mobilization briefs
July 19, 2023

Mobilization in Russia for Jul. 17-18, 2023, CIT volunteer summary

Authorities and Legislation

The State Duma [lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia] has approved the bill raising the age limit for reservists in its third reading. Further details about this legislation were covered in yesterday's summary.

President Putin instructed authorities to take additional measures to explain to students and schoolchildren the reasons and objectives of the "special military operation." Additionally, relevant institutions have been tasked with intensifying their outreach efforts to the youth residing in occupied territories.

During a meeting with President Putin, Governor of Irkutsk region, Igor Kobzev, proudly highlighted the number of awards received by war participants from Irkutsk region involved in the conflict with Ukraine, including those who lost their lives. In response, the President conveyed his greetings to them. According to publicly available data, more than 500 residents of Irkutsk region were killed in Ukraine, and mobilized soldiers from the region have repeatedly expressed concerns about being sent to the frontlines.

A bill has been introduced to the State Duma that would impose penalties for propagating and justifying extremist ideology. The amendment will be made to Article 280 of the Criminal Code ("Public calls for extremist activity") which provides for punishment varying from a fine of up to 300 thousand rubles [about $3,300] to imprisonment for up to five years. The government's response to the proposed legislation has been ambiguous, as it raises concerns that the violations the deputies seek to punish overlap with several other articles of the Code of Administrative Offenses and the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation.

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

Vice Governor of the Krasnodar region Aleksandr Vlasov has summarized the results of the spring regular biannual conscription campaign : 7000 residents of the region in total were drafted, which made, according to the local authorities, 100% of the target set by the Southern Military District Headquarters.

Governor of the Nizhny Novgorod region Gleb Nikitin has announced that those joining the new volunteer battalions, which we reported on in our yesterday’s summary, would get one-time payments of 200,000 rubles [about $2200]. A journalist of the Sota media outlet has visited Nizhny Novgorod [region’s main city]. Recruitment tents are placed there near the Moskovsky (central) railway station and at the entrance to the Nizhny Novgorod Kremlin. As can be seen in the photographs, there are no volunteer fighters standing by in lines.

Mobilized Soldiers and Volunteer Fighters

The list of mobilized soldiers killed in the war has been updated to include Aleksey Mamedov from the Volgograd region and Maksim Lukanin from Moscow.

Relatives of fighters of the Storm Z unit made up of ex-convicts included in the 57th Regiment (part of the 3rd Army Corps) have recorded a video address complaining about their men having been out of touch for two months already after they were sent to the forward positions outside Novobakhmutivka on May 18. Their commanders promised to send copies of the ex-convicts’ contracts to their families by post but no one ever received the documents and the men themselves ended up in the combat zone with no dog tags.

Sentences, Legal Proceedings, and Incidents

Ivan D. from Russia's constituent Republic of Karelia returned home after the draft board canceled the decision to mobilize him. After being sent to a military unit, Ivan sought help from a psychologist who determined that he was unfit for service due to suicidal tendencies, and the draft board revoked its decision. However, the unit commander refused to discharge Ivan, so the man turned to court. After that, the commander discharged Ivan from military service without waiting for the court’s decision.

The Omsk Garrison Military Court sentenced Junior Sergeant Maksim Prokopenko to five years in prison for going AWOL. On Nov. 7, 2022, the serviceman left the military unit for Omsk. Five months later, he was found and taken to a military commandant.

The Maykop Garrison Military Court in Russia's constituent Republic of Adygea sentenced contract soldier Andrey K. to two and a half years in a penal colony for refusal to execute orders. In early March 2023, on the morning roll-call, Andrey refused to follow the order to depart to the combat area, after which a criminal case was opened against him. According to the investigation, Andrey K. disrupted the execution of the command's order and undermined his authority, which could have led to a mass refusal of servicemen to participate in combat activities. During the trial, the defendant partially admitted his guilt and explained the refusal by his illnesses.

Since the start of the full-scale invasion, Russian military courts in the border regions have been hearing cases of drunkenness and drug abuse almost on a daily basis, as noted by the Vyorstka media outlet. From January to June 2023, the Rostov Garrison Military Court handled no less than 48 cases of alcoholism, the Crimean Garrison Military Court—38 cases, and the Vladikavkaz Garrison Military Court—29 cases. For comparison, in January 2022, a month before the war began, the Crimean Garrison Military Court had only 4 such cases, and the Vladikavkaz Garrison Military Court had none. Almost all the soldiers who appeared in court in 2023 were sent to confinement facilities. The military personnel themselves claim that this is their way of dealing with the stress of wart.

A 25-year-old native of Kyrgyzstan named Yaroslav Shekhovtsov, a mercenary from the Wagner Group, was detained for killing two fellow soldiers. He claimed that they refused to participate in Prigozhin’s mutiny. Their bodies were found in a forest in the Voronezh region on Jul. 6 (we reported on that in one of our previous summaries).

The Federal Security Service (FSB) has released footage of the arrest of Veronika Netunaeva, an employee of the Uglich town administration, on which we previously reported. According to the security forces, Netunaeva was collecting data on the Uglich Hydroelectric Power Station "at the request of Ukrainian intelligence services," taking photos of it on her phone in preparation for "committing an act of terror." The Kirov district court in Yaroslavl ruled to remand Netunaeva in pre-trial custody.

The Central District Military Court has sentenced Nikolay Ushakov, a 52-year-old resident of Bashkortostan [Russia's constituent republic], to two and a half years in a maximum security penal colony on charges of public calls for committing terrorist activity and justification of terrorism. The FSB claims that during Ushakov's arrest, propaganda leaflets, a pistol with a silencer, ammunition, and an F-1 hand grenade were seized.

In September 2022, Vyacheslav Demyanov, a father of five underage children from Yelabuga town, was mobilized. The draft board refused to give him a draft deferral because only two of the five children were his biological offspring, while the others were his wife's children from her first marriage. The man adopted them in March 2023. For six months, his wife Irina wrote appeals to various authorities, and then the family filed a lawsuit against the military commissariat [enlistment office].

Two police officers from Vladimir signed a contract with the Ministry of Defense and left for war five days before an investigation was conducted against them regarding a fraud case. According to the investigation, Ruslan L. and Artyom K. extorted money from a citizen of Tajikistan last summer.


In Volgograd, employees of public institutions and medical workers are receiving messages urging them to "voluntarily" donate part of their salary to support participants in the war in Ukraine.

Natalya Komarova, Governor of the Khanty-Mansi autonomous region —Yugra [Russia's federal subject], visited the occupied areas of the Zaporizhzhia and Luhansk regions, where she handed over military equipment to soldiers: quadcopters, thermal goggles, and anti-drone guns. Meanwhile, another batch of Cheburashka toys [a character in the Soviet children's literature] was sent to the frontline from the Krasnoyarsk region.

The authorities of the Moscow region issued a resolution according to which war participants from the region are eligible for gratis manufacture of dental crowns, implants, and dentures worth up to 100,000 rubles [around $1000], and in case of injuries to the maxillofacial area, up to 1 million rubles [$11,000].


Vyacheslav Gladkov, Governor of the Belgorod region, announced testing blast resistant window films for schools and kindergartens. They are designed to reduce glass shattering.

In Kyrgyzstan, police officers discovered an illegal children's military-patriotic summer camp on the shore of Lake Issyk-Kul. There were five adults and two dozen children in the camp who arrived in Kyrgyzstan from the Khanty-Mansi autonomous region for a naval all-around competition. The organizers of the camp were taken to the police station and fined. Meanwhile, in the Khanty-Mansi autonomous region, the chairman of the Union of Marines and the Center for Adaptive Assistance to Children. Life Without Borders from Nizhnevartovsk plans to combine the rehabilitation of disabled children and participants in the war in Ukraine.

In the preschool department of school No. 10 in the town of Lyubertsy, the AVK Kremlin interactive complex of civil and patriotic education was set up. The minimum cost of the complex, which is actually a TV inside a case stylized as the Spasskaya Tower, is 375,000 rubles [$4000] on the website of the manufacturer.


The camp of IT specialist Adam Kalinin (pseudonym), who left during the mobilization in the forest, was robbed. When Kalinin left the camp for a month, he could not take things with him, and he did not have time to hide them.

Sberbank [Russia's largest bank] has begun to unblock bank accounts of Russians who transferred money to help Ukrainian refugees. At the same time, bank accounts of the volunteers who organized the fundraising are still blocked.