mobilization briefs
December 6, 2023

Mobilization in Russia for Dec. 4-5, 2023 CIT Volunteer Summary

Authorities and Legislation

The federal government supported a bill introduced by the United Russia party [Putin’s ruling party] which would include unborn children among the recipients of insurance payouts in the event that a participant in the "special military operation" is killed in action. Until now, the money has been distributed among the widow, children, parents and other relatives. If passed, the bill will allow the widow to receive a payout for both herself and for the child, a few days after its birth.

The Vedomosti [Record] business daily newspaper reports that Russian authorities have given permission to mobile operators to increase prices in exchange for infrastructure investments in the regions annexed from Ukraine. Meanwhile, Kommersant [Businessman], another daily newspaper mostly devoted to politics and business, reports that commercial customers in the European part of Russia and the Urals will face increased electricity prices. Authorities reportedly plan to use the additional income to supply electricity to the annexed regions at discounted prices.

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

Nepalese authorities have appealed to the Russian Federation to stop recruiting Nepalese citizens into the Russian Armed Forces and promptly repatriate all Nepalese military personnel. According to them, at least six Nepalese recruits have been killed in the war against Ukraine, while one has been taken prisoner. Efforts to secure his release are ongoing. The Nepalese consul in Moscow estimates that 150-200 citizens of Nepal have been recruited. Earlier, Cuban authorities also objected to the recruitment of their citizens in the war against Ukraine.

Russian authorities continue their raids targeting migrant workers who recently obtained Russian citizenship but yet failed to complete their compulsory military registration. As a result of one such raid in Saint Petersburg, two dozen men have been registered with the military draft office. Those falling in the conscription age range and deemed physically fit will be drafted for regular conscription service, while men above 27 years of age will be offered a contract with the Ministry of Defense. Another raid took place in the Krasnoyarsk region, sweeping up 114 migrant workers in a local shopping mall. Thirteen of them, already in possession of Russian citizenship, were served with draft notices requiring them to report to the draft office.

A citizen of Uzbekistan was granted Russian citizenship after having fought in the war against Ukraine, according to a news report released by the Regional Office of the Ministry of Internal Affairs for Buryatia [Russia's constituent republic]. The man’s name has not been disclosed, and both the photo and the footage shared by the authority feature him with his face blurred. Reportedly, he moved to Russia in 2016 and signed a contract with the Ministry of Defense in October 2022. Currently, he is being treated for his wound in a hospital in Ulan-Ude, only to return to the frontline after recovery.

Yury Yevseyev, a young man suffering from epilepsy, was drafted for conscription service in Moscow. On Nov. 22, Yury was seized by police forces from his home and taken to the police station for questioning about his dodging the draft. Eventually, he was transferred to the regional military commissariat [enlistment office], where on the following day he was evaluated by the medical board. While the district draft office would most likely deem Yevseyev unfit for service, the regional military commissariat neglected the severity of his health problems. In the hospital where he was admitted following a seizure, Yevseyev was informed that he could qualify for discharge after having five seizures. So far, he has only had two.

A representative of the the Idite Lesom! [Flee through the woods/Get lost you all] Telegram channel, Ivan Chuvilyaev, revealed that activists have observed an increase in the number of roundups. In November 2023 alone, there were 73 such incidents, and the pace continues to rise. Men are being detained on the streets, in the metro, and in universities. There is also an uptick in roundups targeting migrants who have acquired Russian passports.

Authorities and Relatives of Mobilized Soldiers

Vitaly Milonov met with the wives of mobilized men from Saint Petersburg for the second time. The deputy stated that he would talk to their husbands "at the forward positions." In response to the plea to bring the men back from the frontline, he mentioned his inability to propose relevant legislative initiatives because "the president is responsible for mobilization." Milonov also claimed that he had spent "12 months on the line of contact without pay and benefits, unlike mobilized soldiers." It is worth noting that Milonov had expressed his readiness to go to war as early as September 2022 and even posted photos from the forward positions, but he has been repeatedly spotted in Saint Petersburg since then.

Relatives of the mobilized soldiers from the 1487th Motorized Rifle Regiment have penned an appeal to Putin, urging him to investigate the "signs of intentional extermination" of mobilized soldiers in the Avdiivka direction. According to the authors, their loved ones are being sent on "meat grinder assaults" to capture Avdiivka for the president's press conference. The "assault brigades" near Avdiivka reportedly consist of military personnel with an average age of over 40. Most of them have not been on leave since the start of the mobilization. According to them, in November, the command ordered the deployment of soldiers even with moderate injuries to participate in the assault so that they could "recover in the trenches." Over 100 people have signed the appeal.

Mobilized soldiers, volunteer fighters and contract soldiers

The Idite Lesom! project reported that Russian soldiers participating in the war have nearly doubled their requests for services to organize desertion from their units. From September to November 2023, 577 soldiers applied for assistance in leaving the combat zone, while from June to August, there were only 305 such requests. Vazhnyye Istorii [IStories, independent Russian investigative media outlet] published a monologue of a former serviceman who voluntarily signed a contract with the Ministry of Defense but deserted from the Russian army after 11 months in the war zone, thanks to the Idite Lesom! project.

The NGS24.RU – Novosti Krasnoyarska [NGS24.RU – News of Krasnoyarsk] media outlet received a response to its request to the Military Prosecutor's Office in Omsk concerning a mobilized man sent to the frontline despite serious illnesses. The office reports that the information in the appeal has been "checked, given a legal assessment, and the interested parties have been informed."

Sentences, Legal Proceedings and Incidents

Pyotr Efimov, the leader of the Vyaznikovskaya criminal group accused of building a criminal organization and involvement in more than 20 instances of fraud, has joined the war in Ukraine. He revealed this information to a correspondent of Dovod [independent Russian media outlet]. As proof, he sent a video of himself firing a machine gun and forcing captured Ukrainians to sing the Russian anthem. At the end of 2022, the court closed the case against Efimov because the statute of limitations had expired.

The 1000 Slov [1000 Words] Telegram channel, citing the head of the Regional Office of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in the Ivanovo region, Vladimir Zhigailo, revealed that there are over 300 ex-convicts in the region who have been pardoned due to their participation in the war, and about 120 of them have reportedly been apprehended for new crimes. However, in response to an official request, the Regional Office stated that in 2023, citizens of the "mentioned category" committed only 13 crimes.

A trial has begun in Volgograd against Arsen Melkonyan, who was previously sentenced to a penal colony in 2020 for murder, but was later pardoned for his participation in the war against Ukraine. Currently, Melkonyan is in pre-trial detention, facing charges for threatening the judge who had previously sentenced him to a penal colony. Recently, the man expressed his intention to rejoin the war. His case will be heard behind closed doors.

A court in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk has sentenced a serviceman to six years in a penal colony for going AWOL. In July, he left his duty station in the "DPR," and on Sept. 4, he returned to his home base on Sakhalin.

In Novosibirsk, an unidentified person placed an improvised explosive device on the windowsill of a military commissariat. The device was discovered during a night inspection of the premises by staff. Bomb technicians confirmed a timed IED concealed within a multicooker's casing and transported it to a safe location where it was defused. Authorities are searching for the suspected arsonist.


The Krylya Zaboty [Wings of Care] volunteer group is raising funds for medicine and disposable ware to help Russian servicemen during a viral pneumonia outbreak.

Children and Educational System

In the Astrakhan region, a three-year-old girl dressed in a military uniform, performed a song in front of the wounded Russian soldiers receiving treatment at a local hospital. Meanwhile, in the town of Mikun in Russia's constituent Komi Republic, children from a local tourist center sewed several hundred Cheburashka [a character in the Soviet children's literature] toys for Russian servicemen.


The authorities of Saint Petersburg have awarded prizes to the relatives of deceased workers involved in the restoration of the occupied Ukrainian territories. At the same time, an exhibition titled "Russian Artists to the Heroes of the Fatherland" has opened in the Saint Petersburg parliament, featuring paintings depicting the war with Ukraine.

In Perm, 18.6 million rubles [$200,000] will be spent on a monument dedicated to the participants of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.


The 7x7—Gorizontalnaya Rossiya [Horizontal Russia] news outlet published the story of Ksenia Abramova, whose husband was mobilized in September 2022 with a back injury and, in September 2023, was sent back to the war. She has been trying to get him home for over a year.

The Idel.Realii [part of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty] online media outlet reported the story of Mufti Mukaddas Bibarsov of the Saratov region, who promotes participation in the war among the region's Muslims.

Meduza [international Russian-language online media outlet] published a summary of the New York Times article about the fate of 174 convicts of the 6th penal colony in the Chelyabinsk region, recruited by Prigozhin. One in every four of them was killed in combat, and many of those who survived thank Putin for the "second chance" they were given.