mobilization briefs
July 25, 2023

Mobilization in Russia for July 23-24, 2023 CIT Volunteer Summary

Authorities and Legislation

Today, President Putin signed a number of laws:

  • The law that increases the age limit for those serving in the reserve. According to the introduced amendments, the maximum age is raised on average by five years, with the changes coming into effect on Jan. 1, 2024. We have already reported on this law in one of our previous summaries, and furthermore, legal experts from the Voyennye Advokaty [Military Lawyers] Telegram channel extensively analyzed the amendments.
  • The law that outlaws gender transition. Individuals who have already undergone gender transition will now be prohibited from adopting children or acting as guardians. Additionally, "a gender transition by one of the spouses" will now be grounds for voiding the marriage. The law takes effect from the day of its publication.
  • The law that makes it unlawful for citizens to ignore "restrictions related to the status of a foreign agent." Those who, by their actions or inaction, aid "foreign agents" in breaking the law will be subject to unscheduled inspections and warnings. Fines for failure to rectify violations will range from 30,000 to 50,000 rubles [$330-553] for citizens, from 70,000 to 100,000 [$774-1160] rubles for office holders and from 200,000 to 300,000 rubles [$2212-$3318] for legal entities.

Ekaterina Schulmann [political scientist] noted that the authors of a bill, intended to extend the mechanism of revoking citizenship to individuals who acquired it by birth, began to withdraw their signatures. More details about the bill and its authors can be found in our previous summary. At this time, only the signature of Sergei Tsekov [Russian and former Ukrainian politician, who serves as the Russian Federation Senator from Crimea since 2014] remains. His name appeared first in the list of authors and he stated he does not intend to withdraw it.

Legal experts from the Voyennye Advokaty Telegram channel reviewed the amendments introduced ahead of the second reading of a bill, which aims to increase the penalties for military registration violations. As it turns out, the fines will be increased less than expected. For example, fines for ignoring a draft notice would now range between 10,000 and 30,000 rubles [$110-330], whereas fines for failing to communicate changes to data contained within the military registry would range from 1,000 to 5,000 rubles [$11-55].

Voyennye Advokaty is also reminding people working in the IT industry that, since July 24, MinTsifry [Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media] is accepting applications for deferment from this autumn’s conscription campaign. The application period will end on Aug. 8.

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

Authorities have begun an urgent collection of students’ personal data into a new Data Mart data warehouse, which will be subsequently transferred to draft offices. Higher education institutions are required to share the data of all students and graduates, including women. MinTsifry indicated that the need to include women and part-time students stems from a secret presidential order.

In Omsk, banners with advertisements for contract-based military service have been placed. Similar advertisements can also be found on utility bills. Meanwhile, the fourth female resident of the Khanty-Mansi autonomous region–Yugra [Russia's federal subject], a nurse from the Nizhnevartovsk Children's Hospital, went to war after signing a one-year contract.

Mobilized Soldiers and Volunteer fighters

The list of mobilized soldiers killed in the war has been updated to include Taimuraz Ktsoev from Dagestan [Russia’s constituent republic], Denis Yevloev from Volgograd. It also became known about the death of Colonel Yevgeny Vashunin, the commander of the Leningrad regiment, consisting mainly of mobilized residents from Saint Petersburg and the regions of the North-Western Federal District of Russia.

Mobilized soldiers from the 34th Storm Brigade, who refused to return to the forward positions, stated that they were sent to the suburbs of Bakhmut under threat of punishment. According to their close ones, the commanders loaded 20 people from the brigade into trucks and took them to a settlement near Bakhmut, after which communication with them was lost. The command also promises to take about 25 more fighters from the brigade to the frontline soon.

Mobilized men from the Omsk region complain about the lack of supplies in the chat of a local "humanitarian aid" center. One of the soldiers said that they have to fight at their own expense. The same complaint is echoed by the relatives of other soldiers, who also express concerns about the lack of leave. The "humanitarian aid" center explains the lack of aid by the abrupt decrease in the number of donations.

Three wives of mobilized men from different regions of Russia told MSK1.RU [Moscow news online media outlet] that their husbands are not being paid. They have been trying to claim the payments promised by the state for several months. Meanwhile, volunteer fighters from the Irkutsk region said that they were denied the "governor's" payment because it is entitled only to those who have been on the lists of military units since Dec. 16, 2022.

Sentences, Legal Proceedings, and Incidents

On July 21, a 44-year-old serviceman from the Kursk region, Aleksandr Kaluzhskikh, escaped from a military hospital in Rostov-on-Don. He is now on the wanted list and reportedly may be armed with a grenade.

In the Bryansk region, near the village of Polevye Novosyolki, a serviceman of the Federal Security Service (FSB) border department was found with gunshot wounds; he died in a hospital. It is not known exactly who wounded the border guard. The investigation is considering the possibility of suicide.

According to the Astra Telegram channel, a 28-year-old private from the 1st Tank Regiment, Vladimir D., has been arrested in the Kursk region on suspicion of murdering a fellow soldier. Investigators believe that on the night of July 22, soldiers were consuming alcohol in the Sudzhansky district of the Kursk region and got into an argument. Subsequently, Vladimir shot Junior Sergeant Roman P. several times in the head with an AK-74 assault rifle, resulting in the sergeant’s immediate death.

On July 23, in the area of Tyushevo in the Ryazan region, a KAMAZ truck ran over a UAV lying on a dirt road, causing an explosion. The driver was not injured. On the ground, about 20 meters from the road, two more drones were found.

The Second District Military Court sentenced three residents of Vyborg—Eldar Voskresensky, Yevgeny Lagoyda, and Yury Zagursky—to prison terms ranging from 6 to 13 years for attempting to set fire to a military commissariat [enlistment office] in June 2022. However, they failed to carry out the arson due to being frightened off by security. Voskresensky and Lagoyda were charged with an act of terror, while Zagursky was charged with aiding terrorist activities. All three were also charged with preparation for the crime. As a result, Zagursky was sentenced to 11 years of imprisonment, Lagoyda to 6 years, and Voskresensky, who denied his guilt and claimed that he went to the military commissariat to dissuade Lagoyda from the arson, received a 13-year prison term.


Alabuga college in Russia’s constituent Republic of Tatarstan actively involves 15–17-year-old teenagers in assembling the Shahed drones and punishes students for refusing to work, threatening them with expulsion and enormous fines, as revealed by a joint investigation of the Protocol and RZVRT media outlets. Students are forced to work day and night, sometimes without breaks for sleep or meals. Besides, the college administration has developed a scheme for recruiting students from abroad through dating apps like Tinder or Badoo.

The Ne Norma [Not a norm] Telegram channel has discovered that the interactive complex of civil and patriotic education AVK Kremlin is not the only invention in the sphere of "patriotic education." The channel managed to find contracts signed with budget institutions for similar projects for 65.7 million rubles [$722,000] over the past year.

An exhibition titled "Molodyozh za Rodinu: geroyam SVO posvyaschaetsa" [The youth for the Motherland: dedicated to the heroes of the "special military operation"] has opened at the Law Department of Moscow State University. The exhibition is organized by the students’ patriotic association, which actively supports the Russian aggression against Ukraine.


According to the rating of the National Index of Anxieties by CROS, the greatest fear of the Russian people in April–June 2023 was sabotage. Besides, the list of fears includes the Wagner Group mutiny, the escalation of the nuclear threat, the AFU counter-attack, fires, floods, as well as alcohol poisoning, regular biannual conscription, and mobilization.

A resident of Novosibirsk spent an entire month in a psychiatric hospital because the draft office’s psychiatrist deemed his tattoos "incorrect."

Sibir.Realii [part of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty] online media outlet talked to families of Wagnerites a month after Yevgeny Prigozhin’s mutiny. According to them, experienced contract soldiers and those recruited outside of prison chose to extend their contracts and were either in Belarus or preparing to go there. They were promised military training on Belarusian grounds and potential assignments to Syria or Africa. Those recruited in Russian prisons had returned to their homes, with many of them receiving pardons even earlier than promised by the recruiters. Some of them complained that they had never got their injury compensations or salaries. Meanwhile, the Mozhem Obyasnit [We can explain] Telegram channel has found out that some mercenaries were still receiving salaries after the Wagner Group had been dissolved and left the frontline. These payments were reduced to 150,000 rubles [$1659] since the mercenaries were no longer involved in combat activities. However, this amount is still nearly  three times higher than the average salary in Russia.

The Rossiya-1 [Russia-1] government-owned federal TV channel is preparing a daily program with "bright stories" about the "special military operation." For example, mobilized soldiers’ wives, volunteers, residents of "new regions" and "escaped orphans" are invited to air. The program is scheduled to be launched in September. It is planned to air on weekdays, Monday to Friday, with a one-hour duration per episode. At the same time, the proposal to take part in the program was perceived negatively by mobilized soldiers’ wives.

The authorities of the Belgorod region refused to restore the houses of wealthy locals, damaged as a result of strikes. Governor of the region Vyacheslav Gladkov said the authorities had taken on "increased obligations" to support middle- and low-income residents instead.

The 7x7 media outlet visited the "Special Picnic Operation"—an event for the families of participants in the war in Ukraine held by the wife of Governor of the Chelyabinsk region Irina Teksler.

The Lyudi Baikala [People of Baikal] independent media outlet told the story of the Skripinsky family, who used to live in the Luhansk region until 2014. Their son Ilya signed a contract with the Ministry of Defense, and in February 2022 his military unit was sent to Belgorod. On Apr. 2, he entered the territory of Ukraine, and a month later, at the age of 21, he was killed.