mobilization briefs
July 8, 2023

Mobilization in Russia for Jul. 6-7, 2023 CIT Volunteer Summary

Authorities and Legislation

The Ministry of Defense has prepared a bill to amend the law on the rights and responsibilities of military personnel, which would expand the list of gross disciplinary offenses. The proposed additions include cases, where a commander fails to take measures to uphold the rights and freedoms of servicemen, where they give orders without ensuring adequate supply of materiel, or when any serviceman interferes with or disobeys the military police.

The explanatory note accompanying the bill acknowledges the widespread nature of such violations. In particular, its authors mention financial issues to sufficiently cover operational expenses, organizational issues to maintain weapons and equipment in working order, systematic monetary extortion by commanders, failures to uphold the rights of servicemen and engaging them in work during off-duty hours.

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

Companies, which are unaffiliated with the Ministry of Defense, have started to advertise contract-based military service on Russian job searching portals. The Vyorstka media outlet reports that the Ministry is asking Russian companies to send their own employees to the front. Since there are few volunteers, these companies are recruiting externally in order to fulfill the request. They are even willing to supplement the military pay with their own funds.

Earlier, the media outlet reported that Moscow authorities were offering state contracts to property developers, if they found volunteers among their employees to send to the  "special military operation" zone. A source of the VChK-OGPU Telegram channel [the name is a reference to the VCHK and OGPU, which were the intelligence and state security services in the early Soviet Union] corroborated this claim. They said the city government had unofficially instructed large building companies operating in the region to pay salaries (up to 500,000 rubles [$5500] per month) to people who enlist in Moscow.

The press service of the courts of the Tyumen region calls on criminals to enter into contracts with the Ministry of Defense. They promise exemption from punishment for signing a contract. As an example, a 27-year-old driver with two previous convictions for drunk driving is mentioned. For the latest incident of driving under the influence of alcohol, he faced a real prison sentence, but because he decided to go to war, the court released him from serving the punishment.

Mobile recruitment centers for contract service have appeared in the center of Khabarovsk and near the venue of the Outline music festival, which takes place 90 km from Moscow from Jul. 6 to 9. According to one of the festival attendees, the organizers told him that the tent is a "necessary measure."

A large banner advertising the contract service appeared in the city of Bolshoy Kamen in the Primorsky region. Employees of a kindergarten in Osinniki, Kemerovo region, are forced to call people and invite them to the military commissariat [enlistment office] to clarify their personal information. In Nizhnevartovsk, audio advertisements for the contract service appeared in one of the elevators.

Mobilized Soldiers and Volunteer Fighters

New names of mobilized troops have been added to the list of casualties sustained by Russia: Konstantin Bogdanov and Nikolay Korolyov from the Irkutsk region, Ivan Slyusarev from the Volgograd region, Konstantin Koppert from the Novosibirsk region, Valentin Nechiporuk and Daniil Kuchugurny from the Chukotka autonomous region [Russia’s federal subject], Andrey Bykov from the Kostroma region, Vladimir Avramenko from the Bryansk region , Dmitry Dyachenko from the Khanty-Mansi autonomous region–Yugra [Russia's federal subject], Sergey Savenkov from the Saratov region, Sergey Nagaev from Buryatia [Russia's constituent republic], Ilnar Khatmullin and Arsen Khaysarov from Bashkiria [Russia's constituent republic], as well as Oleg Belbasov, Ivan Turov, Aleksandr Usov, and Yevgeny Nikolayev from Tatarstan [Russia's constituent republic].

Based on open sources, Mediazona, jointly with BBC News Russian and a team of volunteers, managed to confirm the identity of 27,423 Russian soldiers killed in the war against Ukraine. Over the last week, 622 new names have been added to the list of casualties.

Mobilized members of the 394th Regiment and their families launched video appeals, reporting that the soldiers had been fighting at the frontline near the village of Novodarivka, Zaporizhzhia region, for 23 days in a row. The appeals reveal the lack of artillery support, munitions, medicines, food and water. Out of the 106 men deployed initially, only 40 remained in the ranks. Eventually they had to withdraw, but the command ordered them to return to their positions. The soldiers claim to have spent 10 months without a break in the war zone.

Women from different Russian regions recorded a video appeal to Putin, urging him to legally establish a maximum six-month rotation term for mobilized personnel and rotate draftees who had remained along the frontlines for more than eight months. The women went on to suggest that members of Russian law enforcement should be deployed to the war zone as a replacement.

A criminal case has been initiated against the Chechen policemen who tortured servicemen with electricity and extorted money from them. In May 2023, the policemen arrested three servicemen, put them in a car, took away their phones by force and, having delivered them to the station, started beating and torturing them, demanding to give in their bank card details.

A mobilized man from Saint Petersburg is getting no medical care after two severe concussions and is to be sent back to the frontline. Meanwhile, a mobilized from Khimki, Moscow region, has been finally returned back home from the frontline. His family has been struggling for it since April.

A volunteer fighter from Ufa, Bashkiria, said that he was no longer getting payments from the republic. He had been serving for more than six months but never got the second payment of 200,000 rubles [$2192]. The man notes that he was last paid by the republic in spring. Other fighters of the battalion also ended up in that situation.

The mobilized from Bashkiria, Saratov and Mari El have returned to their duty locations after a vacation. Meanwhile, in the Vladimir region, 65 volunteer fighters have set off for war. Volunteer fighters have set off from the Nizhny Novgorod region as well.

Sentences, Legal Proceedings, and Incidents

The Voyennye Advokaty [Military Lawyers] Telegram channel has published a material on the enforcement of the criminal code article on failure to comply with an order. This article was rarely enforced at the beginning of the war. Those who refused to go to the combat area would be dismissed for breaching the contract. The article has been actively enforced since the mobilization was declared.

Court sentences have been issued to two military personnel from Kamchatka. One of them failed to report for duty on Mar. 1 and was found guilty of unauthorized absence during the mobilization period. The court sentenced him to five years in a maximum security penal colony. The other individual refused to go to war and was convicted for failure to execute orders. He was sentenced to two years and three months of imprisonment.

In the occupied Donetsk region, military police stormed the apartment of a mobilized soldier's wife who did not return to his unit after being in the hospital. Three policemen forcibly held the woman in the presence of her children while the fourth searched for her husband.

The Chita Garrison Military Court reviewed the criminal case of Senior Sergeant Igor Demikhov, who was accused of fraudulently obtaining payments. The sergeant claimed that his injury, sustained during a fight with a fellow soldier, was received at the "special military operation." Demikhov was sentenced to three years of probation and fined 300,000 rubles [$3200].

A resident of Simferopol, born in 1998, has been arrested on suspicion of sabotage on the railway tracks in the Bakhchysarai district, Crimea. According to intelligence services, the young man allegedly traveled to Odesa after the full-scale war began, where he was supposedly recruited by the Main Directorate of Intelligence of Ukraine. It is claimed that he underwent reconnaissance and sabotage training before being sent to Crimea.

Former head of the Stavropol Regional Ministry of Ethnicity Affairs and Cassackdom Aleksandr Pissarenko is behind bars. Prosecution alleges that in 2022 he signed contracts with entrepreneurs to supply goods for participants of the invasion into Ukraine at inflated prices. The difference between the total market value of the items and their procurement cost amounted to 76 million rubles [$800,000].

At a training ground near Chelyabinsk, drunken soldiers beat up a policeman. Meanwhile in the town of Otradny, Samara region, a brawl erupted between men in military uniform and local residents.


According to Saint Petersburg vice-governor Valery Moskalenko, the Zaschitniki Otechestva [Fatherland Protectors] charity fund assisted three "special military operation" veterans in receiving prosthetics and provided 30 psychological consultations to soldiers and their relatives. In Krasnoyarsk, military families were taken on a tour of the city’s Central Park. A pub in Ulyanovsk became the latest site to raise money for "special military operation" participants.

In Irkutsk, the city’s transportation agency, Ikrutskgortans, prepared 10 UAZ vehicles to be taken to the front and 20 tons of additional aid has been received by a collection point run by the United Russia party [Putin’s ruling party]. The administration of the city of Dzerzhinsk in the Nizhny Novgorod region reported sending a shipment to the military. The Leningrad region sent, among other things, power generators, anti-drone guns, digital radios, and camouflage nets to the front. The Kaliningrad region provided the military with two UAZ vehicles and medical items. The Novosibirsk region dispatched three quadricycles with trailers to the front. Tula region Governor Aleksey Dyumin sent local draftees all-terrain vehicles, quadricycles, speed boats, etc. Samara region Governor Dmitriy Azarov sent 12 vehicles with cranes and spare parts to the military. 130 tons of aid has been sent to the front by the Nasledie [Heritage] Center as part of the Nasledie Donbassa [Donbas Heritage] charity program.

Sevastopol to Warriors Z movement volunteers made 100 camouflage nets for Russian servicemen. During the academic year, schoolchildren actively helped them. Meanwhile, residents of the Luga town, Leningrad region, made a mobile bathhouse for the soldiers.


A "lesson of courage" was held at the Beryozka children's summer camp in Saratov. Men in Cossack uniforms showed the children weapons, bulletproof vests, and a "mobile museum of the special military operation." A similar event was held at Gymnasium No. 7, called a "children's party." During the "party," children were forced to record video greetings for the soldiers.


The Idel.Realii [part of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty] online media outlet has prepared an article in which stories of relatives of the mobilized soldiers are given. They complain about difficulties in obtaining compensation, incorrect diagnoses for the wounded, and the continued use of injured soldiers on the frontline.

RIA Novosti [Russian state-owned news agency] reports that two large assault landing ships are fully prepared to transport vehicles across the Kerch Strait if the traffic situation worsens near the Crimean Bridge. One of the ships has already arrived in Kerch.