mobilization briefs
June 18

Mobilization in Russia for June 16-17, 2024 CIT Volunteer Summary

Authorities and Legislation

Vladimir Putin sacked first deputy defense minister Ruslan Tsalikov and deputy defense ministers Nikolay Pankov, Tatiana Shevtsova and Pavel Popov, appointing new individuals instead. Leonid Gornin, previously first deputy finance minister, will now serve as first deputy defense minister. Pavel Fradkov, deputy head of the Presidential Administration (and the son of former Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov), will now assume the position of deputy defense minister, as will Putin’s niece Anna Tsivilyova (who was the subject of an investigation by the Proekt [Project] independent media outlet). Until recently, Tsivilyova headed the Defenders of the Fatherland Fund. The Ministry of Defense announced that Gornin will oversee financial flows, Fradkov will head the management of property, land and construction, while Tsivilyova will be responsible for "military personnel housing and social support." Oleg Savelyev, formerly an auditor at the Accounts Chamber, will also become a deputy defense minister, as well as the ministry’s chief of staff.

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

The Military Investigation Department for the Southern Military District commented on the results of the raid that took place in Rostov-on-Don last weekend. Law enforcement officers were tasked to identify former migrants, who were granted Russian citizenship, but failed to register for military service. They checked a total of 158 people and sent 35 of them to draft offices to be added to the military rolls.

In the Sverdlovsk region, authorities have increased the sign-up bonus for signing a contract with the Ministry of Defense from 100,000 rubles [$1,127] to 400,000 rubles [$4,470]. This increased amount will be available to those who sign a contract between June 15 and Dec. 31, 2024. This makes the Sverdlovsk region at least the seventeenth region in Russia to raise the size of the sign-up bonus since the beginning of the year.

The Russian public services portal, Gosuslugi, has sent out a letter promoting the "Russian Special Forces University" in Chechnya [Russia’s constituent republic]. The letter invites recipients to "become part of the country's military elite right now" and offers free training for a "new military specialty" with "training by the best instructors with combat experience" and "high-level financial compensation." However, as Mediazona [independent Russian media outlet] discovered by calling the "university," these free courses are only available with the subsequent deployment to the "special military operation" zone.

According to sources cited by the Baza Telegram channel, the leadership of the Investigative Committee and the Ministry of Internal Affairs have recommended that investigators offer accused and suspected men the option to sign a contract for military service in exchange for the termination of their criminal cases on rehabilitative grounds. These recommendations were reportedly sent to almost all regions of Russia several months ago. Police officers are also supposed to offer this option to men under post-release restrictions. For instance, 62-year-old former general director of FC Novosibirsk, Andrey Perlov, who is in pre-trial detention on charges of fraud and embezzlement, was offered to sign a contract and go to the frontline.

Mobilized Soldiers, Volunteer Fighters and Contract Soldiers

The list of mobilized soldiers killed in the war has been updated to include Andrey Soloshin from the Kursk region, Andrey Prokaev from the Samara region, Pavel Kurdyumov, Dmitry Laptev and Aleksandr Smetanin from the Kirov region, as well as Nikita Oblender from the Khanty-Mansi autonomous region–Yugra [Russia’s federal subject].

As reported by his son, a 61-year-old contract soldier from the Orenburg region, Anatoly Yemets, is receiving threats instead of the necessary medical treatment at the unit where he is undergoing military training. Yemets signed a contract in January 2024 but fell seriously ill during training and was hospitalized at his sons' request. After 50 days of treatment, he was discharged with a recommendation to undergo a military medical evaluation at his unit. However, Yemets was transferred to another military unit, where his new commander subjected him to excessive physical labor, disregarding the soldier's health issues. As a result of this, Yemets' condition has deteriorated, and he requested to be sent for medical treatment. In response, the commander threatened to put Yemets in a pit or execute him.

In Russia’s constituent Republic of Bashkortostan, relatives of mobilized soldiers serving in the 1219th Motorized Rifle Regiment have recorded another video appeal to the authorities, reiterating their grievances against the command that sent the men to an assault mission, which has been ongoing for two weeks. There is no communication with the mobilized soldiers.

Sentences, Legal Proceedings and Incidents

The Astra Telegram channel and 93.RU [Krasnodar regional online media outlet] have discovered that Yury Yakubenko, an ex-mercenary of the Wagner Group who attacked a 12-year-old boy with a knife in the village of Taman, had previously been convicted not only of theft but also of murder. In 2019, he was sentenced to 13 years in a maximum security penal colony for murdering his friend, whom he had stabbed during an argument. He was supposed to serve his sentence until 2032, but in May 2023, he was recruited into the Wagner Group and deployed to the war in Ukraine. However, he returned home to the Krasnodar region in June.

In Chelyabinsk, the court has sentenced those accused of railway sabotage. Aleksey Udalykh, 22, and Nikita Sychyov, 19, were each sentenced to 11 years of imprisonment, while Dmitry Masgutov, 19, received 11 and a half years. They were also ordered to pay 163,600 rubles [$1,830] in damages to Russian Railways. According to investigators, on May 7, 2023, the young men set fire to relay and battery cabinets on the railway section between Supryak and Tsemzavod, which were completely burnt out. Reportedly, the incident did not affect train traffic. The next day, the young men were detained. Law enforcement officers claim they allegedly acted under the guidance of Ukrainian intelligence services for a reward.

The Supreme Court of Udmurtia [Russia's constituent republic] has sentenced a 20-year-old resident of the republic to 12 years of imprisonment for sabotage for setting fire to a relay cabinet in Izhevsk. The name of the convict has not been disclosed. According to investigators, in mid-July 2023, the young man contacted an "unidentified person" via Telegram, who instructed him to set fire to a relay cabinet on a section of railway where trains with supplies for the frontline were passing. He was allegedly promised 15,000 rubles [$170] for the arson. The convict pleaded guilty.

Ksenia Karelina, an American-Russian dual citizen, faces charges of high treason. She was detained in February 2024 at the border while returning from the United States to Yekaterinburg. The accusation stems from her transfer of $51.80 to the Ukrainian fund Razom [Together] for Ukraine from her American bank account on Feb. 24, 2022.

A court has sentenced 35-year-old Khrystyna Liubashenko from Kyiv to 12 years in a penal colony on charges of spreading "fake news" about the army and participating in a terrorist organization. Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Liubashenko fled to Switzerland with her family. She faced financial difficulties there and an acquaintance, later identified as Vitaly Yurchenko, offered her help. She was persuaded to travel to Russia and release balloons bearing the white-blue-white flag in Moscow in exchange for money. The promise of money was soon accompanied by threats and blackmail. She was detained immediately after the rally on May 8. An officer of the General Directorate for Countering Extremism of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation, known as "Center E," testified in court that he had received advance information from his superiors that "a certain person would organize a protest action" in Moscow. Obviously, Lyubashenko fell victim to a provocation by Russian law enforcement officers. Mediazona provided a detailed account of Lyubashenko's story.


The Ministry of Education and Science reported on the "Universities for the Frontline" campaign. According to the Groza [Thunderstorm] media outlet, the list includes not only food, warm cloths and camouflage nets, but also devices for dropping grenades from UAVs, as well as dry showers and crackers.

The Tallamkho design bureau has announced the creation of the Svyaz [Connection] social network for secure messaging among soldiers on the frontline. According to TASS [Russian state-owned news agency], it consists of mobile micro-servers that receive information from users connected to them via smartphones through Wi-Fi. Up to 255 subscribers can connect to the server at the same time, and their distance from the servers can allegedly reach up to 50 kilometers. In July, specialists will begin deploying the network in a combat zone.

In Tyumen, as part of the "Our Atmosphere" project, military personnel and their families will be assisted in coping with PTSD and adapting to civilian life through "personal development training, creativity, volunteering, and creating personal blogs with a positive agenda."

Children and Educational System

Ninety-five schoolchildren aged 8 to 16 from the occupied part of the Zaporizhzhia region were taken to the Yaroslavl region "for a vacation in a children's camp."According to the regional government, about 400 children from the occupied territories of Ukraine will arrive in the region this summer.


The Mozhem Ob'yasnit [We Can Explain] Telegram channel reports statistical indicators related to the social sphere in the Belgorod region. Migration loss of the population reached 12.3% in the first four months of 2024. During the same period, 10% fewer children were born compared to the previous year, and the death rate increased by 3%. Overall, the natural population decline increased by 14.3%. According to Rosstat, 18% fewer marriages were registered in the region since the beginning of 2024 compared to the previous year. Nevertheless, Belgorod was ranked among the top five large cities with a favorable living environment in 2023.


Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty released a report on how war participants visit educational institutions and promote participation in combat operations under the guise of social mobility. Meanwhile, BBC News Russian detailed how scammers are extorting money from Russians by threatening them with prison sentences for supporting Ukraine.