mobilization briefs
June 15

Mobilization in Russia for June 13-14, 2024 CIT Volunteer Summary

Authorities and Legislation

Vladimir Putin stated that 700,000 Russian soldiers are currently deployed in the combat zone in Ukraine. The last time Putin mentioned the troop count was in January, when he asserted it was 600,000. On Dec. 14, 2023, during the annual Direct Line phone-in, Putin had said that there were 617,000 military personnel on the frontline. A week ago, Putin claimed that since the beginning of 2024, 160,000 individuals had allegedly concluded contracts with the Ministry of Defense. However, estimates from many independent analysts frequently diverge from Putin’s statements.

According to sources of the Kommersant daily newspaper, authorities consider granting free admission to cultural establishments to participants of the war against Ukraine and their families. If implemented, this measure would cost businesses and municipalities at least 1.2 billion rubles [$13.59 million] per year. It is currently unclear whether the government intends to compensate cultural establishments for these losses.

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

Rashid Temrezov, the head of Karachay-Cherkessia [Russia’s constituent republic], announced that the regional sign-up bonus for concluding a contract with the Russian MoD to take part in the invasion of Ukraine will jump from 100,000 rubles [$1,130] to 1,305,000 rubles [$14,800]. Including the payment from the MoD, recruits from the republic will receive a total of 1.5 million rubles [$17,000]. Vazhnyye Istorii [IStories, independent Russian investigative media outlet] noted that the republic ranked as the third poorest Russian region in 2023, with approximately 20.6% of the population earning incomes below the subsistence level, based on the Federal State Statistics Service’s data.

Concurrently, Saint Petersburg authorities have also increased the regional payments for volunteer fighters, from 500,000 [$5,660] to 700,000 rubles [$7,930]. Including the federal payment and additional payments from the city’s enterprises, volunteer fighters will receive a lump sum of up to 1.3 million rubles [$14,700] upon signing a contract for military service in Saint Petersburg.

The 7x7—Gorizontalnaya Rossiya [Horizontal Russia] news outlet has analyzed the increase in regional payments. According to their tally, 16 regions and three cities have increased financial incentives for volunteer fighters since the start of the year. Krasnodar offers the largest payment, with the total amount of payments reaching 1.65 million rubles [$18,700] as of May 28.

Mobilized Soldiers, Volunteer Fighters and Contract Soldiers

The list of mobilized soldiers killed in the war has been updated to include Rim Kurmanov from the Omsk region, Dmitry Malyshev from the Volgograd region and Aleksandr Eysman from the Krasnoyarsk region.

Based on open sources, Mediazona [independent Russian media outlet] and BBC News Russian, together with volunteers, have verified the names of 56,452 Russian fighters killed in Ukraine, including 6,754 mobilized soldiers. Since the last update on May 31, the list has been supplemented with 1,689 soldiers, 153 of whom were mobilized. Journalists have noted that the weekly figures of Russian losses are once again increasing,  possibly reflecting the ongoing offensive by Russian forces on the Kharkiv axis.

According to the Astra Telegram channel, 19-year-old Daniil Vasilenko, a student at the Kerch Maritime Technical College, has died in the hospital after being injured in a missile attack on the Avangard ferry in Crimea.

Sentences, Legal Proceedings and Incidents

A court in the city of Lipetsk has sentenced Vladimir Vlasov, a former Wagner Group mercenary to 14 years in a maximum security penal colony for the murder of his 4-year-old stepdaughter. Vlasov has admitted his guilt. According to the local publication Gorod48, he has expressed a desire to "atone for his guilt with blood" and has submitted a petition to the court requesting a contract with the Russian MoD.

The Presidential Grants Foundation inadvertently revealed the number of convicts recruited by the Wagner Group in the Stavropol region. The foundation allocated 4 million rubles [$44,000] for the resocialization of former convicts who participated in the war. In the grant application for the Kovcheg project, it is stated that about a thousand convicts were sent to the war in Ukraine, with less than one-fifth returning. Among those who did return, 20 (approximately every tenth man) have already reoffended. These figures are corroborated by a Mediazona investigation, which reports that at least 920 convicts from Stavropol's penal colonies went to the war, and at least 351 of them were killed.

The Tomsk Garrison Military Court has sentenced serviceman Artyom Buravtsev to seven and a half years in a maximum security penal colony for his involvement in large-scale drug distribution committed in a group. Buravtsev was hired as a drug courier through Telegram but was immediately caught red-handed.

According to Mediazona, seven Russian soldiers, including Vladimir Azarenko, Maksim Aliyev, Daniil Vederchik, Yevgeny Veyning, Sergey Leonov and Vadim Khrenov, have been accused of particularly large-scale looting and face sentences ranging from eight to fifteen years in prison. This marks the second known case under this charge against Russian soldiers. It is worth noting that in May 2024, the same court received the case of another soldier, Anton Murin, who faced similar charges. The first Russian serviceman charged with looting was Lieutenant Colonel Ruslan Kachlavov.

An employee of the commandant's office of the Ufa garrison has been detained red-handed along with his accomplice. A criminal case has been initiated against them for fraud committed in a group or on a particularly large scale. According to investigators, they offered to assist military personnel with hospitalization and undergoing a military medical commission, followed by discharge from service with fitness category "D" (unfit for military service), in exchange for a bribe.

The Volgograd Garrison Military Court sentenced Igor Khodosov, a mobilized father of two, to three years on probation and a fine of 300,000 rubles [$3,400] on charges related to bribery and acting as an intermediary in bribery. Khodosov allegedly transferred 100,000 rubles [$1,130] to his battalion commander to avoid deployment to the combat zone. He also facilitated a similar payment for a comrade to prevent his deployment to war.

A criminal case has been initiated against 32-year-old Crimean resident Kirill B. for participating in an extremist organization. He faces up to eight years in prison under this charge. According to Astra, in November 2022, Kirill flew from Sochi to Yerevan, eventually reaching Ukraine, where he is alleged to have joined the "Right Sector" and participated in the war on the side of Ukraine.

The First Western District Military Court has sentenced Ivan Semyonov to eight years in prison for attempting a terrorist act. On Aug. 26, 2023, Semyonov threw a Molotov cocktail at a military recruitment office building. However, the bottle did not break, and no fire occurred. As a result, the damage caused to the MoD amounted to 47,000 rubles [$530] for a broken window.

Case files have been submitted to the court regarding three brothers—Aleksey, Ioann and Timofey Ascheulov. They are accused of attempting high treason, illegal border crossing and participating in the activities of a terrorist organization. According to TASS [Russian state-owned news agency], the accused are the sons of Lipetsk priest Igor Ascheulov. They were detained in the Kursk region while trying to cross the border into Ukraine, purportedly with plans to participate in the war on the side of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

61-year-old former pilot Igor Pokusin died in prison on June 11. The cause of death remains unclear. Pokusin was first detained in May 2022 for damaging a Svoikh ne brosayem [We don't abandon our own] campaign banner and writing pro-Ukraine graffiti on a museum wall in Abakan. Initially put on probation for "vandalism," he was rearrested the next day on charges of high treason. According to prosecutors, Pokusin was accused of intending to join the AFU. Human rights activists argue that despite his openly anti-war stance, he had no plans to join the AFU and confessed under torture. In January 2024, Pokusin was sentenced to eight years and one month in a penal colony for high treason.

According to Mediazona, three political prisoners have died in Russia over the past two and a half months. On June 11, 54-year-old Aleksandr Perov died in Saint Petersburg's Mariinsky Hospital. On April 5, volunteer Aleksandr Demidenko died in a pre-trial detention center in Belgorod. All of them had been accused of serious and grave crimes related to the war in Ukraine.

Miscellaneous

On June 12, Cheremkhovo [Irkutsk region] authorities opened a memorial for their fellow citizens who were killed in the war with Ukraine. The Lyudi Baikala [People of Baikal] independent media outlet discovered that among the 41 names listed on the monument, seven names match those of men previously convicted of assault, murder and robbery.

Longreads

Journalists from Novaya Gazeta Europe [European edition of the independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta] analyzed the crimes committed by Russian soldiers in occupied territories. They concluded that incidents resulting in the death of fellow soldiers, whether intentional or accidental, occur approximately every two to three days.