psychotropic drugs without prescription, and individuals deemed to be “foreign agents” by the authorities.

Putin signed a bill amending the Law "On Employment of the Population." From now on, former participants in the "special military operation" will receive preferential treatment when seeking employment. The measure will also apply to their family members, volunteer fighters, and FSB veterans who took part in combat operations in a border region. Additionally, small and medium-sized enterprises will be entitled to subsidies for hiring demobilized participants in the war against Ukraine. The law will enter into force in January 2024.

According to the decree of the Russian government, the Ministry of Defense is no longer required to report on the management of state property during the war with Ukraine. The department may choose not to disclose reports on the effectiveness of management and disposal of state property in the government’s Upravlenie [Management] system.

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

Over the past weekend, the police in Saint Petersburg and the Leningrad region conducted raids on Roma communities. As a result of the raids, 35 people received draft notices. They are expected to be called up for the regular biannual conscription. The authorities stated that similar raids would be conducted regularly. It is worth noting that the number of such roundups has increased significantly in recent weeks.

In the Moscow region, supporters of the war are encouraging people to inform on migrants who have recently obtained Russian passports, with the intention of forcibly sending them to the war. Specifically, such a poster was placed on an information board in one of the apartment buildings.

According to Zebra TV estimates, from mid-April to the present moment, at least 1535 volunteer fighters from the Vladimir region have left for the war in Ukraine, having signed contracts with the Ministry of Defense. In October, the military commissar of the region, Yury Gusarov, stated that more than 2,000 men and 10 women had been sent to the war, but he did not specify a timeframe.

The Perm authorities have removed from their website a draft bill on sign-up bonuses of 100,000 rubles [$1,110] for city residents who sign a contract with the Ministry of Defense to participate in the war with Ukraine. The bill had been previously submitted to the city Duma [municipal assembly] by Mayor Eduard Sosnin. According to a source cited by the Kommersant daily newspaper, the mayor's office will establish the payments by an internal decision, bypassing a vote by the deputies. The costs of the payments will be covered by the reserve fund of the Perm Administration. Earlier, Sosnin had issued a directive to double the number of advertising points for contract-based military service.

Authorities and Relatives of Mobilized Soldiers

The government of Saint Petersburg has canceled the official citizen reception day. The document does not specify why such a decision was made, but the authorities of other regions (Tatarstan [Russia’s constituent republic] and the Vladimir region), which also canceled the reception day, received respective instructions from the presidential administration. The official reason for the cancellation was the deteriorating sanitary and epidemiological situation, but according to a source in the Saint Petersburg parliament cited by the Rotonda media outlet, the cancellation was necessary to avoid scandals involving the relatives of mobilized soldiers, who have recently been increasingly trying to arrange meetings with the authorities.

Mobilized soldiers, volunteer fighters and contract soldiers

According to the mother of one of the four wounded fighters from the Storm-Z unit who were denied admission to the Rostov military hospital, doctors are still refusing to admit them. On Dec. 11, the ex-convicts’ temporary deferrals from service expired, but they were not given a proper medical examination. Instead, they were ordered to return to the frontline with their injuries. Unless examination results are officially registered, the fighters may be deemed deserters.

The list of mobilized soldiers killed in the war has been updated to include Sergey Dorosh and Andrey Bankin from the Irkutsk region.

Stepan Komarov, a 34-year-old mobilized soldier from Vladivostok, is being sent to the combat zone for the third time, despite multiple injuries and deteriorating health. In April, he sustained shrapnel wounds and was sent back to the front without rehabilitation. A few months later, Komarov was wounded again. He received no treatment in the hospital, and some of the shrapnel was not removed, leaving him to walk with a cane. Komarov was not allowed to undergo rehabilitation and was sent back to war. Despite reaching out to the military unit and command, he was told that there were no grounds for appealing the decision of the military medical board.

Vazhnyye Istorii [IStories, independent Russian investigative media outlet], tells the story of a 46-year-old resident of Saint Petersburg. He has been fighting almost a year to be discharged from military service on the grounds of having a medical diagnosis and being unfit for the military.

Sentences, Legal Proceedings and Incidents

The chats of Berdsk, Novosibirsk region, inform that Stanislav Belousov, a former Wagner Group mercenary, pardoned for the murder of 34-year-old Irina Sinelnikova, is working as a taxi driver. In 2019, Belousov was sentenced to 18 years in prison, but after participating in the war, he was released. A local reported that complaints from customers urging not to allow Belousov to take orders from women and children in YandexGo are being ignored by the service. Lawyers interviewed by the Agentstvo.Novosti [Agency News] Telegram channel explained that if Putin pardoned him, then his work as a taxi driver is legal.

Unidentified individuals set fire to equipment at a railway station in Omsk. As a result of the arson, a battery cabinet at the Omsk-Severny [Omsk North] station, which is used for delivering components to several production facilities, burned down.

In Tyumen, two teenagers and a 34-year-old man were detained for setting fire to a transformer booth on the night of Dec. 4. The court placed the man in a pre-trial detention center, while the teenagers were placed under house arrest.

Samara-based artist and environmental activist Irina Izmaylova was charged with the illegal production of explosives, as reported by her lawyer Yevgenia Ryzhkova to Mediazona [independent Russian media outlet]. According to investigators, in May, the woman produced acetone peroxide at home following the instructions of "the handler from the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU)." The woman was arrested in September 2023.

Valentina Tagirova, a hairdresser from Donetsk who moved to Samara after the war started, was detained and charged with "preparation of an act of terror" for buying acetone "at the request of the SBU," as reported by the Vyorstka media outlet.


Head of Buryatia [Russia’s constituent republic] Alexey Tsydenov disguised as a war participant in need of psychological assistance, called a crisis psychological support hotline and was dissatisfied with the service's work.

In the Tyumen region, deputies proposed to abolish the transportation tax for war veterans.

In the city of Nefteyugansk, soldiers and activists of the Union of Marines and Warmth for Soldier Z local movements urged city residents to participate in assembling a large batch of UAVs for sending to the "special military operation" zone.

Children and Educational System

The exhibition Technostart-2023 was held in one of the schools of Buryatia [constituent republic of Russia]. Part of the exhibition was devoted to the war with Ukraine, and in addition to the weapons, aircraft, and tanks designed by the children, it featured a model of the destroyed Mariupol.

At School No. 93 in Volgograd, the cadet 7th grade class B has been named after the Wagner Group mercenary, Alexey Nagin, who was killed in Ukraine. Nagin is known for directing the film 'Solntsepek' about the events in the Donbas in 2014, as well as for his work on the movie about Wagner Group mercenaries titled "The Best in Hell."


Following the "pioneer ball" competitions at a kindergarten in Khabarovsk, certificates featuring the coat of arms of Ukraine were handed out to the children. The mayor offered apologies to the children. According to him, the headmistress and the physical education instructor, who were responsible for the incident, submitted resignation letters.


Holod [independent Russian media outlet] published a monologue of a mobilized man who managed to escape abroad after half a year on the frontline. Andrey, a 32-year-old man, was drafted in the early days of mobilization, and after six months, he was granted a leave. Instead of returning from his leave, Andrey escaped abroad with the assistance of the Idite Lesom! [Flee through the woods/Get lost you all] project.