mobilization briefs
June 20, 2023

Mobilization in Russia for June 18-19, 2023 CIT Volunteer Summary

Authorities and Legislation

State Duma [lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia] members prepared amendments to the second reading of the bill on exempting mobilized and contracted servicemen who have committed minor or moderate crimes from criminal liability. If the law is adopted with these amendments, its rules will not apply to those convicted under the articles on sexual inviolability of minors, crimes against state power, terrorist acts, and hostage-taking. A full list of the articles proposed for exclusion can be found in the Vazhnyye Istorii [iStories, independent Russian investigative media outlet] article.

Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova stated that students participating in the war who study on a fee basis will be given a priority opportunity to transfer to free education. All other war participants will be given the opportunity to enroll in universities through a special quota system, as well as the right to study for free in preparatory departments.

Chairman of the State Duma Vyacheslav Volodin urged the recent emigrants to return to Russia. According to him, more than half of the Russians who had fled the country since February 2022 have already returned, with many more on their way. Volodin also warned that there might no longer be such a possibility in the future.

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising 

With less than a month left before the end of the spring conscription campaign, draft boards and military commissariats [enlistment offices] are working at the limit of their capacity striving to enroll the targeted number of conscripts. This prompted the Voyennye Advokaty [Military Lawyers] project to prepare comprehensive "Guidance on How to Appeal a Conscription Order in The New Reality." 

The military service recruitment center for contract service in Saratov urges women to sign contracts with the Ministry of Defense. The message notes that they can apply for positions "that can be filled by female candidates." The most in-demand professions are those of medical workers, but as noted, the list of specialties is much broader.

The Wagner Group has posted an advertisement for the position of a UAV operator. Among the requirements for candidates are: age 21-35, proficient computer skills, and good physical fitness. The job posting states that prior military service experience is not required, and "experience in controlling flight simulators with joysticks" and an interest in computer games would be a plus for employment.

Mobilized Soldiers and Volunteer Fighters

The lists of those mobilized soldiers killed in the war were supplemented by Aleksande Chuprasov from the Tver region, Yevgeny Razuvayev and Viktor Mazantsev from Buryatia [Russia’s constituent republic], Andrey Pavlov from the Leningrad region, Nikolay Kizilov from the Khanty-Mansi autonomous region [Russia’s federal subject], and Boris Gorenkov from the Rostov region.

The Mozhem Ob'yasnit [We can explain] Telegram channel estimates that mafia heavyweights from at least 10 criminal organizations across Russia were killed in the war with Ukraine. Journalists published a map showing the geographical distribution of criminal clans whose members participated in the war.

The Wall Street Journal managed to speak with several Russian soldiers who surrendered in the early days of the Ukrainian offensive. Meduza [an international Russian-language online media outlet] translated these conversations. For instance, a captive from the Storm Z unit revealed that despite being severely wounded, he was ordered to return to the frontline, with commanding officers warning that the barrier troops would open fire if their unit left their positions without orders. Another prisoner spoke about the low morale within his unit and the fear of persecution upon his return to Russia as part of an exchange. We remind you to exercise caution when interpreting the statements of prisoners of war.

According to the calculations of the Vazhnyye Istorii [iStories, independent Russian investigative media outlet], more than 9,000 new recipients of pensions for the loss of a breadwinner were registered by the Russian Ministry of Defense in 2022. Almost all of them are the relatives of those who were killed in the war against Ukraine. The leaders in terms of pension recipients are Russia’s constituent Republic of Tuva, which takes the first place on this measure, as well as the Ural and Far Eastern Federal Districts [groupings of Russia’s constituent entities created to monitor and ensure federal control over those entities]. However, the actual number of those killed is much higher, as the pension statistics include data only on those relatives who managed to go through all bureaucratic procedures and finalize all the documents. In addition, according to the Federal Registry of Disabled People, from Feb. 24, 2022, to May 2023, almost 4,500 individuals who returned from the war were granted military disability status.

Salary payments to a mobilized man from Belgorod were suspended when he was hospitalized. During one of the assaults, he sustained a head injury and started experiencing "severe headaches." Doctors within his military unit did not document the injury, and the mobilized soldier continued his service. Returning home on leave, he was admitted to a local hospital. Since then, he has not received any salary payments. Military commanders had promised cash payments, but only to assault participants.

The Astra media outlet released the first video from an illegal basement in Rozsypne (in the occupied Luhansk region), where Russian servicemen who refuse to fight are held. This is the fifteenth basement or camp for refuseniks uncovered by Astra journalists in the occupied territories. Servicemen there sit and sleep on planks or directly on concrete, using plastic bottles as makeshift toilets. Their relatives complained to the military prosecutor’s office. The prosecutor’s response referred to the basement as an "assembly point for servicemen, who have temporarily lost combat readiness," where they participate in "preventive and educational activities for informational and explanatory purposes." The prosecutor’s office deemed the existence of the basement in compliance with the legislation of the Russian Federation.

The mayor of Alapayevsk, who was planning to leave for the war, became advisor to the governor of the Sverdlovsk region. Earlier, the former mayor announced that he was ready to go to the war zone together with his sons, but eventually, only his eldest son did leave.

Sentences, Legal Proceedings, and Incidents

Three relay cabinets were set on fire on a railway in Moscow. The fire started at night near the railroad tracks along the Varshavskoye Highway. Reportedly, all three cabinets were previously broken open. At the moment no arrests have been made.

A railroad track box together with wires and a wooden crosstie caught fire in Udmurtia, on the Kichevo-Bugrysh stretch, not far from the village of Sundukovo. The fire which delayed five trains was likely caused by arson.

The URA.RU (Russian news agency) reports that the headquarters of one of the divisions of the Central Military District burned down as a result of the fire in the Yelan garrison. However, the EAN’s (Russian online media) source denied that the headquarters burned down completely. According to him, the fire started in the office of the division commander, but was ultimately extinguished, the building itself survived, and nobody got hurt.

A mobilized soldier wounded his comrade as a result of improper handling of a firearm. The incident took place in the border area of the Kursk region. The private had not put his combat arm on safe when executing the training command ‚Äėlock and load‚Äô and fired a shot when taking up station, wounding his comrade in the "right ischiatic area."


Putin’s established Fatherland Defenders Foundation will spend 97% of the money received from the budget for wages, organizational expenses and technical facilities. From the grant’s total amount of 1.314 billion rubles [$15.7 million], 1.085 billion rubles [$12.9 million] will be spent for those purposes, as stated in the financial feasibility study. The fund is planning to spend only 40 million rubles [$477 thousand] for its direct functions, which is 3% of the grant.

The regions continue to send aid to so-called "special military operation" zone. Military equipment and 30 vehicles were handed over to the troops from Buryatia. The government press service of the republic reported the collection of voluntary contributions to support the servicemen in the "special military operation" zone, totaling over 281 million rubles [$3,512,500]. New equipment and spare parts were also sent from Tatarstan [Russia’s constituent republic]. The Mordovian branch of the "Russian Peace Fund" donated equipment worth over 120 million rubles [$1,5 million], and the Krasnodar region provided uniforms worth 2 million rubles [$25,000].

The Russian-appointed head of occupied Crimea, Sergey Aksyonov, reported on the shipment of medicines, food, and essential supplies. Similar cargoes were also sent from the Omsk and Kaluga regions.

Pro-war volunteers in Moscow are putting up calling residents to join them in the manufacture of stretchers for wounded soldiers. Meanwhile, in Kaluga, residents are invited to take part in a camouflage nets weaving campaign.

Kurgan State University will allocate a separate quota for applicants whose parents participate in the "special military operation." Children whose parents were killed, wounded, injured, contused or got the disease during the "special military operation," are claimed to be able to enter without exams.


In Nizhny Novgorod, students were evicted from their dormitory to accommodate participants in the war with Ukraine. The military men began to be accommodated in the dorm on Jun. 15. One of the students of Minin University reported that on the public page of Governor Gleb Nikitin on the VKontakte social network. Officials responded that the dormitory would become a temporary accommodation facility for volunteer fighters going to war. It was chosen because of "the most favorable location." The authorities promise that the point will work only during the holidays, and students will be relocated to other dormitories.

In the Kursk region, local schoolchildren are being actively involved in weaving camouflage netting. These events are organized by the Dvizheniye Pervykh [Movement of the First, youth movement in Russia, created in 2022 at the initiative of Russia's leadership] activists and are called "Helping Our Guys. Weaving for Our SMOwn." [reference to the "special military operation"]

In the community center of Karkalei village, Nizhny Novgorod region, the Yuniy Patriot [Young Patriot] club held an event to support the war, where children were posing with posters and Russian flags against the background of military service advertisement.


A monument to the crew of theSpasatel Vasily Bekh rescue tug has been unveiled on the territory of the Russian Navy base in Sevastopol. The rescue tug sank on Jun. 17, 2022, near Snake Island as the result of an attack by Ukrainian Naval Forces. The Russian authorities did not report the loss of the ship. According to the Agentstvo.Novosti [Agency news] Telegram channel sources, 7 civilian and 4 military crew members died. One of the surviving civilian crew members complains that there is no compensation due to the absence of a presidential decree regarding social guarantees for the civilian personnel of the Ministry of Defense.

The Heroes of the "Special Military Operation" exhibition will be opened in Perm. It will consist of 20 graphic novels about the exploits of "special military operation" participants. According to the organizers (Synergy University), the exhibition aims to demonstrate how Russian soldiers "save civilians."