mobilization briefs
July 17, 2023

Mobilization in Russia for Jul. 14-16, 2023 CIT Volunteer Summary

Authorities and Legislation

The Ministry of Defense has announced the official end of the spring campaign of regular biannual conscription, with 147,000 people drafted. From the end of the spring conscription and until Oct. 1, going to a military commissariat [enlistment office] for medical evaluation and attending a draft board can only happen with the consent of the prospective conscript.

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

The Tambov region reported sending 29 volunteer fighters, who signed contracts with the Ministry of Defense, to the war. The Vladimir region sent 10.

The Sota media outlet posted a video from Samara in which a banner advertising contract service is followed by a banner of a funeral home. Member of the State Duma [lower house of Russia's Federal Assembly] Alexander Khinshtein called this "not stupidity, but treason." Both banners have been removed.

Mobilized Soldiers and Volunteer Fighters

The list of mobilized soldiers killed in the war has been updated with Oleg Bazhin from the Perm region, Semyon Razmyslov from Russia's constituent Republic of Komi, Nikita Bredikhin from the Kursk region, Ivan Muravetskiy from the Russian-annexed Crimea, Vadim Sudachkov from the Samara region, Arstan Istemisov from the Volgograd region, Damir Yakupov from the Chelyabinsk region, Timur Faizullin from Russia's constituent Republic of Bashkortostan, Viktor Shumilin, as well as Aleksandr Sergeev and Sergey Piluygin from the Orenburg region.

In a new appeal, a group of approximately 50 members of the 85th Brigade consisting of draftees, contract soldiers, and volunteer fighters with reportedly expired contracts complained about being threatened with execution by firing squad or with a transfer to the Storm unit for refusing to advance into the mined areas led by a drunk commander and to assault the Ukrainian positions without artillery support. For failure to execute orders, they were placed into an abandoned building in Svitlodarsk. After the video was recorded, most of these soldiers were transferred to Lysychansk, while ten men were presumably sent to Bakhmut, according to what their relatives told the Astra Telegram channel.

Families who have been urging the authorities to legally fix the maximum term of service for the mobilized personnel, formed an advocacy group and created a private Telegram channel connecting 15,000 participants. Their petition in support of the above goal has already been signed by 40,000 people and is aiming to gather 100,000 signatures. The activists make a point stating that they "fully support the decision of our president to start the special military operation."

While meeting wounded soldiers, Governor of the Irkutsk region Igor Kobzev announced that the one-time payment of 200,000 rubles [$2216] would be resumed for the servicemen who sign a contract with the Ministry of Defense. The final decision to release individual payments will be made by a committee headed by a Deputy Governor. This payment was previously suspended in spite of the decision of the Irkutsk Region Legislative Assembly.

Volunteer fighters from a military training camp have listed the items they miss for Governor of the Khanty-Mansi autonomous region–Yugra [Russia's federal subject] Natalya Komarova. The list includes chainsaws, hammers, nails, spades, and underwear. In response to the appeal, Yugra authorities requested a requisition from their unit commanders.

In Moscow, the relatives of servicemen mobilized to the 1430th Regiment started complaining on social media about cards with a templated text: "You are <family relation> of a murderer. We know everything," which allegedly appeared on their apartment doors, in their post boxes, and on their cars.

Sentences, Legal Proceedings, and Incidents

A criminal case for failure to execute an order has been initiated against a RuAF officer who consciously refused to participate in the war with Ukraine. The man is facing up to three years in prison. Previously, the Astra Telegram channel told the story of this officer.

The Garrison Military Court in Spassk-Dalny sentenced Yevgeny Frolov, a mobilized resident of the Primorsky region, to two and a half years in a penal settlement for failure to execute orders. Back in the fall of 2022, Frolov, along with other mobilized soldiers, refused to take part in combat and was placed in a basement for refuseniks in Zavitne Bazhannya, Donetsk region. The soldiers were intimidated and forced to return to the frontline. However, no legal action has been taken regarding the unlawful detention of this soldier in the basement, nor have there been any cases pursued for the dozens of other statements made by soldiers who were placed in basements for refusing to participate in the war. One of them, Mikhail Nosov, previously painted in detail the conditions of being held in such a basement to Astra.

Arsen Melkonyan, who was sentenced to 11 years in a penal colony for an unmotivated murder following bickering in a parental chat in 2022, was recruited into the Wagner Group and returned home with a pardon certificate in April 2023. In May 2023, he was arrested again for threatening to kill the judge who sentenced him, as well as intimidating his ex-spouse and underage daughter. As a result, the court sentenced Melkonyan to 8.5 years of imprisonment for intentional infliction of severe bodily harm. During the sentencing, the court took into account the defendant’s participation in the war, awards received, and good conduct references.

Sverdlovsk region prosecutors brought two new criminal cases against telephone scammers under an article on terrorist activities. According to a 67-year-old woman from Nizhny Tagil and a 72-year-old retiree from Pervouralsk, unknown callers convinced them to set fire to draft offices. The ladies were arrested near draft offices as they were about to commit arson. Both seniors are now facing criminal hooliganism charges while those who incited them are wanted for organizing terrorist activities.

In Tyumen, six young men have spent 10 months in detention without being charged. Three of them are residents of Yekaterinburg, two are from Tyumen, and one from Surgut. They were detained in August/September 2022 under suspicion of conspiracy to blow up a thermal power plant. During all that time, they barely had any contact with relatives and were subjected to torture. According to their attorneys, the case has not been put to trial because prosecutors lacked evidence.

The Federal Security Service (FSB) detained Veronika Netunayeva, a lawyer working for the Uglich city administration. According to the intelligence services, she had been informing the AFU and SBU [the Security Service of Ukraine] of strategically important infrastructure facilities in the city. Netunayeva is facing criminal charges for conspiracy to commit an act of terror. Security services also allege that the woman publicly voiced support for the Azov regiment, called for destruction of war symbols and helping Ukrainians.

On Jul. 6, in the Khokholsky district of the Voronezh region, bodies of two men in military uniforms with gunshot wounds were found. The identities of the deceased have not yet been established. A criminal case of murder has been initiated, there are no suspects so far.


A new simulation class has been opened at the Yasenki rehabilitation center near Moscow, aiming to help war participants "adapt to everyday life more effectively, utilizing special technical means among other resources."

The Yamal airline has provided discounts on tickets for war participants and their family members. Tickets can only be purchased at the airline's ticket office.

Regions continue to send aid to Russian soldiers. Vehicles were sent to the war from Chuvashia [Russia’s constituent republic], Rostov, Irkutsk, and the Khanty-Mansi autonomous region. In addition to two vehicles, foodstuffs were sent from the Arkhangelsk region. Foodstuffs were also sent from Tver, and medical supplies from the Astrakhan region. Residents of the Oryol region and volunteers from the Russian Military-Historical Society donated various equipment to the soldiers. Employees of the Ibresinsky Forestry Department in Chuvashia sent 20 cubic meters of sawn timber for the construction of bunkers and strengthening of fortifications. Employees of Bashavtotrans [passenger motor transportation company] wove camouflage nets and raised funds to purchase a power generator, while an artist from Ulyanovsk sent her paintings to the soldiers.

Governor of the Vladimir region Aleksandr Avdeyev visited territories occupied by the RuAF in the Kherson region of Ukraine, and delivered economic resources, building materials, tools, medical kits, and an icon to the military personnel. Meanwhile, in the Primorsky region, volunteers set up a workshop to produce camouflage nets and gear.


Graduates of Ryazan State University demanded the dismissal of the newly appointed rector who had moved the diploma ceremony to Sobornaya Square and invited paratroopers and representatives of the Federal Penitentiary Service while the graduates’ parents had not been able to get there.


New furniture disappeared from the Defenders of the Fatherland Fund branch in Ivanovo. The furniture had been in the premises at the opening of the branch. Branch's director Boris Shalyapin, a member of the regional parliament, stated that the furniture is in storage and will be replaced with new furniture after renovations. However, the premises itself does not seem to be in need of repairs. It is noteworthy that the Defenders of the Fatherland Fund, created by Vladimir Putin, will spend 82% of the funds allocated by the state on salaries for its employees, while only 3% will be spent on the intended purpose of supporting war participants.

The tests by the Russian Railways [Russian fully state-owned railway company] for train crews now include a question about possible locations for planting bombs on trains. The Federal Passenger Company has been testing its employees on their knowledge of train sabotage techniques since May. Additionally, employees are to inspect the undercarriage area, closed toilets, and vestibules for explosive devices during stops that last for more than 15 minutes.