mobilization briefs
June 4

Mobilization in Russia for June 2–3, 2024 CIT Volunteer Summary

Authorities and Relatives of Mobilized Soldiers

In Moscow, mothers and wives of mobilized and contract soldiers protested in front of the Ministry of Defense and sought a meeting with Russia’s new Minister of Defense Andrey Belousov, reportedly to secure the return of their loved ones from the war after 21 months of service. Some women came to the protest with their children. One of them said that they were there to urge the Ministry of Defense to "return their dads." The Put Domoy [Way Home] movement of mobilized soldiers’ relatives posted a message on its Telegram channel indicating that several of its members participated, although most of those present represented other groups. Authorities have recently added the movement to the register of "foreign agents." For their part, the protesters told the Ostorozhno, Novosti [Beware the News] Telegram channel that they were not affiliated with the Put Domoy movement. Mediazona [independent Russian media outlet] reported that police officers approached the women, as soon as they had gathered for the protest, and ordered them to disperse. When the women refused, the officers began checking their IDs and taking down their details. A police van and Rosgvardia [the Russian National Guard] troops were present at the scene, but no detentions were reported.

Twelve protesters kneeled outside the building of the Russian Defense Ministry building holding up hand-written placards and banners until a ministry representative, Colonel General Borisenko, came out to speak with them. According to Agentstvo [Agency, independent media outlet], this appears to be the same Aleksandr Borisenko who promised to meet with the mothers of missing conscript soldiers back in December 2022, but never kept his word. Speaking with Borisenko, the women expressed their dissent against the degrading treatment their loved ones are subjected to in the war zone, but most importantly, against the open-ended format of mobilization. In response, the officer spoke about his own son who is fighting on the frontline despite having a prosthetic leg and allegedly believes that there is no turning back. Moreover, Borisenko excluded any possibility for mobilized soldiers to return home, claiming that "a total of 55 states are engaged in aggression" against Russia. He added that those who demand their husbands to be returned from the war have no right to be called Russian citizens. Those who still disagreed were told to send written complaints to Minister of Defense Andrey Belousov. Finally, the general took notes on military units and specific issues raised by the women. Eventually, despite all promises, the protesters were not allowed into the ministry building. They dispersed due to the heavy rain, but said they would not give up campaigning for their men.

Mobilized Soldiers, Volunteer Fighters and Contract Soldiers

The Kavkaz.Realii [Caucasus.Realities, part of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty] media outlet, which maintains a list of the names of soldiers from the Caucasus and southern regions of Russia killed in the war, has reported that the number of deceased servicemen has exceeded 8,000.

Servicemen of the 15th Motor Rifle Regiment have recorded a video stating that, despite being recognized as temporarily unfit for military service, they were not granted leave after medical treatment. Instead, the chief of staff of their unit sent them to the line of contact in the Russian-annexed Luhansk region of Ukraine.

The Vyorstka media outlet has reported that hundreds of mobilized soldiers from various regions of Russia are being forcibly sent to the frontline despite their refusal to fight against Ukraine. Those who resist are subjected to physical abuse and restraint. Ignoring injuries, recognizance bonds and scheduled court hearings in desertion cases, refuseniks are put on planes at gunpoint and deployed to the forward positions, including assault missions near the city of Kharkiv. Several such cases were reported in the previous summary.

The Agentstvo media outlet has reported that for the first time authorities have officially refused to recognize convicts sent to war as servicemen. This information comes from a response by a draft office in Karelia [Russia’s constituent republic] to a complaint by former Storm-Z unit fighter Aleksandr Sekretov. Previously convicted on drug charges, Sekretov participated in the war against Ukraine from May to November 2023. He is seeking a court ruling to recognize his right to receive 3 million rubles [$33,200] for his injury. The draft office's response indicated that since Sekretov was sent to the war from a penal colony, he "does not acquire the status of a serviceman" but is considered part of a special contingent assisting the Ministry of Defense within the Storm-Z volunteer assault units. The draft office also noted that recruited convicts are not on the Ministry of Defense's payroll and are not entitled to additional social guarantees.

A mobilized soldier from Russia's constituent republic of Sakha (Yakutia), Maksim Maslov, has been struggling for nine months to obtain a necessary surgery in Moscow. Maslov was mobilized despite having an unhealed pelvic fracture, and his condition worsened after he was wounded in combat. According to Maslov, his command is demanding his return to the city of Luhansk, though an officer in his unit has promised not to send him on "combat duties."

Sentences, Legal Proceedings and Incidents

A resident of the Belgorod region was killed in a traffic accident involving a Russian tank driven by drunken soldiers. According to the Pepel [Ashes] Telegram channel, the accident occurred on the night of May 31 to June 1. The tank veered off the field and crashed into a car, killing the driver, Andrey Alekseev. The soldiers attempted to flee the scene.

On the night of June 2, a soldier opened fire in the courtyard of a residential building in Donetsk, killing a civilian and a soldier. Two other local residents were wounded. The shooter, identified as Roman Burlachenko, a supply platoon commander of the 88th Rifle Regiment and a native of Donetsk, was apprehended by police.

Federal Security Service (FSB) officers in the Khabarovsk region reported the arrest of a local resident on suspicion of "collaborating with Ukrainian military intelligence." A criminal case for cooperation with a foreign state has been opened, and the man has been arrested. His details have not been disclosed.

Additionally, the FSB has reported the detention of "five agents of the Main Intelligence Directorate of Ukraine and the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU)" who were allegedly recruited in the Zaporizhzhia region and were preparing to sabotage Black Sea Fleet facilities in Sevastopol. They have been charged with a terrorist attack and treason.

A court in the Krasnoyarsk region has sentenced a local woman to one year and eight months of forced labor for obstructing the work of election commissions, committed in a group in conspiracy. According to the Sibirsky Express media outlet, this refers to Natalya Andrianova. On March 15, 2024, she came to a polling station in the village of Kuragino andpoured brilliant green over her ballot in the voting booth before putting it into the ballot box. In March, a video appeared in which the detainee said she had planned to set fire to the ballot boxes and the voting booth. She had a bottle of solvent with her.

The health of Yegor Balazeykin, a student sentenced to six years in a penal colony for attempting to set fire to a draft office, is rapidly deteriorating. The discussion of his hospitalization from the pre-trial detention center is ongoing. It is worth noting that Balazeykin suffers from autoimmune hepatitis.

Children and Educational System

Danil Shargan, the head of the Novosibirsk Alpha military-sports center, who calls himself a "veteran of the special military operation," continues to conduct military tactics classes despite criminal charges against him for "torture of a minor." Previously, the mother of one of the trainees accused Shargan of assaulting her 10-year-old son. On the center's social media pages, Shargan can be seen taking children on trips to the forest, going to the movies with them, and attending public celebrations.

Graduates of the Ural Federal University are offered jobs in drone production via a newsletter. One of the conditions of employment is the willingness to give up traveling abroad. The Novator design bureau, which offers jobs to students, in addition to drone production, designs air defense systems and 3M-54 Kalibr cruise missiles and is on sanctions lists in a number of countries.

Children's Day was celebrated in the Volga regions, and many of the events were held in a militaristic manner. For example, in the Nizhny Novgorod region, children were shown how to disassemble and assemble an assault rifle, as well as mock-ups of a bayonet knife and cartridges. In the Orenburg region, at a children's event, children were also taught how to assemble and disassemble a Kalashnikov assault rifle. In Mari El [Russia's constituent republic], a patriotic event "Children for Peace" was held, aimed at "preserving the memory of the people’s heroism." Children marched through the square in military uniforms.


The Agentstvo media outlet has discovered that Russian authorities have increased spending on films about Russia and the USSR's wars with the West by 3.5 times. In 2022, the Ministry of Culture and the Cinema Fund allocated 2.2 billion rubles [$24.35 million] for such films, while in 2023 the figure rose to 2.5 billion rubles [$27.67 million]. By comparison, in 2021, the state allocated 640 million rubles [$7.08 million] for similar projects.


The 7x7—Gorizontalnaya Rossiya [Horizontal Russia] news outlet reported on how hospitals are being converted into military hospitals, shopping centers into drone manufacturing plants, and Multifunctional Public Services Centers into centers for military personnel.

The New York Times reported (En, Ru) on the mechanism behind the systematic kidnapping of Ukrainian children to Russia through the adoption process. Journalists traced the story of 46 children and revealed the chain of officials responsible for their forced relocation. The children's forms indicate that they are from Crimea and do not mention that their place of birth is Ukraine. At least two children have already been placed with Russian families, seven have returned to Ukraine, and the rest are under the care of Russian authorities.

Vazhnyye Istorii [IStories, independent Russian investigative media outlet] spoke with military medic Vladimir Galkin, who spent nearly two years in Russian captivity, about the torture and killing of prisoners in the camps.