mobilization briefs
June 9, 2023

Mobilization in Russia for June 7-8, 2023 CIT Volunteer Summary 

Authorities and Legislation

The State Duma [lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia] Committee on Defense has approved a draft law on the gradual increase of the conscription age. Preliminary, the first reading of the draft law in the State Duma will take place on Jun. 14. More details about the planned novelties were reported by lawyers from the Voyennye Advokaty [Military Lawyers] project.

Members of the State Duma from the Communist Party of the Russian Federation proposed to introduce criminal liability for sending soldiers to the front without proper training, equipment, weapons, and "other necessary material resources for conducting combat operations" during a state of martial law, wartime, and military operations. The punishment, depending on the consequences of such actions, is proposed to be imprisonment for 3 to 15 years. The explanatory note states that the sending of unprepared soldiers to war is "not uncommon, judging by the appeals of citizens to the State Duma and reports in the media."

The Government of the Russian Federation has approved a resolution to issue certificates to families of volunteer fighters who died in the "special military operation," to confirm their status. The document will be issued by military commissariats [enlistment offices] in the regions of Russia according to the place of registration or residence of the volunteer fighter.

Andrey Kartapolov, Chairman of the Defense Committee of the State Duma, said that there is no need for mobilization in Russia today: "Just the other day, Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev [Deputy Chairman of Russia’s Security Council] named the figure — we have 137,000 servicemen who signed the contract recently. And, according to my data, this flow is constant and unstoppable." It should be noted that Medvedev’s statement, which Kartapolov refers to, was made on May 19 — at that time, according to the Deputy Chairman of Russia's Security Council, more than 117,000 people were accepted into the Armed Forces on a contract basis.

A ban on alcohol sales during mobilization and emergency situations has been introduced in the Kursk region. The sale of alcohol may be restricted in certain areas if the region declares a high alert regime or an emergency, martial law, or announces mobilization. Last fall, several regions already banned alcohol sales near mobilization centers and training facilities.

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

Employees of the Makeyev State Rocket Center (a subsidiary of "Roscosmos") continue to be offered the opportunity to join the Uran battalion and go to the frontline. New recruits are promised a one-time payment of 100,000 rubles [$1250], a salary of 270,000 rubles [$3375], and a monthly bonus of at least 100,000 rubles [$1250]. Social benefits for volunteers and their families are also promised. Men up to the age of 60 with "A" and "B" service fitness categories are considered eligible. According to a source of the Sirena Telegram channel among the employees, advertisements have been posted on almost all floors of the office. However, there have been no reports of any employees volunteering or agreeing to go to war at this time.

Mobilized Soldiers and Volunteer Fighters

The name of Mikhail Dzyubenko from the Lipetsk region has been added to the list of the mobilized soldiers killed in the war.

Vasily Grigoryev from the town of Velikiye Luki was identified among Russian soldiers captured in the Belgorod region. He was mobilized in late September 2022 at the Mikron plant together with 46 of his coworkers. Mobilized soldiers from the Pskov region served in the 1009th Motor Rifle Regiment. Eight months ago, they were taken for military training to the so-called Luhansk People's Republic, and before going to the Belgorod region, all soldiers' leaves were canceled. On Jun. 7, the death of the regiment commander Colonel Vladimir Kuznetsov was confirmed.

Aleksey Bogdanov, 25, mobilized from the Khanty-Mansi autonomous region [Russia's constituent subject], is missing in the combat zone in Ukraine. He was last seen wounded in the hospital, and then disappeared. There has been no contact with Bogdanov since Apr. 5. His mother is now searching for him. According to her, the soldier joined the Veterany [Veterans] unit, but they don't share any information about her son. The woman also filed a missing person report and wrote appeals to the Ministry of Defense and the governor, but there has been no reply.

Draftees from the Khanty-Mansi autonomous region assigned to the 1307th Regiment recorded a video in which they complained that they were ordered to hold positions to the last without supplies or artillery support. Only about a third of the regiment remains able to fight. The command, however, refuses to evacuate wounded servicemen.

As a result of the breach of the Kakhovka dam, mobilized servicemen are seeking help through chats for volunteers. In one of those chats, an audio message was published by a serviceman claiming that due to the flooding of their positions, many of his comrades "ended up practically naked."

Wives, sisters and mothers of draftees from the Ulyanovsk region are asking to return their loved ones home. Relatives complain that leaves are not allowed. Moreover, there is no rotation and men are constantly kept on the frontline "contrary to Putin's order." According to reports, the brigade has suffered losses, with many wounded returning to the front line rather than being hospitalized.

Relatives of soldiers in the Pskov region have submitted a petition to the Ministry of Defense, demanding another mobilization so that their loved one can come home. This appeal emerged after mobilized soldiers from the 1009th Motorized Rifle Regiment reported significant losses in the Shebekino and Grayvoron areas of the Belgorod region.

Governor Aleksandr Avdeyev, of the Vladimir region, presented soldiers from the 346th Motorized Rifle Regiment with "For Courage" medals; the regiment had suffered heavy losses in the fall of 2022. The soldiers claim they were sent to the frontlines without adequate training, and were left exposed to enemy fire without any cover or means of communication. In February 2023, the regiment was disbanded, those who survived were able to return home.

Courts, sentences and incidents

A mobilized captain, Mikhail Zhikharev from Perm, received a suspended sentence for abuse of power during a conflict with another mobilized soldier. According to Zhikharev, the incident was blown out of proportion because he believes he was an inconvenience to the higher command, as he fought against drunkenness in the unit and advocated for the payments that the mobilized soldiers were supposed to receive but never did.

An article about recent graduates fighting in Ukraine has been removed from the website of the Moskakasinskaya school in Chuvashia. The deleted article dated Nov. 16, dedicated to the Russian Day of the Conscript, mentions 23-year-old Nikita Lyubimov, recruited by the Wagner Group from a penal colony, as an example of courage and heroism. In the fall of 2022, Nikita Lyubimov was wounded and received  pardon from the President. After returning to his home village, he beat his fellow villager Igor Pushkin to death, who had previously testified against Lyubimov in court.

In the Moscow region, a 35-year-old man was arrested, who had set fire to a railway relay cabinet in late April. The man has confessed the arson, saying that he did it on his own initiative. A criminal case for sabotage was initiated against him and he is facing up to 10 years in prison.

One more arson to relay cabinets happened in the Rostov region. According to the Baza Telegram channel, unknown persons set fire to a relay and a battery cabinet near the Khapry station on the night of Jun. 7, resulting in a delay in the departure of two trains. Based on the fact of arson, a criminal case has been initiated for willful destruction of or damage to property.

Three men have been arrested on suspicion of an arson attack on the trolleybus depot electrical substation in the Akademgorodok district of Irkutsk on the night of May 31. According to the arrested, they made the attack for the remuneration offered via a messenger app. A criminal case for disablement of vital infrastructure has been initiated against the men.

Investigators have declined to initiate a criminal case against mobilized soldier Aleksandr Tikhonovsky, who left the military unit. He was deployed to the war but was returned to his military unit in mid-May 2023 for medical treatment following a complaint from his spouse to the Ministry of Defense and Military Prosecutor’s Office. However, he did not receive the necessary treatment and left the unit on May 19. The command declared him a deserter for going AWOL, but the investigator refused to initiate a criminal case due to the insignificance of the offense as Tikhonovsky was absent from the unit for only three days.

Two Russian contract soldiers, Ilya Masalov and Timofey Abyshkin, have been sentenced to 2 years and 6 months, and 2 years and 3 months of penal settlement, respectively, for refusing to go to the war. Both admitted their guilt in court and refused to testify, citing Article 51 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation. The court found them guilty of disobeying the orders of their superiors, excluding the qualifying elements of "conditions of armed conflict with serious consequences" from the charges at the prosecutor’s initiative.


Students of school No. 146 in Perm were to take a five-day course of "military-patriotic training." According to one of the students, they had to pay 750 rubles per person for the course. Another student recorded part of the speech of one of the lecturers, a captain of the RuAF, who said that Poland dreams of restoring Rzeczpospolita [the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth], while NATO desires to seize Russia, and that Ukraine is inhabited with Bandera supporters who must be killed. The military man also encouraged teenagers to go to war.

The Basic Military Training module has been added to the Health and Safety course book published by the Prosveshcheniye [Enlightenment] publishing house. Schoolchildren will be taught marching drills, military greetings, arms handling, first aid, and the “basics of fighting terrorism and extremism.” The Basic Military Training course will be back to school curricula as of Sept. 1 this year.

The families of mobilized soldiers in the Tyumen region received circus tickets. This information was confirmed by the Department for Social Development. The tickets were distributed by the draft office.


The Sibir.Realii [part of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty] online media outlet has collected stories about state officials and deputies who leave for the war to avoid imprisonment for fraud, bribery, and even murder.

The Lyudi Baikala [People of Baikal] independent media outlet interviewed a retiree from Belgorod who volunteered to help at a military hospital. The journalists studied the motivation of those who do their best to help Russian soldiers.