mobilization briefs
July 28, 2023

Mobilization in Russia for July 26-27, 2023 CIT Volunteer Summary

Authorities and Legislation

The Defense Committee of the Federation Council [upper house of the Federal Assembly of Russia] unanimously supported the laws on raising the upper age limit for conscription to 30 years and on banning people who have received draft notices from traveling abroad. Meanwhile, the Constitutional Legislation Committee of the Federation Council supported amendments to the law on toughening legal responsibility for violating military registration requirements. See our previous summary for more details on these laws.

The State Duma [lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia] Defense Committee approved an amendment that would allegedly prohibit lawyers from providing assistance to citizens filing complaints in military commissariats [enlistment offices]. To do this, the State Duma members replace the words "authorized representative" with "legal representative." However, Senator Andrey Klishas said that it is necessary to read this amendment carefully, as there can be no law prohibiting citizens from receiving legal assistance, as it would contradict the Constitution.

It is worth noting that, according to a lawyer from the Prizyv k Sovesty [Peace Plea, Prizyv also alludes to military conscription] project, which assists conscripts and mobilized men, journalists misinterpreted the adopted amendment. The legal aid for conscripts remains available despite the reports. Human rights organization Shkola Prizyvnika [Conscript School] also shares this opinion.

Citing three speakers from the State Duma, RBC [Russian media group] reported that State Duma members have been notified that they obtain permission from Russia's Ministry of Defense Sergei Shoigu and General Valery Gerasimov, Chief of the General Staff of the RuAF, before visiting military units in the zone of combat activities in Ukraine. In particular, State Duma members have been prohibited from visiting military units and meeting with the personnel, while they will still be able to visit Russian-annexed territories and deliver aid to the military if they meet with them on "neutral territory." One of the reasons for that may be the personnel's “disapproval of self-promotion in the frontilne zone.”

The Liberal Democratic Party of Russia is proposing to introduce a progressive tax deduction for high-tech medical treatment for war participants. The draft law has already been submitted to the Russian government for review.

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

In our summary on July 26, we reported about the resumption of military training sessions for residents of the Tyumen region, which are scheduled to take place from August to September in the Omsk region. However, the military commissariat in the Omsk region and the district draft offices were not aware of such arrangements.

In the city of Yekaterinburg, summons to report to draft offices for a military service register data check-up have once again been sent out. One of these summons was found in the mailbox of a reserve lieutenant, who is a father of three children.

Another group of 27 volunteer fighters from the city of Vladimir has been sent to the war zone. A 64-year-old resident of the Novosibirsk region has joined as a volunteer fighter, and Andrey Panfyorov, First Deputy Chairman of the Legislative Assembly of the Novosibirsk region, who had previously participated in the war as the commander of the Vega volunteer battalion, expressed his desire to return to the combat zone. He plans to create yet another volunteer battalion.

Mobilized Soldiers and Volunteer Fighters

The list of mobilized soldiers killed in the war has been updated to include Azamat Hasenov from the Omsk region, Rifat Muhamadiev from the Perm region, Dmitry Borisov and Pavel Zolotukhin from Buryatia [Russia's constituent republic], Aleksandr Shpuy from the Altai region [Russia’s federal subject], Vitaly Yershov from the Sverdlovsk region, and Ivan Rychkov from the Kirov region.

In the territory of a military unit in Aleysk, Altai region, a 47-year-old warrant officer, being intoxicated by alcohol, had a conflict with a 53-year-old fellow officer, having a previous criminal record. The latter stabbed the warrant officer twice with a knife. The victim was delivered to a hospital and the attacker was arrested.

100 servicemen from Ingushetia [Russia’s constituent republic], preparing to be sent to the frontline from Crimea, are complaining about having no gear, with only one week left before deployment. Some of the soldiers had to incur debts to provide themselves with the most necessary things.

Fighters of the First Battalion of the 70th Regiment have recorded a video to complain about their commander, Lieutenant Colonel Ivan Kleshcherev. According to the servicemen, they are not getting rotations and are frequently sent into assaults. This regiment’s leadership only grants home leaves to servicemen for 100,000 rubles [$1,103] per person and rear leaves for 50,000 rubles [$551].

Aleksandr Bikulov, a serviceman from Stary Oskol, was heavily wounded right after being deployed to the combat zone, resulting in the implantation of a titanium nail in his thigh bone. Now he cannot run and requires additional surgery. Bikulov tried to prove that he was unfit for combat tasks. Despite that, he was sent to the Luhansk region. According to Aleksandr’s father, after his son's case gained public attention, he was "put under arrest in a dugout" and his phone was confiscated.

Maxim Ivanov, member of the State Duma from the Sverdlovsk region, reported that a soldier from the region was mistakenly accused of going AWOL. The serviceman went on leave in May, but during his absence, he was reassigned to another unit without notification. After his leave, the man returned to his old unit, only to later discover that a criminal case was initiated against him under Article 337 of the Russian Criminal Code. Additionally, Ivanov mentioned a mobilized soldier who has not yet received any service pay. The MP sent a request to the Chief Military Prosecutor’s Office, asking them to clarify the situation.

Sentences, Legal Proceedings, and Incidents

In Samara, cases involving military commissariat employees and intermediaries who helped conscripts to evade statutory military service and mobilization have been brought to court. The cost of this "service" was 500,000 rubles [$5,554] per person. It is reported that the group members managed to earn over 10 million rubles [$111,086] before they were arrested.

In the suburbs of Melitopol, two volunteers delivering aid to Russian soldiers were killed. According to members of volunteer groups, one of the servicemen they were assisting shot the volunteers inside their vehicle. The shooter was under the influence of alcohol.

In March 2023, the Blagoveshchensk Military Garrison Court sentenced a 39-year-old war veteran Sergey Gorbushin to 13 years of imprisonment. He was charged with multiple criminal offenses, including rape, production of pornography involving minors, and sexual violence. Gorbushin committed these crimes in 2019, 2020, and 2022.

The Moscow Garrison Military Court ordered four years of suspended imprisonment for contract soldier Dmitry G. for going AWOL. In December 2022, G. abandoned his unit and disappeared for almost two months, only to return to duty in February 2023. During the trial, the 25-year-old defendant fully admitted his guilt and expressed remorse.

The Volgograd Regional Court upheld the decision of the draft office to send 21-year-old Anton Kuznetsov to a military collection point without a full medical examination. Having spent three days at the collection point, Kuznetsov was forcibly transferred to the military unit. Meanwhile, the Vladimir Regional Court upheld the ruling of the Suzdal District Court, declaring mobilization of a 36-year-old father of three Mikhail Kornilov fully legitimate. In response to a complaint raised by Kornilov's wife, the draft office alleged that Kornilov had volunteered to go fight in Ukraine.

Two individuals were sentenced to 15 years in a maximum security penal colony on charges of spying for Ukraine. They were arrested by the FSB [Federal Security Service] in 2022 on suspicion of espionage, involvement in the killing of members of Russian Armed Forces and destruction of military vehicles. The names of the convicted offenders, as well as the details of the court that passed the verdict, are not disclosed.

The Investigative Committee opened criminal proceedings against a 17-year-old boy for planning a terrorist attack. The committee argues that the teenager planned to blow up a gas pipeline facility. To that end, he allegedly researched online resources providing information on home-made explosives as well as maps showing location of gas stations and storage facilities in Moscow. The teenager is claimed to have eventually purchased explosive substances, which led to his arrest and a search at his place of residence.

New criminal charges have been launched against 24-year-old Polina Yevtushenko, who was arrested in Samara for "intended treason." Earlier, the girl was arrested for allegedly persuading an acquaintance to join the "Freedom of Russia Legion." On July 25, new charges were brought against her, accusing her of making calls for terrorism based on her social media posts expressing support for the "Legion," which fights on the side of Ukraine against Russia. Meanwhile, in the Bryansk region, a man was detained after attempting to leave for Ukraine to fight against Russia. A criminal case has been initiated on grounds of high treason.

The FSB reports having detained a Russian soldier allegedly recruited by Ukrainian intelligence services. Two improvised explosive devices equivalent to one kilogram of TNT have been seized. The detained is also suspected of having passed top-secret information to Ukraine. The FSB is going to initiate criminal cases on the charges of an act of terror, illegal trafficking of explosives, high treason, and divulgence of state secrets. The soldier may be facing a life sentence.

The case against teacher Boris Goncharenko and his friend Bogdan Abdurakhmanov, who were arrested in Krasnodar in the fall of 2022 on suspicion of arson of the draft office in Goryachiy Klyuch on the night of Oct. 6, has been submitted to the court. Initially, the men were charged of attempted property damage through arson, however later, the charges were requalified to an act of terror committed in a group.

The man who detonated a grenade in a residential building in Rostov-on-Don turned out to be a private of the 103rd Motorized Rifle Regiment. Three grenades, ammunition rounds, two grenade primers, two bayonets, and a Kalashnikov assault rifle magazine were found in his apartment. All that was illegally taken away from the Kuzminka training ground in the Rostov region.

In the Khabarovsk military court, Vladimir Zolotaryov accused of committing a terrorist attack by setting fire to the door of the building of Rosgvardia [the National Guard of Russia] made his statement. The man claimed that he "wanted to show people that they were not alone in resisting invasion." A representative of Rosgvardia insisted that as a result of the fire, the door burned down, the facade was damaged, and a CCTV camera was destroyed. Zolotaryov is now obliged to compensate the state for damages in the amount of more than 500,000 rubles [$5,500].

Independent Russian media outlet Mediazona released an article about 19-year-old Valeria Zotova from Yaroslavl, who was sentenced to six years in prison for an attempted act of terror. In December 2022, an unknown man nicknamed "Andrey from the SBU [Security Service of Ukraine]" wrote to her. A few months later, Andrey promised her $2,000 for setting fire to a local administration building. Mediazona called "Andrey from the SBU", analyzed the young woman's correspondence and came to the conclusion that Zotova's case is built upon the provocation by Russian law enforcement.

Since the war began, at least 113 military commissariats, law enforcement offices, and administrative buildings have been attacked. These actions are officially called "acts of terror," but not all people accused of these acts are charged with relative articles of the Criminal Code. Dozens of people have been arrested for arson, and many of them have already been sentenced. Mediazona studied all known cases and court decisions but did not find a unified practice among law enforcement officials. For the same actions, a person can be prosecuted under the article on acts of terror or under lighter charges. The range of punishments varies from one and a half years of probation to 19 years in prison.


Authorities of the Nizhny Novgorod region signed 10,500 "military social contracts" for almost a billion rubles [$11 mln]. As part of the contract, mobilized soldiers’ families are compensated for 50% of utility bills. In addition, monthly payments of 10,000 rubles [$110] for pregnant women and for each child in the family, as well as other material assistance are provided.

A resident of Arkhangelsk handed over his armored UAZ-3163 Patriot SUV to Russian servicemen. The widow of a killed soldier from the Nizhny Novgorod region transferred more than 600,000 rubles [$ 6,600] for the needs of the front. Deputy Vladimir Serikov from Lipetsk sent gear and equipment worth more than 2 million rubles [$22,000] to the war zone. Head of the occupied Crimea Sergey Aksyonov handed over two KAMAZ trucks, tyres and thermal imaging monoculars to the frontline.


Current leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia [right-wing populist and ultranationalist political party] Leonid Slutsky announced the opening of the Young Military Correspondent School on Aug. 2. It is open to young people between the ages of 16 and 35. Active war correspondents will teach newcomers online to "operate with facts, understand the current agenda, and immerse themselves in real work."

In the village of Petrovka, Omsk Region, children sew "talismans" for Russian servicemen in the form of hearts with the letter Z, weave camouflage nets, and collect aid for them.


The 7Ń…7.Gorizontalnaya Rossiya [7Ń…7. Horizontal Russia] media outlet reports how the Territorial Defense Forces, which some Russian governors have been forming since 2022, have changed from pro-government "patriotic" associations to military state enterprises.