mobilization briefs
July 3, 2023

Mobilization in Russia for Jun. 30-Jul. 2, 2023 CIT Volunteer Summary

Prigozhin’s Armed Rebellion: Consequences

Propaganda pundit Dmitry Kiselyov revealed the extent of state funding for Yevgeny Prigozhin’s [owner of the Wagner Group] structures during the broadcast of the program Vesti Nedeli [Weekly News] on the Rossiya-1 [Russia-1] government-owned federal TV channel. According to Kiselyov, the Wagner Group received slightly over 858 billion rubles [$9.71 billion] through government contracts, while Prigozhin’s Concord Group of companies provided services worth 845 billion rubles [$9.56 billion]. Kiselyov did not specify the period during which the Wagner Group and Concord received these funds. Thus, the total budgetary funding exceeded 1.7 trillion rubles [$19.24 billion], which is more than Russia’s annual expenditures on education, which is 1.4 trillion rubles [$15.84 billion], and healthcare, which is 1.5 trillion rubles [$16.97 billion].

The Russian Ministry of Defense terminated its contract with the Concord Catering holding company owned by Yevgeny Prigozhin. On Jun. 30, several thousand employees of the holding were informed that they would be laid off due to the contract termination with the Voentorg [Military Trading Organization] company. The dismissals will be categorized as “voluntary” and no severance pay will be provided. It is reported that since Jun. 23, employees of the holding’s enterprises have been working intermittently and expecting inspections while destroying documents according to the management’s orders.

The Wagner Group announced a temporary cessation of mercenary recruitment for a month through its channels, citing the group’s “temporary non-participation in the special military operation and relocation to the Republic of Belarus” as a reason. The signage was removed from the Wagner Group Center building in Saint Petersburg. According to the Center’s statement, the reason for removing the signage was the relocation. As stated in the announcement, the Center will “continue to work for the benefit of our country, but in a new format and in other locations.” On Jul. 1, columns of vehicles with Wagner Group flags were spotted in Novosibirsk and Yekaterinburg.

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

The Idite Lesom! [Flee through the woods/Get lost you all] Telegram channel published a selection of photos of contract service advertising on utility bills from various regions. Contract service ads are also displayed on check-in counters in Pulkovo Airport. In the center of Novosibirsk, at the entrance to the metro, all men of conscription age are given "invitations to a military commissariat [enlistment office]" to sign a contract with the Ministry of Defense.

In the Khanty-Mansi autonomous region–Yugra [Russia's federal subject], the measures of financial support for those who signed a contract with the Ministry of Defense have been changed—now they will receive a sign-up bonus of 150,000 rubles [$1700] and then 150,000 rubles [$1700] every four months of service. Residents of other regions and foreigners are also promised to be paid if they sign a contract in the Khanty-Mansi autonomous region–Yugra. On top of that, the region promises additional payments of 100,000 rubles [$1130] for participants in the war with Ukraine who have received state awards.

Konstantin Zatulin, member of the State Duma [lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia], said that Russia will probably need a new mobilization—there is a "difficult situation" on the frontline, and Russian citizens should perceive the events in Ukraine as a patriotic war.

Heads of security services and the military commissar of the Vladimir region held a meeting with representatives of diasporas, where they proposed to conduct "the broadest possible explanatory work among foreign citizens" regarding the possibility of obtaining Russian citizenship through a simplified procedure by signing a contract with the Ministry of Defense.

On Jul. 1, a unit of contracted soldiers from the Primorsky region was deployed to the combat zone. The exact number of personnel in the unit is not specified, but it is known that four Ural vehicles were utilized for their transportation.

Mobilized Soldiers and Volunteer Fighters

The list of casualties in the war has been updated to include Igor Mamey from the city of Sevastopol, Roman Shulbaev from Khakassia [Russia’s constituent republic], Pyotr Kolesov from Yakutia [Russia’s constituent republic], and Aleksandr Dyomin from the Chelyabinsk region.

It has been six months since the attack on vocational school No. 19 in Makiivka on Jan. 1, 2023. Since the last update, the CIT volunteer team has managed to confirm the identities of six more mobilized men who were killed that night. They are Aleksey Avdonin, Pavel Malnev, Aleksandr Kostyunin, Igor Nikolaev, Amir Sultanov, and Vyacheslav Krupnikov. Therefore, to date, we have reliable information about the names of 143 soldiers who were killed in the attack on the vocational school. It should be noted that according to the latest statement from the Ministry of Defense regarding this incident, made on Jan. 4, the official number of casualties was reported as 89 men. The wife of one of the deceased visited Makiivka and showed the current state of the impact site. Despite the promises of Governor Dmitry Azarov of the Samara region, the authorities have still not created a memorial at the site of the strike.

On Jul. 1 in Saratov, names of soldiers killed in the war in Ukraine were added to the memorial for those killed in local conflicts. Meanwhile, the first monument dedicated to those who were killed in this war appeared in the Stavropol region.

Soldiers of the 1428th Regiment recorded a video message stating they were being sent on suicidal assaults near Bakhmut. In the video, the men explain that they were sent as Territorial Defense Forces to control the "new territories." They had only received 3-4 shooting training sessions during their time there, and now they are being sent on "meaningless missions" to assault Ukrainian positions. According to the soldiers, they’ve had complaints against the commanders before—servicemen had to buy equipment and hire machinery to fortify positions with their own money, and their leaves were canceled or delayed.

Earlier, relatives of Novosibirsk soldiers serving in the 1452nd Regiment also recorded a video message. The women ask Putin and the Ministry of Defense to "sort things out" and help their husbands with equipment and heavy artillery. They also report significant losses in the unit: "There is barely a company left of the battalion." One of the conscripts from this regiment contacted the editorial office of the Lyudi Baikala [People of Baikal] independent media outlet and revealed that soldiers without an arm or leg are being sent back to the frontline. Like many other soldiers, he complained about poor supply and reported significant losses.

Returned from Ukrainian captivity, a participant of the "special military operation" became the first student in Russia to start education under the military quota.

The 21-year-old mobilized individual from Buryatia shared with Sibir.Realii [part of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty] online media outlet how he spent nine months at the war. According to him, the training lasted no more than a week, and the necessary equipment cost him 300,000 rubles [$3400]. He also complained about outdated military equipment and poor command.

Sentences, Legal Proceedings, and Incidents

In Sosnovy Bor, Leningrad region, the police arrested a 27-year-old man from the Kaliningrad region who was wanted on federal charges for evading mobilization. Apparently, after being mobilized, he did not report to his military unit.

The Voronezh Garrison Military Court sentenced a mobilized resident of the Tyumen region to six years in a penal colony for attempting to attack a fellow soldier with an ax. The incident occurred in late January 2023 in a military unit building. While consuming alcohol, the soldiers quarreled, and one of them struck the other with an ax, causing a concussion.

The Tula Garrison Military Court sentenced a mobilized individual to two and a half years of imprisonment for unauthorized absence from the military unit on Jan. 29, 2023. On Feb. 19, the man turned himself in to the police.

The Barnaul Garrison Military Court reported three sentences for desertion during the mobilization period. Two mobilized individuals were sentenced to  five and six years in a penal colony, while their fellow in arms, a contract soldier who participated in the war, received a suspended sentence as he was a combat veteran, acknowledged his guilt, and had five children dependent on him.

Andrey Chelnokov, a mobilized soldier from Vladivostok declared unfit to serve, has been sentenced to 2 years and 10 months in prison for refusal to go to war. The man’s service fitness category is "D", i.e., "unfit." Despite that fact, he was mobilized as the draft office did not conduct a medical examination, according to the man. The military medical board later assigned "B" category to Chelnokov, after which he was ordered to go to war. He, in turn, appealed against the board’s decision and, in March, managed to prove he was unfit to serve. Eventually, he got his sentence for refusal to follow an order since the court found that he was declared unfit "only after the crime had been committed."

On Jun. 27, the Pacific Fleet Military Court confirmed the sentence of two and a half years in a penal settlement for serviceman Aleksandr Stepanov due to his refusal to fight in Ukraine. In late April, another serviceman, Andrey Mikhailov, was also sentenced to the same term. They were both found guilty of refusal to participate in combat. Mikhailov did not appeal against his sentence.

A military court has upheld the sentence of seven years in a general regime penal colony imposed on private Sergey Spiridonov. After the full-scale war had begun, he tried to get fired from the service by committing disciplinary offenses.

The Tambov Garrison Military Court sentenced a soldier to three years in a general regime penal colony and a fine for possessing a combat grenade which he found in the territory of the "LPR" and brought home.

Unknown individuals set fire to a relay cabinet on a railway, disrupting the train traffic in the Irkutsk region. The incident occurred on the night of Jun. 30 on the border of the Alarsky and Cheremkhovsky districts. A criminal case has been initiated. On the night of Jul. 1, a relay cabinet was set on fire on the railway section between Anikeevka and Nakhabino in the Moscow region. The arson did not affect the train traffic.

Denis Popov, a resident of Uglich, Yaroslavl region, was sentenced to eight years of imprisonment for attempting to set fire to a draft office and "a call for extremism." During his arrest in July 2022, he claimed that he was allegedly provoked by Ukrainian military personnel whom he had met online.


The Salekhard Fish Cannery has launched a campaign where anyone can buy canned goods that will be subsequently delivered to soldiers in the "special military operation" zone. From Kuznetsk, Penza region, food and tools worth over 120,000 rubles [$1357] will be sent to the combat area, and from Kislovodsk, icons of the city's patron saints will be handed over.

In the Oryol region, a five-ton package of thermal imagers, quadcopters, and other equipment was assembled for soldiers. From Ulyanovsk, a mobile bath station, radio sets, and auto parts were sent to the front. Kaluga contributed a sniper rifle and medical kits.

Disabled participants in the war with Ukraine will receive special vehicles from the government of the Khanty-Mansi autonomous region. Meanwhile, local muslims have collected aid for the soldiers in the war zone.

At the end of June 2023, activists of the Soldatskiy prival [Soldier's Rest] dining facility for passing mobilized soldiers featuring a Buryat yurt, which opened in 2022 in the occupied Crimea, launched a fundraising campaign to purchase a cow in order to keep feeding Russian servicemen with homemade meals. In Sestroretsk, a work association was opened to weave camouflage nets for the needs of the front. At the same time, Governor of the Zabaykalsky region Aleksandr Osipov brought paraffin to a regional branch of the All-Russian Society of Disabled People to make trench candles.


Inmates of orphanage No. 3 in Syktyvkar pray for Russian servicemen and make hygiene kits for them.


The Presidential Fund for Cultural Initiatives has published a list of winners of the next grant competition, among which 4.3 billion rubles [$ 48.9 mln] were distributed. At least half a billion rubles [$5.7 mln] was spent on state propaganda and what the authorities consider the integration of the occupied regions of Ukraine. For example, 200 million rubles [$2.3 mln] were allocated for tours of pro-war musicians, while propagandist Aleksandr Malkevich, media manager of Yevgeny Prigozhin, received 6.2 million rubles [$70,500] from the fund for the project called "Liberated Territories. War and peace through the eyes of an eyewitness."