mobilization briefs
August 2, 2023

Mobilization in Russia for July 31-Aug. 1, 2023 CIT Volunteer Summary

Authorities and Legislation

Member of the State Council of Russia's constituent Republic of Tatarstan Eduard Sharafiev has introduced a federal bill to the Council regarding the term of service for mobilized soldiers. Previously, Sharafiev had proposed to declare a general mobilization in Russia. The deputy believes there needs to be either a general mobilization or "the establishment of specific service terms for the mobilized, for instance, one year."

Rosgvardia [the National Guard of Russia] proposes introducing monthly bonuses of 65% for employees working in the "new territories." An order to this effect, signed by Rosgvardia's head Viktor Zolotov is already drafted and is sent for discussion.

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

Vazhnyye Istorii [IStories, an independent Russian investigative media outlet] has published an investigative material detailing a scheme by Russian billionaires to send volunteer fighters to the war. Interested volunteers get employed at security companies associated with a billionaire's business. After that, they sign a contract with the Ministry of Defense. As a result, the volunteer fighter receives payments from both the Ministry and the company in the form of bonuses. This recruitment strategy is used by Oleg Deripaska's Rusal [Russia’s largest aluminum company], Leonid Mikhelson and Gennady Timchenko's Novatek [Russia's second-largest natural gas producer], Mikhail Gutseriev's Mospromstroy [Russia's construction company], and Sergei Gordeev's PIK [Russia's construction company]. This scheme is no different from those previously described by IStories and used by Moscow-based companies.

Aside from business people, regional authorities are also actively engaged in military recruitment. In particular, Governor of the Perm region Dmitry Makhonin posted a promotional video to his telegram channel featuring a woman who has enlisted and has urged other volunteer medical professionals to reach out to their local draft offices.

The court in the Khanty-Mansi autonomous region–Yugra [Russia's federal subject] recognized the right of draft offices to conscript men with draft deferral certificates. An employee of the Surgutneftegas company attempted to challenge the decision to call him for military service, citing the draft deferral certificate issued by the company and his health condition. The court additionally stated that the draft deferral certificate is not an absolute basis for granting draft exemption.

Mobilized Soldiers and Volunteer Fighters

The list of mobilized soldiers killed in the war has been updated to include Nikolay Kharchenko from the Samara region, Yevgeny Vasilyev from the Irkutsk region, as well as Anton Deev, Ranif Fetkullin, Stanislav Gureev, and Ilya Aleksandrov from the Sverdlovsk region.

According to the Astra Telegram channel, a conscript sustained a minor face injury during an attack on the village of Volfino in the Kursk region. Meanwhile, an activist from Ingushetia [Russia's constituent republic], Akhmed Sadakiev, reported that at least 13 conscripts from the republic have been sent to the border with Ukraine. He reached out to Head of Ingushetia Mahmud-Ali Kalimatov and the military commissioner of the republic requesting assistance for the soldiers.

A resident of Nizhnevartovsk appealed to Putin, asking him to help locate her mobilized son, whose death was reported to her on June 18. According to the woman, she has been told three different versions of her son's death during this time, but she has not received her son's body. In response to her requests for official information, all authorities have given dismissive replies.

Human rights activists from the Public Verdict Foundation have taken on the case of Aleksandr Samoylov, a mobilized soldier from the Irkutsk region, who was found hanged in the occupied territory of Ukraine. According to lawyer Yakov Iontsev, there has been no progress in the investigation. In a previous similar case, after the discovery of the mobilized soldier Viktor Petrov, who was hanged, the investigation also was not conducted until the case was made public.

A journalist of the Vyorstka media outlet has visited a village in the Lipetsk region where Olga Dzyubenko lives. She is a mother of five sons, of whom three went to fight against Ukraine, two of them have already been killed. Although the entire family keeps supporting the war, they are pleading for the third son to be brought back home. Olga has recorded a video address asking to help "reach out to the Commander-in-Chief and the Ministry of Defense" with her request to "bring the third son back to the family."

The family of a mobilized father of three from the Oryol region has recorded a video asking for help. The Mtsensk Draft Office previously refused to demobilize the man based on instructions of the General Staff regarding draft deferrals for fathers of three children. A draft office employee claimed that they operated under their own laws and were not bound by instructions of the General Staff.

The Sibir.Realii [part of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty] online media outlet collected stories of mobilized fathers of three who are denied demobilization. These fathers often did not receive paternity leaves and their families struggled to obtain their rightful payments. Public authorities either ignored or dismissively responded to their appeals, with some even suggesting placing their children in a temporary accommodation center for minors.

Draft Offices

Over the last two days, an outbreak of arson attacks on draft offices has spread across Russia. In our previous summary, we already reported four attempted arson attacks on draft offices in Severodvinsk, Kaluga, and two in Kazan (one of them on July 29). Furthermore, a whole new series of similar incidents has happened since then:

  • In Saint Petersburg, an elderly man set fire to the doors of the draft office on Tchaikovsky Street and then rammed the gates of the courtyard with his car. After being apprehended, it was revealed that the man had fallen prey to phone scammers. He is now charged with deliberate damage to property by arson. The man could face up to five years of imprisonment.
  • Also in Saint Petersburg, a woman attempted to set fire to the draft office of the Kronstadt and Kurortny districts on Volodarskogo Street. While talking on the phone, she tried to enter the building, but was stopped by a security guard who detected the smell of gasoline. During a search, two bottles containing flammable liquid were found in her bag.
  • In Mozhaysk, Moscow region, a woman attempted to set fire to the draft office after falling prey to phone scammers who told her that this action would distract a criminal who was allegedly processing a credit for her inside the draft office building. Now, a case has been filed against her under the article "Intentional destruction or damage to someone else's property out of molester motives."
  • In Podolsk, Moscow region, two elderly men threw a bottle with an incendiary mixture into a draft office. Police officers on duty nearby promptly apprehended them. It appears that, initially, one of the men was talking on the phone while the other was seemingly preparing to record the incident on camera, suggesting they were also in contact with scammers.
  • According to the Astra Telegram channel, on July 31, another attempted arson at a draft office took place in Podolsk. A 22-year-old restaurant employee was apprehended in connection with the incident.
  • On the evening of Aug. 1, in Moscow, a woman threw a Molotov cocktail at the door of a draft office in Kuzminki. She was detained by Rosgvardia.
  • A resident of Kopeysk, Chelyabinsk region set fire to a draft office after falling prey to scammers who had previously taken 2 million rubles [$21791] from her. She threw a bottle with an incendiary mixture through the window of a medical room. Shortly after, the police detained her.
  • Another draft office was set on fire by a 35-year-old resident of Verkhneuralsk, Chelyabinsk region. She threw a bottle containing an incendiary mixture through the building’s window. The suspect was detained by Rosgvardia officers.
  • In the village of Aginskoye, Zabaykalsky region [Russia’s federal subject], a 17-year-old girl attempted to set fire to a draft office because phone scammers convinced her to do so, claiming that a staff member was leaking information about "special military operation" participants from the region to the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU). A case of attempted intentional destruction or damage to property was opened against her. The girl is currently under a recognizance bond.
  • In the town of Rossosh, Voronezh region, a history teacher was detained after attempting to set fire to a draft office. She acted on the instructions of criminals who posed as law enforcement officers and informed her that a "swindler is in the draft office" and that a Molotov cocktail should be thrown into the building for his arrest.
  • In Omsk, a student attempted to set fire to a draft office because phone scammers convinced her that a bank branch where she had been issued a credit was located there. She was detained as she was about to ignite the Molotov cocktail.
  • An elderly woman from Moscow traveled to Volsk, Saratov region with the intention of setting fire to a draft office. She was persuaded to do so over the phone by an unknown individual whom she referred to as "sonny."
  • Unidentified man and woman threw Molotov cocktails at the draft office in Ulan-Ude. However, it is reported that the draft office moved to a different building a while ago. The arsonists haven’t been detained yet.
  • In Nizhnekamsk, Tatarstan, a woman attempted to set fire to a draft office. She was detained.
  • A 30-year-old woman tried to set fire to the draft office of the Aviastroitelny and Novo-Savinovskiy districts in Kazan. According to the reports, she was detained.
  • A woman tried to set fire to the door of the city draft office in Stavropol, as reported by region governor Vladimir Vladimirov. She was detained. According to preliminary information, she fell prey to scammers. No damage or injury was reported.

Thus, there have been at least 20 attempted arsons of draft offices lately. Meanwhile, most detained arsonists claim to have been forced to do it by scammers.

Sentences, Legal Proceedings, and Incidents

An unidentified male stabbed a man to death in a bar in Vladimir. The incident, which occurred on Jul. 31, was recorded by surveillance cams, and the video was posted in social media. Witnesses assert that the criminal was a veteran of the war in Ukraine. The man resisted the arrest by Rosgvardia. A murder investigation has been launched.

The District Military Court in Chita sentenced a serviceman to five years in prison for four months of AWOL and a drug purchase. Private Maksim Shubin did not return to his unit after taking a leave in September 2022 and remained absent till the end of January when he surrendered voluntarily. Besides, in December 2022, he bought drugs on the Internet.

The Tomsk Garrison Military Court sentenced Junior Sergeant Vitaliy Balashov to six years in prison for going AWOL. He left his duty station on June 16, 2022, and was arrested on March 3, 2023.

A serviceman who is a suspected rapist of a high school freshman girl was taken into custody by a court in Novosibirsk. The court did not disclose the name of the suspect or any details of the case.

The Federal Security Service (FSB) reported that a Togliatti resident was put into custody on charges of preparing to commit high treason. She had previously published instructions for soldiers on how to surrender to Ukrainian forces using the Hochu Zhit [I Want to Live] Telegram bot. Reportedly, the arrested person is 24-year-old Polina Yevtushenko, who was detained on July 13.

The FSB in the Amur region brought charges of high treason against Sergey Chunosov, a resident of Blagoveshchensk, on July 25, 2023, alleging that he planned to fight as part of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The man was previously arrested on July 17 for "disobedience" to police.

In Krasnodar, the first conviction for high treason was handed down. A former employee of the Ministry of Natural Resources of the Krasnodar region, 33-year-old Arthur Katrychko, was sentenced to 12 years in a maximum security penal colony. According to the FSB, he voluntarily worked for Ukrainian intelligence services using the call sign Archi.

Moscow City Court refused to consider the prosecution's appeal against the verdict of Moscow poet Vitaly Koltsov. The prosecutor's office demanded 19.5 years in a maximum security penal colony for him. Previously, he was sentenced to six years in a general regime penal colony for setting fire to a police van in central Moscow. Thus, the verdict came into force.


Maxim Ivanov, member of the State Duma from the Sverdlovsk region, reported on the sixth batch of aid sent from Yekaterinburg to servicemen in combat zones. Volunteers collected 10 tons of cargo, including a motorcycle.

The family of a resident of Sterlitamak, Bashkortostan [Russia's constituent republic], who was killed while delivering "humanitarian" aid to the frontline is seeking help from the authorities. The man was hired to ship the cargo to the occupied territories but he did not participate in the "special military operation," thus, his family is not entitled to compensation.

The Mediazona independent Russian media outlet published the story of Ekaterina Mikryukova, a 26-year-old doctor from Moscow, who left Russia due to persecution. We reported about Ekaterina's story in yesterday's summary.


The Mozhem Ob'yasnit [We can explain] Telegram channel analyzed the concept of the History of Russia module, which will become mandatory for studying in universities. At least 144 hours are allotted for studying the module. Its main idea is to justify the war in Ukraine in the eyes of the youth. Excerpts from the concept sections can be read here.

A 15-year-old teenager was sent to a hospital with fractures of the chest and ribs after training at the Ogonyok military-patriotic camp in Ulan-Ude. Now instructors trained at the Special Forces University in Chechnya [Russia's constituent republic] work with children in the camp during Time of the First military-sports patriotic shift.


Members of the European Parliament from Germany, Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain, Bulgaria and other countries proposed simplifying the visa policy for Russians who refuse to fight in Ukraine as well as reviewing the procedures for granting asylum. The corresponding appeal was previously submitted by the Vesna [Spring] youth democratic movement. It was signed by more than 70 organizations with an anti-war position, including CIT.


Before going into battle, Russian mobilized soldiers smoke each other with herbs and pine bark. They also read prayers, and carry icons and talismans with them. The Lyudi Baikala [People of Baikal] independent media outlet interviewed a dozen soldiers who shared the rituals they use at the frontline and their significance.