mobilization briefs
June 19

Mobilization in Russia for June 17-18, 2024 CIT Volunteer Summary

Authorities and Relatives of Mobilized Soldiers

The wives and mothers of mobilized soldiers have decided to form a "non-profit organization for mutual assistance and interaction with authorities," Paulina Safronova told the Mozhem Ob'yasnit [We Can Explain] Telegram channel. Safronova was one of the rally participants in front of the Ministry of Defense, during which the women had demanded to meet with the new minister Andrey Belousov. She believes that flower-laying ceremonies and similar forms of protests have exhausted their usefulness. Consequently, they hope to achieve their goals by meeting with officials, which should be easier as a registered, non-profit organization. Military wives will manage the organization’s work, while funding is expected to come from donations.

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

The Bryansk region governor Aleksandr Bogomaz announced the formation of a local territorial defense force. According to him, over 200 individuals have already completed a training course teaching "emergency response coordination, first aid and other skills." Bogomaz stated that the members of the territorial defense force will be armed. The force will be tasked with assisting the Border Service, MoD and Rosgvardia [the Russian National Guard].

In the town of Shumerlya, Chuvashia [Russia’s constituent republic], authorities set up a tent to recruit people for contract military service during the celebration of Akatuy, the national holiday.

Mobilized Soldiers, Volunteer Fighters and Contract Soldiers

​The list of mobilized soldiers killed in the war has been updated to include Denis Alekseyenkov from the Volgograd region, Dobun Spiridonov from Russia’s constituent Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), Artyom Maternovsky from the Krasnodar region, as well as Anton Zubarev, Konstantin Beltyukov and Ivan Novosyolov from the Kirov region.

Moreover, the death of a 19-year-old conscripted soldier from the Perm region [Russia’s federal subject] has been reported. Aleksandr Rusakov was drafted in the fall 2023 and served in Orenburg until he was transferred to the Belgorod region in the spring 2024. There had been no contact with him since May, and in June, his relatives learned that he came under fire and was killed.

Vladimir Samarzhiev, a serviceman of the 272nd Motorized Rifle Regiment, has recorded a video appeal asking the prosecutor’s office to intervene in his case. In February, Samarzhiev suffered shrapnel wounds. Following the initial phase of medical treatment, Samarzhiev was sent to his military unit in the village of Mulino, Nizhny Novgorod region, from where he was supposed to go on leave. When he approached his commanding officer with a report, he was met with a rude refusal. Samarzhiev was also denied medical assistance, and his appeal to the prosecutor’s office was ignored. On June 12, Samarzhiev once again requested leave from his commanding officer and was told that his issue would soon be resolved. However, the next day, he was informed that he would be sent to the combat zone. According to the order, only fighters from the Storm units should be taken from hospitals to the frontline, but commanders are sending everyone indiscriminately. On June 15, Samarzhiev was able to inform his family that he was departing for the frontline, and there has been no contact with him ever since. In addition to Samarzhiev, 16 other servicemen with health issues were sent from the unit to the frontline. Previously, the Astra Telegram channel reported on a similar practice regarding servicemen of the 47th Guards Tank Division who had not been fully healed.

According to the Astra news outlet, a Russian serviceman went missing after recording a video detailing his illegal deployment to the frontline. His wife informed Astra that he was likely transferred to an illegal camp for refuseniks in the town of Perevalsk. She learned from her husband’s immediate commander that he is now in a unit called IK-15, which is allegedly a former penal colony in occupied Perevalsk, now functioning as a military unit. Last week, the servicemen released a video complaining that they were deceitfully lured to the city of Rostov-on-Don and then transported to the combat zone to be sent on an assault. They claimed to have valid reasons for not participating in combat.

​Sentences, Legal Proceedings and Incidents

A court in the city of Odintsovo, Moscow region, sentenced a former war participant to 13 years in a maximum-security penal colony for sexual violence against his 10-year-old stepdaughter, as reported by the Travmpunkt [First-Aid Station] human rights project. The project noted that the 32-year-old man had previously been convicted under the same charge. Considering the totality of his sentences, he was given 18 years in a maximum-security penal colony.

Last April, a Tomsk region court sentenced local resident Aleksey Orlov to two years of probation for shooting an acquaintance with a hunting rifle in an attempt to get imprisoned and subsequently sign a contract with the MoD. During a drinking session, Orlov expressed his desire to go to the war in Ukraine and mentioned that he had twice visited the draft office to enlist as a volunteer but was rejected due to not having local registration. When his drinking companion mocked him, Orlov decided to shoot him with the hunting rifle. According to the victim, after the shot was fired, Orlov placed the rifle on a bed and said, "There’s no other way; you are my ticket to the special military operation." The court considered Orlov's desire to go to the frontline and the victim's provocative behavior as mitigating factors. On June 7, Orlov posted photos on his social media of a fortified dugout, along with pictures of himself in military uniform and holding weapons.

Mediazona [independent Russian media outlet] has calculated that more than 10,000 Russian soldiers have been accused of refusing to serve since the beginning of the war with Ukraine. Following September 2022, military personnel were prohibited from resigning from service, and the State Duma [lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia] adopted amendments toughening the "military" articles of the Criminal Code. Since then, 9,059 cases of going AWOL, 627 cases of failure to execute orders and 339 cases of desertion have been submitted to the courts. A total of 10,085 military personnel have been charged in these cases, and 8,594 of them have already been sentenced. As of the end of April 2024, the courts were issuing sentences in such cases at an unprecedented rate of 34 to 35 verdicts per day. In May, another record was set for such cases: 929 criminal cases of going AWOL (844), failure to execute orders (43) and desertion (42) were submitted to the courts in one month. In most of these cases, judges issue suspended sentences, allowing the command to return servicemen to the frontline. The number of initiated but not yet court-processed criminal cases against draft dodgers is unknown.

The Moscow Garrison Military Court sentenced Aleksandr Samsonov, a mobilized soldier from the "DPR" who refused to sign a contract with the Russian MoD despite being pressured by his command, to five years in a penal colony for going AWOL. In February 2023, he left the unit, and in November of the same year, he was detained in Moscow. In court, the soldier stated that he had not signed a contract with the MoD and had not taken the oath. However, the court ruled that the defendant had the status of a contract soldier.

A 29-year-old security guard with a psychiatric diagnosis, Aleksandr Batsenin, was sentenced to 12 years in a maximum security penal colony for transferring 779 rubles [$8.77] to the account of the "Russian Volunteer Corps." The Khabarovsk Regional Court convicted him of treason, despite Batsenin's claim that the phone used for the transfer was planted on him. He further alleged that he confessed under duress after being physically assaulted. Mediazona provided a detailed account of his story.

The Supreme Court of Bashkortostan delivered a verdict against a group of young people accused of sabotage on the railway. According to investigators, 22-year-old Ilmir Gaisin, 21-year-old Nikita Ivanov, 21-year-old Artur Shaidullin and a 17-year-old whose name is not disclosed, following instructions from a "person acting in the interests of Ukraine," set fire to a relay cabinet on the Karlaman-Priuralye stretch of the railway on the afternoon of March 12, 2023. The cabinet was completely destroyed by the fire. On the same day, they also attempted to set fire to a relay cabinet on a railway in Ufa. One of the defendants received a sentence of 12 years and one month in prison, while two others were sentenced to 11 years each. The fourth defendant, a minor, was sentenced to eight years in a juvenile penal colony.

Yegor Balazeykin remains in the pre-trial detention center as he has not been released for transfer to a juvenile penal colony, reportedly due to a lost letter containing necessary documents for his transfer. Once transferred to a penal colony, he will gain rights such as phone calls and visits, which are currently denied to him in the detention center.


Recently appointed Deputy Minister of Defense Anna Tsivilyova stated that at least every fifth demobilized soldier developed PTSD and required assistance from psychologists and psychiatrists.


Authorities of the Kirovsky district of Perm will install a memorial shrine to honor participants of the "special military operation." The officials plan to spend 1.5 million rubles [$16,900] on this project. Meanwhile, Russia’s constituent Republic of Tatarstan will spend over 6 million rubles [$67,600] for "patriotic education."

The Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) uncovered two cartel agreements totaling 1.1 billion rubles [$12.39 million] in the healthcare industry. The companies involved had conspired to fix prices in tenders to supply medical equipment and consumables for institutions rehabilitating participants of the "special military operation."


The Vot Tak [Like This] media outlet published an article about residents of the occupied territories of Ukraine who are recruited into the Russian MoD’s Young Army [pro-Kremlin youth organization]. Journalists sought to understand what the teenagers themselves think about this, why they agreed to join the Young Army and who teaches children from occupied territories to hate Ukraine.