mobilization briefs
June 26, 2023

Mobilization in Russia for Jun. 23-25, 2023 CIT Volunteer Summary

Yevgeny Prigozhin’s Armed Rebellion 

You can read about how the rebellion unfolded here and here, as well as in our sitrep for Jun. 23-24, and in tomorrow’s sitrep.

A "counter-terrorism operation regime" was declared on Jun. 24 in Moscow, as well as in the Moscow and Voronezh regions. Although it has been announced that the regime would soon be lifted, it is still being enforced. Meduza [international Russian-language online media outlet] explains in greater detail what the "counter-terrorism operation regime" entails.

On Jun. 25, authorities in the Lipetsk and Voronezh regions announced that Wagner Group mercenaries were leaving their regions.

Putin has signed a law allowing the detention of citizens violating the provisions of martial law for up to 30 days. The law also enables the conscription of convicts for contract service, and exonerates military personnel from criminal liability. The law had been previously approved by the State Duma and the Federation Council [the lower and upper houses of the Federal Assembly of Russia]. We have written about this subject in more detail in our previous summaries.

Russian President’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov has declared that the criminal charges against Yevgeny Prigozhin will be dropped, and that Prigozhin is to "depart" for Belarus. Wagner Group fighters who participated in the rebellion will not be prosecuted, due to their "substantial contributions on the frontlines."

Chairman of the Defense Committee of the State Duma Andrey Kartapolov stated that Russia needs a law to regulate the activities of private military companies. He also added that Wagner Group mercenaries "have not done anything reprehensible."

On Jun. 24, entry into the Rostov region was restricted from the Krasnodar, Stavropol, Volgograd and Voronezh regions, but there were no restrictions on exit. Security forces also blocked the road for exit from the town of Yefremov in the Tula region, located 320 km from Moscow, and temporarily limited transit passage from the Moscow and Lipetsk regions. In Moscow, the entrances to the city were partially blocked. A ban on vehicle movement was introduced in the Kaluga region. Similar measures were announced to be prepared in Moscow as well. In the Lipetsk region, excavators were used to dig up the road surface to block the movement of the Wagner Group. Later, road services began filling in the trenches that were made.

All the trips were canceled at the Rostov-on-Don Main Bus Station. This resulted in more than 700 Rostov children having to stay in a camp in the Krasnodar region, where they were placed in "some kind of barracks where it’s hot and stuffy."

On the night of Jun. 24 to 25, the Federal Road Agency (announced that all the imposed restrictions were lifted but later informed that the restrictions imposed on the M-4 Don highway were to stay in the Tula and Moscow regions. The Shchiurovsky bridge in Kolomna also stayed blocked.

Some regions canceled mass events. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education and Science recommended that all the Moscow universities should switch to distance learning due to the counter-terrorist operation regime. Some universities later announced that the examinations would be given in person with no change in the schedule.

Mayor of Moscow Sergey Sobyanin declared the coming Monday a non-working day in Moscow. Despite the rebellion being over, the Monday will still be non-working, however the Mayor’s press office later informed that employers would independently determine the "work regime" based on their "internal documents." Meanwhile, the Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media suggested allowing a day off for those who covered the recent events.

As a result of the fighting caused by the Wagner Group rebellion, 19 houses were damaged in the Voronezh region. The authorities promised compensation and assistance in repairing the buildings to all residents. In Rostov, more than 10,000 sq m [107,639 sq ft] of roadway was damaged by military vehicles.

After the rebels captured the center of Rostov-on-Don, city residents began to buy up groceries in stores, and long queues formed at petrol stations. Stores in the city began to limit the sale of goods, while the Rostov Mayor's Office denied that there were any short supplies. Officials also claimed that fuel shortages were not expected. Residents of Voronezh also began to massively stock up on food and fuel, which led to large queues at gas stations.

On Jun. 24, marketplaces started to remove items with the Wagner Group symbols but by the evening began to bring them back. The high demand for airline tickets led to a shortage and an increase in prices.

The Wagner Group's advertising has disappeared in many cities and towns. State-owned media in the Novosibirsk region were instructed by the regional authorities to "remove" mercenary ads and terminate contracts if there were any. Schools, kindergartens, and libraries started publishing identical messages in support of Putin. Regional state agencies and media outlets in North Ossetia acted the same way.

Anastasia Kashevarova [pro-Russian propagandist and supply volunteer] announced the detention of servicemen who laid down their arms at the headquarters of the Southern Military District in Rostov-on-Don during its occupation by the Wagner Group, although they allegedly acted upon orders from their commanders. There has been no confirmation of this information. It is also stated that several dozen fighters of the Wagner Group surrendered to the police during the withdrawal from Rostov and other places. They declared they didn’t want to return to their co-fighters and handed over their weapons.

On the night of Jun. 24, publicist Mikhail Serenko was detained in Volgograd, and a search was conducted in his apartment. Serenko was later released. He said that he was interrogated as a witness in the rebellion case.

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

In the Far East of Russia, people with medical education are invited to the war. They are promised a one-time payment of 600,000 rubles [$7200] and a monthly salary of 200,000 rubles [$2400]. Meanwhile, in Moscow, "volunteer fighters" are being recruited to the Veterany [Veterans] Battalion, which is known for "buying" mobilized soldiers and sending them to "meat assaults."

Freshly recruited by the Ministry of Defense, troops from the city of Surgut set off to a collecting center in Khanty-Mansiysk, with local businesses reportedly having to cover the costs of tactical helmets and first aid kits for the contractors.

Mobilized Soldiers and Volunteer Fighters 

Names of the following mobilized men have been added to the list of war casualties: Maksim Zhurin from the Rostov region, Radik Zinnatov from Buryatia [Russia’s constituent republic], Aleksey Rosseyev from the Moscow region, Artyom Kotsubey from the Saratov region, Abay Karinov from the Altai region, Andrey Bunkovskiy from the Samara region, Ilnur Imayev from Bashkiria [Russia’s constituent republic], Roman Kachanov from the Volgograd region, Artur Khakimov from the Orenburg region, Sergey Valikhmatov and Mikhail Tsotsorenko from the Irkutsk region.

A military widow from Tolyatti is struggling to obtain compensation for the death of her husband, killed in a road accident while returning to the war zone from approved leave. Formally the soldier was not killed in combat, which may jeopardize his widow’s eligibility to survivor benefit.

The mother of a mobilized soldier spoke about the fate of her son after he was sent to the frontline near Soledar along with other mobilized servicemen after being sold to the Volki [Wolves] PMC. Her son got in touch two months later. Most of the mobilized soldiers, despite the threats, did not sign contracts with the Volki PMC. Yet they still fight as part of this group.

Courts, sentences and incidents

The Vladimir Garrison Military Court sentenced contract soldier Rustam Kerimbaev to two years in a penal settlement for going AWOL during the period of mobilization. He returned from the war in Ukraine and submitted a resignation request. Kerimbaev signed a contract on Sept. 9, 2022, after that he went to fight in Ukraine. On Jan. 13, 2023, his contract expired. The serviceman submitted the resignation request and went home.

In Volgograd, volunteer fighter Aleksey Rakovich went on trial. The man is accused of going AWOL. The Volgograd resident assures that his contract expired and he just went home, like other military men.

Russian security forces killed two teenagers in the occupied city of Berdiansk. The victims were identified as 17-year-olds Mykyta Khanganov and Tyhran Ohanesian, who were previously accused by the occupant authorities of preparing sabotage on the railway.

In Moscow, an anti-personnel mine was discovered near the railway tracks. The bomb disposal crew who examined it determined that it posed no danger.

In Novaya Tavolzhanka, a weapons stash was found in the garden of a 43-year-old local resident, containing an RPG-7V2 grenade launcher and its ammunition. A criminal investigation was initiated on charges of "Illegal possession of firearms and ammunition," which carries a potential sentence of up to five years of detention in a penal colony. It should be noted that earlier reports mentioned another incident involving a 42-year-old resident of Novaya Tavolzhanka, who also hid a grenade launcher with ammunition he found in a cache. According to the Kremlin-aligned news outlet Mash, the local divisional police officer became aware of the situation and persuaded the man to surrender the weapon voluntarily. Whether these two reports refer to the same incident is unknown.


Packages from relatives, food, medication, and clothes were sent to the soldiers in the war zone from Astrakhan and Perm. UAZ vehicles and spare parts for them were donated from the Voronezh and Tyumen regions. In Kamyshin, Volgograd region, a field chapel is being prepared for deployment to the frontlines.

In the village of Soldato-Aleksandrovskoye in the Stavropol region, residents have organized the production of camouflage nets, involving even children in this work. A master class on net weaving was conducted in the Pervomaysky district of Novosibirsk. In the Krasnodar region, Alyona Grinko, the organizer of the Svoikh ne brosayem [We don't abandon our own] campaign, suggested that residents of Timashovsk join in the production of nets. In the Yaroslavl region, net weaving was organized by activists from the United Russia party [Putin’s ruling party].


Krasnoyarsk hosted the all-Russian patriotic memory relay "Russia—the land of heroes!"

Earlier in Novosibirsk, a car rally in support of veterans of the "special military operation" and the Wagner Group was announced, but instead, master classes for children, a firefighting exhibition, and a concert took place.