mobilization briefs
July 24, 2023

Mobilization in Russia for July 21-23, 2023 CIT Volunteer Summary

Authorities and Legislation

On the website of the State Duma [lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia] the amendments on fines for evading military commissariats [enlistment offices] were published, as announced on July 20. The latest draft is different from the information that had surfaced previously—now, the fine for failure to appear at a military commissariat will be reduced to 10,000 to 30,000 rubles [$110-330] from the initially proposed 40,000-50,000 rubles [$440-550].

Senators Viktor Bondarev and Andrey Klishas [members of Russia's Federation Council—upper house of the Federal Assembly of Russia] spoke out against the initiative to not raise the lower age limit for conscription from 18 years to 21. “Enlistment at the age of 18 should be more of an exception to the rules, <…> with the consent of the citizen himself, rather than a widespread practice," Bondarev said. At the same time, according to the TASS [Russian state-owned news agency], on July 23, the State Duma supported the amendment to keep the lower age limit for conscription at 18.

The authorities of Russia's constituent Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) have set the size of payouts for the death and injury of officials sent to the “new territories.” 1 million rubles [about $11,000] will be paid in case of death of an official sent to the "DPR," "LPR," the Kherson or Zaporizhzhia regions of Ukraine. 750,000 rubles [$8,250] will be paid for a serious injury, and 500,000 rubles [$5,500] for a minor one.

Chairman of the Election Commission of the Khanty-Mansi autonomous region-Yugra [Russia's federal subject] Denis Korneev announced that war participants and volunteer fighters who are currently in the territory of Donbas will not be able to vote in the upcoming fall regional elections for safety reasons.

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

A year after the war began, Russian authorities started protecting draft offices using Bezopasny Gorod [Safe City] CCTV systems. According to the government procurement website, 42 million rubles [$464,100] in total have been allocated since March 2023 for this purpose in the Leningrad, Samara, and Volgograd regions.

The Idite Lesom! [Flee through the woods/Get lost you all] Telegram channel reports that mobile recruiting centers for military contract service have appeared in Saint Petersburg, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Kandalaksha, Novokuznetsk, Podolsk, and Volgograd. Military contract service ads have appeared on the websites of schools and the Economic Lyceum.

Mobilized Soldiers and Volunteer Fighters

The list of mobilized soldiers killed in the war has been updated to include Aleksandr Pudovkin from the Volgograd region, Vadim Starikov from Moscow, Igor Pershin from the Saratov region, Vladislav Kanukov and Tamerlan Lyanov from North Ossetia [Russia's constituent republic], Sergey Popov from the Khanty-Mansi autonomous region, and Nikolay Chugaynov from the Perm region.

On the evening of July 21, in the area of Znob village, Bryansk region, three contracted soldiers serving as EOD operators triggered a mine while attempting to install it. Two of them were killed on the spot, while the third was sent to a hospital.

Relatives of the mobilized soldiers from the Stavropol region, who were sent to the forward positions in the area of Orikhiv, Zaporizhzhia region, as part of the 126th Coastal Defense Brigade, turned to President Putin with a request to withdraw their relatives from the frontline. They argued that without artillery and air support, the soldiers are taking heavy losses.

Journalists from the Sibir.Realii [part of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty] online media outlet using open sources and counting the number of graves in the local cemetery have estimated the number of those killed in the war in Yurga town, Kemerovo region. The town has a population of about 80,000 and hosts several military units. The journalists have confirmed the names of 101 killed individuals, while 10 others are reported missing. However, this is not the total number of killed, as many were buried in other regions.

The wife of a mobilized soldier who supports a multi-child family reached out to Natalya Komarova, Governor of the Khanty-Mansi autonomous region with a request to bring her husband back from the war. Andrey Tuktamyshev was mobilized when his wife Yuliana was pregnant with their third child. Currently, they have three children in tender years (ages 5, 3, and 2 months), however, the military authorities refuse to demobilize their father, despite instructions from the General Staff of the Russian Ministry of Defense. Similar issues are being faced by the family of a mobilized soldier from the Moscow region. In this case, either lost documents or an unsigned discharge report is preventing his return from the war. In yet another case, the wife of a mobilized soldier from Russia’s constituent Republic of Tatarstan, who is actively trying to bring her husband back from the frontline and is caring for five underage children, is threatened by the close attention of guardianship authorities.

Residents of Buryatia [Russia’s constituent republic] launched a large number of complaints to the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Republic Yulia Zhambalova highlighting the fact that their family members serving in the military are denied their leaves. Following Zhambalova’s inquiry to the Military Prosecutor's Office of the Ussuriysk Garrison and a subsequent investigation, the commander of the Buryat soldiers admitted that due to intensive hostilities leave requests had been suspended, and leaves would not be granted until the end of the active phase of the enemy offensive.

Sentences, Legal Proceedings, and Incidents

The Novorossiysk Garrison Military Court of the Krasnodar region sentenced a mobilized soldier Aleksandr Shupletsov to six years of imprisonment for going AWOL. Having left the military unit in Adygea [Russia’s constituent republic] on Nov. 21, 2022, Shupletsov stayed hidden for five months until his apprehension on Apr. 13, 2023. The Kavkaz.Realii [Caucasus.Realities] media outlet points out that the trial was held in the presence of Shupletsov's fellow servicemen, presumably in an attempt to intimidate them and prevent any further AWOLs. It should also be noted that this is the toughest sentence handed down for going AWOL in this region.

The Southern District Military Court upheld the punishment of private Eduard Bitarov from North Ossetia for the murder of his ex-wife. Bitarov was found guilty of committing a murder in the heat of passion and was sentenced to restricted military service with a 10% salary deduction to the state revenue. The court considered mitigating circumstances, including his participation in the war with Ukraine and his status as a veteran of combat activities. During the appeal, the victim's relatives insisted that the evidence in the case pointed to torture and murder with extreme brutality: Bitarov delivered 16 knife strikes to the victim. They tried to prove that Bitarov was not in the heat of passion since his actions after the murder did not support such a claim.

In the Irkutsk region, two school students, aged 15 and 16, were arrested for setting fire to a relay cabinet. According to the Baza Telegram channel, on June 30, the teenagers set fire to the relay cabinet on the railway section between Cheremkhovo and Zabituy in the Irkutsk region. The older school student was detained, while the other was released under a recognizance bond. Both have confessed to the arson.

Since the beginning of the war, relay cabinets on the East Siberian railroad have been set on fire three times: at Zaudinskaya and Divizionnaya stations in the suburbs of Ulan-Ude and by the railway terminal in Irkutsk, as reported by the deputy head of the Kabansky district administration.

The suspected coordinator of yesterday’s attack on an ammunition storage facility has been detained. According to the pro-government SHOT Telegram channel, the detained 36-year-old Roman Melnichuk from Feodosiya is allegedly a key agent of the Main Intelligence Directorate in Crimea. He is suspected of coordinating various attacks, including the one on a petroleum terminal and an ammunition storage near the village of Oktyabrskoye in the Krasnogvardeysky district of Crimea on July 22, an attempted attack on Z-activist Aleksandr Talipov in Feodosiya on July 12, and the arson of propagandist Dmitry Kiselyov’s car in Koktebel in September 2022.

Former military psychologist Timofey Rudenko became a defendant in a criminal case of terrorism justification because of his comments about Chechen separatists. According to the police, in the spring of 2022, Rudenko posted comments in the Krym—krai pertizanskoy slavy [Crimea—the land of partisan glory] Telegram channel under the name of Maymul Maymulovich.


During his visit to the war zone, Governor of the Zabaykalsky region Alexandr Osipov brought four UAZ vehicles, optical sights, radio sets, drones, and several tons of foodstuffs to the soldiers. Meanwhile, the families of the mobilized from the Zabaykalsky region complain that they need to pay for the firewood that is supposed to be granted as a free benefit.

In Kursk, an advertisement for a prosthetics center offering services for servicemen who lost limbs was spotted.


Governor of the Pskov region Mikhail Vedernikov announced that "good" young men would receive an additional point when applying to Pskov State University. They would also be given priority in employment and would enjoy "various perks" such as free tickets to concerts and performances, free educational courses, and more. To enter this category, one must undergo three months of training at the Voin [Warrior] center and join the Alexander Nevsky squad established by the regional government.


The Astra Telegram channel published stories of Crimean residents who became victims of the pro-Russian Crimean SMERSH movement. The members of this movement harass people with anti-war or pro-Ukrainian views, capture them, force them to record apology videos, use physical violence against them, and publish their personal information. Crimea is among the top ten “subjects of the Russian Federation” (along with annexed territories) in terms of criminal cases related to “discrediting” the RuAF, thanks to the activists of the Crimean SMERSH.

The Agentstvo.Novosti [Agency news] Telegram channel found out that some mercenaries of the Wagner Group haven’t received their salaries for June and some have not been paid for previous months. In a group chat of relatives of these mercenaries, journalists found 20 similar complaints. One of the volunteer fighters hasn’t been paid since March, and the Wagner Group owes him 800,000 rubles [$8,840]. However, the organization’s representatives don’t answer his wife’s phone calls. The same problems have arisen among mercenaries recruited from penal colonies.

According to the Russian Central Bank's research, Russia is experiencing the strongest labor shortage in the past 25 years. The main reasons are the coronavirus and mobilization. The problems faced by factories in Novosibirsk in this regard are discussed in an article by the NGS.RU media outlet.

The pro-government Union of Writers of Russia (not to be confused with the Russian Union of Writers) hung a banner supporting the war on the doors of its office on Komsomolsky Avenue in Moscow. Meanwhile, in the Zabaykalsky region, a special website will be launched to commemorate the region's residents killed in the war.

Pass control has been introduced in two villages in the Bryansk region bordering Ukraine. It is only possible to enter the Yamnoye and Novaya Pogosh villages with a pass or by presenting a passport with registration in the Suzemsky district.