mobilization briefs
January 29

Mobilization in Russia for Jan. 26-28, 2024 CIT Volunteer Summary

Protests in Bashkortostan

Zalia, the sister of Rifat Dautov, who died shortly after his arrest, said that she had identified her brother’s body but had not been told the cause of his death. Zalia pointed out that although she was not seeking to incite "protests or riots," she was determined to get to the truth behind her brother’s death. Dautov’s family members insist that Rifat was not participating in the protest but was only waiting for his girlfriend on Salavat Yulayev Square in the city of Ufa where the rally was taking place. Nevertheless, authorities identified Dautov as a person of interest involved in civil disturbances, while a number of sources suggested that his death was caused by surrogate alcohol poisoning. Dautov’s family denies these allegations, stating that he was a non-drinker and did not have any health problems. Also, video footage has emerged appearing to show Dautov’s arrest, in which a man lying prone in the snow is seen being held down by a few law enforcement agents and then being forced into the police van. It has not been confirmed yet whether the person captured in the video is Dautov.

Local activists are calling on residents to support their appeals to the Investigative Committee, Presidential Directorate for Correspondence from Citizens and the Commissioner for Human Rights, pleading to investigate the circumstances of the arrest and death of Rifat Dautov. Meanwhile, a few prominent public figures of Bashkortostan [Russia's constituent republic] appealed to authorities urging them to stop the ongoing persecution of Fail Alsynov’s supporters. "All red lines have been crossed as a young man became the first innocent victim [of repressions]," they said. They also stressed that it was time to start negotiations, stop "denigrating the Bashkirs," end the criminal prosecution of those who participated in the protests of Jan. 17 and 19, and release all arrested activists.

Furthermore, the names of five more individuals arrested by the court in Ufa for "participation in mass riots" following the events in the town of Baymak have become known. They are Saniya Uzyanbayeva, Ayrat Akhmetov, Danis Uzyanbayev, Zakir Akhmedin and Munir Isyangildin.

Authorities and Relatives of Mobilized Soldiers

In Moscow, the eighth action organized by the participants of the Put Domoy [Way Home] movement took place near the Kremlin, where activists once again laid flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Following the flower-laying ceremony, the women proceeded to Vladimir Putin's pre-election headquarters to deliver their "instructions." They were met by provocateurs from the Volontyorskaya Rota [Volunteer Company] pro-government youth organization and members of the NOD [National Liberation Movement, ultra-right political organization], as well as masked young men recording the activists on their phones. The latter claimed to represent the media but failed to specify which outlet and were unable to produce press credentials. Headquarters staff declined to admit all activists at once, permitting only Maria Andreeva and one more participant inside to submit statements regarding the return of mobilized soldiers from the frontline. According to Andreeva, she was not allowed to familiarize herself with Putin's election program. She observed that volunteers at the headquarters were also unfamiliar with the program. One of the relatives told journalists that she would still vote for Putin in the upcoming elections because she cannot imagine another person as president and fears that such changes could lead to a world war.

Another action by military spouses took place at Mars Field in Saint Petersburg. There, the women silently laid flowers at the Eternal Flame, providing no comments to the press.

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

In Chita, military investigators conducted a round-up of naturalized citizens who failed to register with the military. Four men were detained, taken to military commissariats [enlistment offices] and charged with a misdemeanor. Investigators provided guidance to those who did not receive Russian citizenship how to obtain it by signing a military service contract.

Mobilized Soldiers, Volunteer Fighters and Contract Soldiers

The list of mobilized soldiers killed in the war has been updated to include Aleksandr Oskin from Russia’s constituent Republic of Dagestan, Andrey Khlopkov from the Sverdlovsk region, Maksim Chimonin from Crimea and Viktor Efremov from the Perm region.

Allegedly at the request of city residents, the acting governor of the Vologda region returned the Wagner Group flags to a cemetery in Cherepovets. The flags were removed a few days after Prigozhin's mutiny.

The wife of a serviceman has been searching for her missing husband for four months. He voluntarily signed a contract on Aug. 29, 2023. Three days later, he went to military training in Luhansk, and on Sept. 17 he contacted his wife for the last time to inform her that he was going to storm Ukrainian positions. Since then, his whereabouts have been unknown. In October, the man was declared missed in action.

Sentences, Legal Proceedings and Incidents

The Astra Telegram channel reports that on Nov. 9, seven unidentified individuals in balaclavas and Russian Armed Forces uniforms assaulted, tortured and robbed a 51-year-old resident of Vilna Ukraina, a village in the occupied part of the Kherson region. The attackers put a bag over the man’s head, forced him into a Tigr infantry mobility vehicle and drove him out of the village to an undisclosed location. There, they proceeded to beat and torture him with electricity, threatening to kill him unless he confessed where he was hiding certain assault rifles and grenades. Later, they returned the man to his home, took his car keys and threatened him with retribution if he contacted law enforcement. A criminal case against the assailants, who managed to escape, has yet to be opened.

Authorities in the Sverdlovsk region are looking for two former mercenaries suspected of raping and robbing a woman. The men were recruited by the Wagner Group from penal colonies. Ivan Komarov, 34, was convicted in 2016 for breaking into a company's territory and committing violent acts—he tied up a guard with a cord and struck a bystander on the head with a rifle. Komarov returned home in May after serving six months. Roman Kalmykov, 45, received a 16-year prison sentence in 2016 for the murder of an 88-year-old woman, from whom he stole 400 rubles [$4.45].

Authorities suspect a participant in the war against Ukraine of murdering 34-year-old musician and composer Artyom Bashkeyev in Barnaul. The murder occurred on Jan. 26. The attacker stabbed the victim in the throat with a knife. Police have detained a friend of Bashkeyev, reported to have served in the war within the ranks of the Wagner Group.

A resident of Chelyabinsk, previously sentenced to six and a half years for tormenting his wife and causing her severe health harm, returned from the war, where he had been recruited from a penal colony. In almost three months since the ex-convict's return, his now ex-wife has filed several police reports, accusing him of new beatings and rape. The man, who has previously repeatedly assaulted women, denies everything and accuses the ex-wife of theft.

Andrey Mikhaelis, a Belgorod resident, who, in the spring of 2022, beat his friend to death for criticizing his decision to sign a contract with the Ministry of Defense, has been recruited for the war from a penal colony. While under the influence of alcohol, Mikhaelis struck his friend 119 times with a metal stick, recording everything on his phone. The victim died the same night. Mikhaelis was sentenced to ten and a half years of imprisonment.

The Southern District Military Court has upheld the verdict of the Rostov Garrison Military Court for contract soldier Boris Badmayev, finding him guilty of causing serious bodily harm. Badmayev received six years in a penal colony for killing a fellow soldier in January 2023 due to "hostile relations."

The Vladimir Garrison Military Court has sentenced the mobilized soldier Mikhail Lysenko to six years in a penal colony for six counts of going AWOL as well as causing medium-severity bodily harm. In 2020, Lysenko was convicted of repeat drunk driving. Nevertheless, in September 2022, he was mobilized to the war in Ukraine.

For the first month of 2024, that same Garrison Military Court has convicted five service members for going AWOL. The court is also considering its first case of criminal desertion since the beginning of the war in Ukraine.

A contract soldier has filed a suit in a military court against his unit’s leadership, which is not granting him a discharge from military service, citing the mobilization decree currently in effect. The man has decided that he no longer wants to serve. However, the court refused to hear the case on the grounds that it was not filed in compliance with the formal rules.

The Superior Court in Adygea [Russia’s constituent republic] sentenced Viktoria Magarina, a local resident, to four months of "corrective labor" for a failed attempt in July 2023 to set fire to a draft office and an officer’s club. According to law enforcement, she chose to attempt the arson under guidance of a "handler" who had promised her a monetary reward.


According to the administration of the Vladimir region, authorities in the region have spent over 400 million rubles [$4.45 million] to provide assistance to the town of Dokuchaievsk in the Donetsk region, which is occupied by Russia.

Sergey Zlatogorsky, the Mayor of Kuznetsk in the Penza region, posted a video address on social media, urging people to collect humanitarian aid and donate their salaries to fellow citizens fighting in Ukraine. Meanwhile, in Chelyabinsk, design students sent a batch of specially crafted backpacks to the frontline.

According to the press service of the government of the Khanty-Mansi autonomous region–Yugra [Russia's federal subject], 13 families of servicemen from the region received new apartments, and an additional five families received housing subsidies.

Children and Educational System

The Govorit NeMoskva [NonMoscow Is Speaking] Telegram channel examined the events dedicated to 80th anniversary since breaking the Nazi siege of Leningrad that took place in schools this week:

  • In Orenburg, a school museum received a flag with autographs from the "special military operation" zone.
  • In Saratov, a war participant showed children fragments of exploded mines and shells during a lesson about the siege.
  • Eighth graders from a high school in the Leningrad region were invited to participate in a "support campaign for soldiers involved in the special military operation."
  • In the Osintsevskoye village of the Sverdlovsk region, a five-stage quest was organized for school students: four were dedicated to the siege of Leningrad, and on the fifth, the children made trench candles for war participants.

Universities in Yaroslavl will start training specialists in the field of drones. New engineering specialties focusing on UAVs are planned to be introduced in three universities. Concurrently, aviation robotics lessons are scheduled to be incorporated into the curriculum in several schools in Vladivostok this year.


In the Perm region, the name of Dmitry Tatyanenko, who died in the war with Ukraine, may be inscribed on a memorial that regional authorities have decided to erect. Tatyanenko was sentenced to 17 years in prison for the murder of a random passerby, and from prison, he was recruited for the war.

The Kavkaz.Realii [part of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty] media outlet has uncovered the criteria used to select "heroes" among mercenaries in Southern Russia for commemoration with street names.