mobilization briefs
July 7, 2023

Mobilization in Russia for Jul. 5-6, 2023 CIT Volunteer Summary

Authorities and Legislation

Belgorod region Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov has announced that Territorial Defense fighters positioned along the border will soon receive arms. He said the weapons would be handed over "per existing legislation" but declined to provide further details. He previously mentioned that regional authorities seek a "legal basis" to arm the Territorial Defense Forces. The governor also reported that the Belgorod Territorial Defense currently has 3,000 members. Moreover, the formation of another regiment of equal strength is underway.

Head of the Russian Traffic Police Mikhail Chernikov announced that starting Jul. 11, draft dodgers will not be able to take the driving test, renew their driver's license, or acquire a new one, as the agency now has access to the unified register of Russians subject to military service. However, as clarified by the Supreme Court, these restrictions apply only to individuals subject to regular biannual conscription.

Minister of Culture of Buryatia [Russia’s constituent republic] Soelma Dagaeva stated that mass celebrations in the republic would not be canceled during the war, as requested by surveyed military personnel. They do not want their loved ones to give up beauty pageants or sports competitions. Meanwhile, all event venues will soon have banners with QR codes and donation boxes set up to collect money for the war.

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

Irkutsk region Governor Igor Kobzev signed a law establishing 200,000 ruble [ $2,200] lump sum payments to participants in the war in Ukraine who sign contracts with the Russian Ministry of Defense. Supposedly, the payouts will start in August. In July 2022, the governor already instituted such payouts but they were stopped when a federal program that paid 195,000 rubles came into effect.

Authorities in the Irkutsk and Arkhangelsk regions announced departures of additional groups of contract service members to the combat zone. Both announcements contain no mention of how many soldiers were deployed. The web site points out that the average age of the Arkhangelsk volunteer fighters exceeds 45 years and that this is already the 14th such group departing the region.

In the Omsk region, women are being offered an opportunity to sign contracts with the Ministry of Defense. Ads to that effect have appeared in local public internet resources. In high demand are physicians, paramedics, nurses, and cooks.

Mobilized Soldiers and Volunteer Fighters

The following names have been added to the list of draftees killed in the war: Akop Serobyan from the Rostov region and Viktor Kazmin from the Krasnoyarsk region.

By applying statistical methods to the official excess deaths numbers published by Rosstat [Federal State Statistics Service], analysts from the Vazhnye Istorii [Important Stories] news outlet estimated that at least 18,000 men had been lost in the war for the year of 2022.

Ussuriysk draftees serving in the 83rd Air Assault Brigade recorded a video address in which they told of the transfer of their unit on Jun. 11 from Enerhodar where they had been stationed since December to Klishchiivka, a village several kilometers south-west of Bakhmut, currently a site of fierce fighting. The soldiers complain about heavy losses due to poorly-managed retreat from the frontline where they spent 15 days under constant fire by the AFU. Currently, they are being deployed back to the frontline under orders to capture positions under AFU control. According to the soldiers, they are being threatened with transfer to a Storm Z unit formed out of convicts to which the soldiers refer as a "penal battalion." The men demand that they be brought back to the territory of the Russian Federation and their commanders investigated.

A similar appeal has been submitted by families of mobilized soldiers from the Altai region fighting within the 1442th Regiment. According to the families, the servicemen were sent to Klishchiivka, where their unit suffered severe losses. After retreating, a part of the mobilized was sent back to the frontline, another part to the military police in Svitlodarsk. Two days later, the latter were also sent to the frontline at Andriivka village (several kilometers south of Klishchiivka). The mobilized were complaining about the shortage of munitions and no leaves granted.

A Russian serviceman from the 387th Regiment based in the Kherson region has complained about the regiment’s servicemen having to spend 40 to 50 thousand rubles [~$500] from their monthly salary for outfits, food, and medicines due to short supplies. Furthermore, the outfits cost 20% more than in Russia, while card transfers are charged with 10% commission. The servicemen read online reports of aid supplied by volunteers but these supplies never reach them. The soldiers think that their commanders give the goods to local sellers, who sell them to servicemen and transfer a share of the profits to the commanders.

The Mozhem Ob'yasnit [We can explain] Telegram channel spoke to a mobilized air traffic controller Andrey K. from the city of Magadan who refused to go to the war based on his religious beliefs and was sentenced to two years and ten months in a penal settlement for "failure to comply with an order." According to K., no medical examination was conducted at the draft office, and the first draftees were deployed to the combat zone as early as just two days after mobilization. K. is currently in custody awaiting appeal, along with 15 other refuseniks.

Sentences, Legal Proceedings, and Incidents

The Barnaul Garrison Military Court convicted Junior Sergeant Aleksandr Kozlov to five years in a penal colony for going AWOL. Kozlov left his unit on Dec. 13, 2022 but returned on Feb. 26, 2023 when he found out that he was being looked for.

The Abakan Garrison Military Court ordered a five-year suspended sentence for Private Boris Sulekov for going AWOL from duty. The man fled from his unit on Dec. 22, 2022, only to return to the draft office on Feb. 22, 2023 when summoned by his command.

The Federal Security Service [FSB] has officially announced the arrest of a group of men in the Tyumen region who, according to the agency's version, were preparing a terrorist attack at a fuel and energy complex. One of the suspects was killed during the operation (we reported on this incident in yesterday's summary). The agency has also released a video recording from the scene. However, law enforcement officials have not presented any evidence of guilt against the detainees and the deceased individual.

Ivan Kudryashov from Tver, who was sentenced to six years in a maximum security penal colony for attempted arson at a military commissariat [enlistment office], has been on a hunger strike for 29 days. During this time, he has lost 13 kg. The administration of the detention center continues to refuse to provide him with vegan food and vitamins, and the head of the facility tore up Ivan's request for a personal meeting and went on vacation. The Tver Public Monitoring Commission has ignored requests to assess Ivan Kudryashov's condition.

A court in Saint Petersburg has kept 16-year-old teenager Yegor Balazeykin in pretrial detention. He is accused of attempted arson at a military commissariat. Despite his young age and a hereditary liver condition, the young man has been in detention for five months. According to journalists, representatives of law enforcement agencies have repeatedly offered Yegor a reduction in sentence in exchange for abandoning his anti-war stance. Balazeykin faces a prison term of 10 to 15 years on charges related to his case.

BBC News Russian has prepared a detailed material on the case of the Berdiansk Partisans—16-year-olds Tihran Ohanesian and Mykyta Khanhanov, initially arrested on suspicion of preparing to blow up a railroad, and killed on Jun. 24 in unclear circumstances. The bodies of the killed are still being kept away from their families.

Pardoned Wagner Group fighters get back to criminal activities, as the Vyorstka media outlet found out from the court database. Their committed crimes include homicides, armed hooliganism, grand thefts, and grievous bodily harm. The authorities are probably reluctant to attract attention to them, as there are no public reports of the new criminal cases on the official websites of law enforcement services or local media. On top of that, the presidential pardon totally cleaned up their biographies, so their old crimes would not influence their new sentences.

Sibir.Realii [part of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty] online media outlet tells the story of one such repeat offender, 31-year-old Demian Kevorkian. In 2016, he was sentenced to 18 years in prison for organizing a band having robberies and a homicide on its track record. After the war began, however, he first ended up in Ukraine within the Wagner Group and then in the Krasnodar region. He is now suspected of the murder of two entertainers: 37-year-old Kirill Chubko and 19-year-old Tatyana Mostyko.


Residents of the Gornomariysky district, Russia’s constituent republic of Mari El, have started weaving camouflage nets (previously they knitted warm clothes for servicemen). Meanwhile, the Committee of Fatherland Fighters’ Families in Samara has published a list of seven places in the Samara region where camouflage net weaving is done.

Employees of the Surgut administration handed over 260 parcels to the front, including food, hygiene products and vitamins. Meanwhile, members of the Khanty-Mansi Regional Duma [representative assembly] allocated 180 million rubles [$2 mln] for the purchase of special equipment for the participants in the war with Ukraine. The money was allocated from the Duma members’ funds, which are replenished from the district budget for the members to fulfill the orders of voters.

The special equipment confiscated from people engaged in illegal logging was sent from the Primorsky region to the combat zone. Earlier this measure was announced by the governor of the region.


The Vladimir branch of the Rokot Center private security company engaged in training participants in the invasion of Ukraine, organized a summer camp for children where they were taught to assemble and disassemble the AK-74 assault rifle, shoot various types of assault rifles and guns, provide first aid, camouflage themselves and survive in the forest.

Russia has deported more than 19,000 children from Ukraine. US journalists from The Atlantic, Vice News, CNN, as well as the OSCE and YSPH [Yale School of Public Health] experts conducted a series of investigations into the fate of Ukrainian children stolen by Russia. The Mozhem Ob’yasnit Telegram channel has collected the most important details of these investigations.