mobilization briefs
June 7, 2023

Mobilization in Russia for June 5-6, 2023 CIT Volunteer Summary

Authorities and Legislation 

The Ministry of Defense has published a draft government decree that introduces changes to how citizens are notified about their mobilization status. Some media outlets have interpreted this as a proposal by the Ministry of Defense to send mobilization notifications via SMS. However, as journalist Farida Rustamova points out, that is not exactly the case. Citizens will not be notified about having been mobilized, but rather about receiving a draft notice on their personal Gosuslugi public services portal account. Therefore, receiving or reading an SMS will not equate to receiving a draft notice. A similar notification will be sent to individuals’ taxpayer personal accounts, if they have one. Lawyers from the Voyennye Advokaty [Military Lawyers] project have examined this new notification procedure and have reached the same conclusion as Rustamova, that the SMS notifications are informative in nature. BBC News Russian has noted that this decree is a logical continuation of the amendments to the law on military service that were adopted in April.

State Duma [lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia] Defense Committee Chairman Andrey Kartapolov has shared his thoughts on the draft decree, emphasizing that the SMS notifications on mobilization status sent by the Russian Ministry of Defense will inform citizens about receiving a draft notice, but will not be considered equivalent to one.

A bill has been introduced to the State Duma regarding the expansion of jurisdiction for military courts. According to existing legislation, not all military courts have the authority to hear cases related to terrorism. The new bill, initiated by the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation, proposes that all military courts in Russia should now have this authority. This is likely due to the increase in the number of criminal cases, which fall under the jurisdiction of military courts —it is precisely for these cases that law enforcement officers often initiate criminal proceedings related to incidents such as arson attacks on military commissariats [enlistment offices] and relay cabimets.

The authorities of Sukhoy Log in the Sverdlovsk region have issued a resolution declaring a state of wartime. Now, all local enterprises, organizations, and residents of the town must be prepared to assist in meeting the needs of the Russian Army and the state. According to officials, this transition to a state of wartime in the town is related to ongoing military exercises taking place in the Sverdlovsk region.

When asked by journalists about the possibility of a general mobilization in connection with recent events in the Belgorod region, Russian President’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated that he is not aware of any prerequisites for the imposition of martial law in the Belgorod, Bryansk, and Kursk regions or general mobilization.

President Putin recommended that local governments, excluding Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Sevastopol, provide land plots to individuals who have received awards for their participation in the war with Ukraine. This support measure will apply to military personnel, volunteer fighters, and employees of the National Guard of Russia who have been awarded the title of Heroes of Russia or decorated with orders for their merits during the "special military operation," as well as combat veterans and relatives of  those killed in the war.

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

The authorities of the Zabaykalsky region increased the regional one-time payment by 100,000 rubles for individuals who have signed contracts with the Russian Armed Forces after Mar. 1, 2023. Now, when signing a contract for a period of one year or more, the payment from the region will amount to 250,000 rubles [$3125].

The Military Commissariat of Yugra invites women to serve on contract as medical personnel and signalers. To sign a contract, several conditions must be met: age under 50, sufficient health fitness, as well as a diploma in the field of medicine or communication. Women who sign a contract are promised one-time payments: 500,000 rubles [$6250] from the region and 195,000 [$2430] from the Ministry of Defense.

Novosibirsk City Duma [city-level legislature] member Andrey Panfyorov has released a promotional video for the contract service with his participation. The official calls himself the commander of the Vega voluntary battalion. In late January, he and his battalion went to the front, but he returned to Novosibirsk in May.

Mobilized Soldiers and Volunteer Fighters

The lists of those mobilized soldiers killed in the war have been supplemented by Sergey Kutukin from the Volgograd region.

Authorities have confirmed the deaths of three conscript soldiers from the Sverdlovsk region in an artillery attack in the Belgorod region. The incident occurred on Jun. 1 when a shell hit the soldiers' vehicle. In addition to the fatalities, seven people were injured, with two in critical condition. The Commissioner for Human Rights in the Sverdlovsk region, Tatiana Merzlyakova, reported that one of the deceased was 24-year-old Kirill Maksakov.

Mothers of conscript soldiers from Sakhalin complain about the deployment of their sons to the border areas of the Belgorod region. Although the conscripts themselves do not participate in combat operations, they are in immediate danger zones. Earlier, the governor of the region promised that conscripts would serve in their home region. However, in response to inquiries from relatives, the Ministry of Defense now provides a standard formulation stating that conscripts serve on the "territory of the Russian Federation."

The Human Rights Commissioner in Yugra [Khanti-Mansi autonomous region], Natalia Strebkova, is striving to secure the return home of a mobilized resident of Nyagan, Daniil Sonyushkin, who was found to be in Ukrainian captivity on May 24.

Mobilized soldiers from Pskov from the 1009th Motor Rifle Regiment sent a plea for help. The regiment came under heavy fire at the border of the Belgorod region. The soldiers reported significant losses and complained about the lack of supplies and artillery support. Journalists from the Mozhem Ob'yasnit [We can explain] and the Pskovskaya Guberniya [Pskov Province] Telegram channels found out that the captives, whom Governor of the Belgorod region Vyacheslav Gladkov did not come to pick up in Novaya Tavolzhanka, were natives of the Pskov region.

Mothers, sisters, and wives of mobilized soldiers from the "DPR" recorded a video message addressed to President Putin. Their loved ones have either gone missing or died in the area of Novobakhmutivka village. The women accuse the command of high losses and refusal to evacuate the bodies of the deceased. They ask to take the dead out of the village and reward the soldiers who have been on the frontline for more than a year.

Sentences, Legal Proceedings, and Incidents

The Borzya Garrison Military Court has found Corporal Artur Ayushiyev guilty of going absent without leave and sentenced him to 5 years and 9 months, suspended for a 4-year probationary period. The serviceman had failed to return to his unit from vacation in November 2022 but he appeared at the draft office on Mar. 13, 2023.

A student in the Kamchatka region has been fined 50 thousand rubles [$615] for evading conscription. According to the court, the young man had received a draft notice in early November 2022 but failed to appear at the draft office in due time. After he was charged, he pleaded guilty and repented.

Student Viktor Melnikov has been sentenced to 1.5 years in a penal colony for setting fire to a building with the text "draft office" written on it and also ordered to undergo compulsory psychiatric treatment. The fire damage was estimated at 283,000 rubles [$3478]. The student has already compensated that amount. According to the prosecution, Melnikov set fire to the building on Sept. 21 [the day when the "partial" mobilization was announced].

A 17-year-old college student detained for setting fire to a draft office in the town of Asha was taken into custody for two months. The young man is charged with attempting a terrorist act, he faces 10 to 20 years in prison.

Member of Ryazan City Duma Sergey Karayev, involved in a fraud investigation, announced that he is going to enlist under a contract and go to war.

Vladislav Kraval from Ukhta has been sentenced to 6 years and 3 months in a general regime penal colony. The man was found guilty of vandalism (article 214, part 2, Russian Criminal Code) and an intentionally false report of an act of terrorism (article 207, part 3, Russian Criminal Code). According to the court statement, in summer 2022, Kraval made "obscene inscriptions protesting against the ‘special military operation’" on a Z-shaped banner. In the fall of the same year, he called the police and reported arson of draft offices in Ukhta, Sosnogorsk, and Vuktyl.

Bogdan Ziza, a Crimean artist we wrote about in yesterday’s sitrep, was sentenced to 15 years of custody under charges of terrorism and exhortation to terrorism for a video he recorded during his action. In his last word, he urged the audience not to remain silent. Earlier, Ziza announced that he would go on hunger strike on Jun. 10 demanding to revoke his Russian citizenship and set free all Ukrainian political prisoners in Russia.

The former head of the Russian military-patriotic club Oleg Borisenko was taken from the pre-trial detention center to the police department in the Oktyabrsky district of Tambov. He was supposed to be released after 10 days of arrest for not paying a fine for crossing the road in the wrong place on time. Earlier, Dmitry Shapkin, a Noviy Vek [New Century] Tambov TV channel journalist, denounced Borisenko to the Federal Security Service (FSB) and the police.

A Russian soldier was fined 40,000 rubles [$500] for losing an assault rifle. The incident took place on Nov. 29, 2022, in Crimea. The contract soldier fell asleep in a military vehicle "in a state of extreme alcoholic intoxication," and the weapon was left unattended. Witnesses tried to wake him up and, having failed, took away the rifle. The court excluded the qualifying factor "in the conditions of an armed conflict" from the corpus delicti (loss of military property, Article 348 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation).

Activist Aleksey Rozhkov was taken to Russia from Kyrgyzstan. According to the Zona Solidarnosti [Solidarity zone] Telegram channel, Rozhkov set fire to a military commissariat and was charged with "attempted murder" due to the fact that there was allegedly a watchman in the building at the time of the arson. Six months later, the article was reclassified as "damage to property," Rozhkov was released from the pre-trial detention center and emigrated from Russia. Currently, the activist is in detention center No. 1 in Yekaterinburg.


Pro-Russian volunteers in Omsk are planning to open a workshop for assembling kamikaze drones for the Russian Armed Forces. They announced it in one of their social media accounts. Currently, they are seeking investors to help procure components for the drones. Meanwhile, the MStroy construction company has provided a UAZ vehicle to the People's Militia of the so-called DPR. The Krasnoyarsk State Medical University has also sent similar vehicles to the war.

Officials from the Novosibirsk region have been obliged to "facilitate centralized allocation" of a portion of employees' salaries for military needs. Previously, during a meeting in the government, Deputy Governor Sergey Syomka, had already appealed to officials to allocate a one-day earnings "for the needs of the special military operation."


Journalists of Meduza [international Russian-language online media outlet] and Vazhnyye Istorii [iStories, independent Russian investigative media outlet] found out that the Russian authorities will allocate 20 billion rubles in 2023 for the creation of "patriotic" content. The money is distributed by the Institute for the Development of the Internet pro-Kremlin public organization. Grant recipients produce both neutral content (for example, "the Great Patriotic War [WW II] Chronicle in color") and propaganda videos: "Ramzan [Head of the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov]. Akhmat [regiment] is the Power of Russia," "Russian heritage. Homecoming," "Made for the Front," "Z-Women." The Sirena Telegram channel posts a selection with examples of such videos.

The ethics committee of Saint Petersburg University considered the anti-war position incompatible with studying at the university. Ten students of the Faculty of History who are on friendly terms with lecturer Mikhail Belousov, fired earlier for speaking out about "ruscism," will be expelled for violating the University Code.

In the Irkutsk region, a new memorial with portraits of Svirsk residents killed in the war with Ukraine was opened.