mobilization briefs
June 3, 2023

Mobilization in Russia for June 1-2, 2023 CIT Volunteer Summary 

Authorities and Legislation

The Ministry of Defense published and promptly removed from their site the report of the deputy head of the General Staff on mobilization. The report revealed the following:

  • During the mobilization, 300,000 people were drafted into the army. Almost 80,000 people have been mobilized from the "LPR" (it is unclear from the report whether they were included in the 300,000 or not). 280 new units were formed from the mobilized.
  • The Russian Army is experiencing issues with "part of society being reluctant to fulfill their military obligations." Also, there is a problem with the provision of weapons and equipment in the Russian Armed Forces. They rely on regions, state corporations and private companies to support gear supplies.
  • In 2022, more than 17 thousand volunteer fighters will go to the war. On top of this, the Ministry of Defense started to recruit security provider companies employees to join the war.
  • A digitalization of military commissariats [enlistment offices] is being piloted in the Odintsovo district of the Moscow region. Overall, the military commissariats have collected a database of 31.6 million people, 2.9 million of them who reached the age of conscription.
  • The government's reserve fund allocated 5 billion rubles [$61,881,000] to "incentivize" the staff of military commissariats.
  • In 2023, the General Staff of the Russian Army Forces plans to create two military districts (Moscow and Leningrad), a new combined arms and air army, one army corps, five divisions, and 26 brigades.

Member of the State Duma [lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia] Nina Ostanina has stated that people evading military service is one of the reasons why the law prohibiting gender marker changes in documents and sex reassignment surgery exists. According to Ostanina, this is how men try to avoid going to war.

The Voyennye Advokaty [Military Lawyers] project reminds that conscripts can be sent to perform tasks in armed conflicts (to participate in combat), despite the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces saying otherwise. However, this is possible only after they have served in the army for at least four months and have been trained in military specialties. Conscripts can also be transferred to a new place of service (for example, to border or occupied regions) without their consent. They can also be sent on a mission outside their permanent deployment location for up to 30 days, but sometimes this period can be extended up to 1 year. At the same time, conscripts cannot claim additional payments for injuries or death, if they are not located within combat zones.

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

The authorities of Kabardino-Balkaria [Russia's constituent republic] promised a sign-up bonus of 200,000 rubles [$2500] for residents of the republic who want to serve in the newly formed 40th Army Corps of the Russian Armed Forces. According to the regional military commissar, more than 30 people have already been sent there for service.

Mobile recruitment trucks for contract military service have been observed in Omsk and Abakan. Furthermore, advertising for the contract military service has appeared on utility bills in the Nizhny Novgorod region, as well as in the Leningrad and Krasnoyarsk regions.

Advertising for the contract military service has also appeared in an aqua park in Saint Petersburg. It promises volunteer fighters a one-time payment of 695,000 rubles [$8600]. Previously, the same aqua park introduced a special tariff for participants in the war with Ukraine.

Mobilized Soldiers and Volunteer Fighters

The lists of killed mobilized soldiers were supplemented by Vladimir Yakimov from Volgograd, Andrey Baryshnikov and Ivan Danilchenko from the Volgograd region, Yevgeny Varavka from Crimea, Sergey Teryokhin from the Chelyabinsk region, Mikhail Akhmatov from the Irkutsk region, Artyom Mikhailov from the Novgorod region, Alexey Bogidayev from Buryatia, Arzhan (Aydurgan) Myshlakov from the Altai Republic, and Oleg Zverev from the Sverdlovsk region.

Mediazona [independent Russian media outlet] and BBC News Russian, together with volunteers, were able to confirm the deaths of 24,470 individuals in the war with Ukraine based on open sources, of which 2,329 were mobilized soldiers. Over the past week, the list of killed soldiers has increased by 465 names, including 36 mobilized men. The regions with the highest number of killed soldiers remain the Sverdlovsk, Chelyabinsk, and Volgograd regions, as well as Bashkortostan [Russia’s constituent republic] and Buryatia.

The third previously unknown burial site of those who were killed in Ukraine has been discovered near Irkutsk. The graves are located on the periphery of the cemetery in the town of Shelekhov, 20 kilometers away from Irkutsk. Among the 11 individuals whose graves were found in the cemetery, two served under contract, two were draftees, and two fought as part of the Wagner Group. It is not precisely known how the others ended up in the war. Only four of the buried individuals were on the list of the killed, maintained by journalists from the Lyudi Baikala [People of Baikal] independent media outlet.

The authorities of the "DPR" have failed to pay over 38 billion rubles [$475,000] in compensation for the injuries or deaths of local residents in the war in Ukraine since September 2022. Soldiers and their families are recording video appeals en masse expressing their complaints. A prosecutor's investigation revealed a lack of funding for these payments.

Sentences, Legal Proceedings, and Incidents

In the Ulyanovsk region, a 52-year-old woman set fire to a military commissariat. The incident occurred during the day in the town of Inza. The woman entered the foyer of the military commissariat and threw a bottle of flammable liquid onto the floor. A police officer on duty in the building quickly extinguished the fire and then apprehended the fleeing woman. She has been charged with attempted intentional destruction of property.

The Isilkul Town Court, Omsk region, has sentenced a former contract soldier to a fine of 25,000 rubles [$310] under a criminal case of violation of state secret protection requirements. After the man finished his service, he went to Kazakhstan twice. The ex-serviceman appealed his sentence but the appellate court has left it unchanged.

Four criminal cases initiated against servicemen charged with going absent without leave in the period of mobilization have been received at once in the Vladimir Garrison Military Court. According to the information from the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, one of them participated in the invasion of Ukraine as a member of the 1st Tank Army. Nothing is currently known about the other servicemen.

The prison term of Senior Lieutenant Dmitry Vasilets, who refused to fight in Ukraine, has been reduced by three months. Earlier on, he was sentenced to two years and five months in a penal colony for failure to execute the commander’s order given under the conditions of armed conflict or warfare. In February 2022, the man was sent to war, where he spent five months. He was then granted a two-week leave and went to Buryatia to visit the parents of his killed comrade-in-arms. He "accepted the philosophy of Buddhism" there and then decided not to participate in war. The defense claims that Vasilets demanded his transfer to an alternative civilian service and did not refuse to serve.


Acting Governor of the Krasnoyarsk region Mikhail Kotyukov has visited volunteers of the Shyom Dlya Nashikh [Sewing for our people] movement and brought them fabrics. Residents of the Kursk region have been urged to participate in a firewood collection campaign for war participants. The subbotnik [volunteer work Saturday] will be held on Jun. 3; the participants are asked to have chainsaws with them. Meanwhile, a foundation intended to support participants of the "special military operation" has opened in Ufa in the former location of a social support center where pensioners used to come with their complaints.

Russian military personnel returning from the war do not receive systematic psychological support from the state. However, some of them are assisted by volunteer psychologists. Vazhnye Istorii [iStories, independent Russian investigative media outlet] spoke with one of these specialists. Two to three weeks after being injured, the victims go through a "hero" phase, where they continue to yearn to return to the frontlines, but then this phase is replaced by severe depression. After depression, there is a risk of suicide. According to the specialist, without working with a psychologist, there is a high probability that those who have returned from war will develop PTSD.


Holod [independent Russian media outlet] tells the story of Perm School No. 12. It is one of the best schools in the city, where a student exchange program with Germany has been in place for over 25 years. The school administration tried to protect the students from military propaganda. However, in March 2023, during a German language exam, the Federal Security Service (FSB) employees came to the school for an inspection: they demanded the director to translate everything the students were saying, and the German teacher conducting the exam was deported from Russia. After attacks from the Prikamskiye Vityazi pro-war community due to the school administration's refusal to meet with veterans of the "special military operation," the school's board decided to cease the school's operations. We have repeatedly reported on the history of this school in our summaries.


Users of the Gosuslugi public services portal received emails offering them free access to the collection "Poetry of Russian Zummer" on Litres [Russia’s largest digital bookstore]. This collection features poems by contemporary Russian authors on the topic of the invasion of Ukraine. The poets incite hatred towards the people of Ukraine and promote participation in military actions.

The Sibir.Realii [part of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty] online media outlet spoke to Anton Bliznetsky, a resident of Chita. He has been fined nine times by the court, totaling 270,000 rubles [$3,375], for "discrediting the armed forces." In the interview, he talked about his attempts to dissuade others from going to military commissariats and participating in the war.

Journalists from Novaya Vkladka [New Tab] and ProSleduet Media [independent Russian media outlets] released a report on life in a settlement in the Suzunsky district of the Novosibirsk region. The former head of this district stood out by overfulfilling the mobilization plan, sending to war those who crossed her path or simply displeased her. Relatives of those mobilized wanted to submit a collective appeal to complain about the head of the district, but out of fear, they refused. In late October 2022, the woman was detained on suspicion of fraud and sent to pretrial detention, but was later released under house arrest.