mobilization briefs
June 24

Mobilization in Russia for June 21-23, 2024 CIT Volunteer Summary

Authorities and Relatives of Mobilized Soldiers

At the beginning of June, a court in Russia’s constituent Republic of Dagestan awarded six relatives of Khalid Kurbanov, a 20-year-old contract soldier killed in the war, 500,000 rubles [$5,740] each as compensation for moral damages. Although Kurbanov was killed in October 2022, his burial took place only in April 2023. The plaintiffs argued that the official death gratuity was "merely the state-guaranteed compensation for the loss," but they experienced profound moral suffering as a result of their loved one's death. They had sought 5 million rubles [$57,400] each. The court ruled in their favor but reduced the award. However, the Ministry of Defense is appealing the decision. The case information on the court’s website was updated on June 19 with two appeals lodged by the ministry.

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

In Samara, a draft office representative together with a police major tried to serve a young man a draft notice through his father. The father refused to take it, as a draft notice must be served directly to the recipient. As a result, the officials tore away the stub and left the draft notice under the door. Legal experts from the Idite Lesom! [Flee through the woods/Get lost you all] Telegram channel remind their readers that it is safe to ignore a paper draft notice left with a relative or in a mailbox, as it must be delivered in person or via registered mail and signed for by the intended recipient to have legal force. Moreover, they advise against visiting draft offices and recommend completing data check-ups using the Gosuslugi public services portal or by post.

A resident of Kyrgyzstan, Askar Kubanychbek uulu, convicted of mercenary activities, escaped to Russia to re-sign a contract with the Ministry of Defense for the sake of obtaining Russian citizenship. He was detained in January 2023 in Kyrgyzstan and sentenced in May 2023 to 10 years in a penal colony for participating in an armed conflict in other countries. At that time, Kubanychbek uulu appealed to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for help, and in January 2024, a court in Bishkek released him on probation. He then went to Moscow to obtain Russian citizenship. Allegedly, the migration center demanded an unaffordable amount for processing his citizenship, so he went to Russia's constituent republic of Sakha (Yakutia), where he signed a contract for the second time.

Authorities in the Samara region have increased the sign-up bonus for participating in the war. Volunteers will now receive a total of 1 million rubles [$11,500] upon signing a contract. Previously, the regional portion of the payments was 150,000 rubles [$1,720]. According to Vyacheslav Fedorishchev, the acting governor of the region, support measures will be provided not only by the regional government but also by municipal authorities.

The Kommersant daily newspaper reported on how the recruitment of suspects and defendants for the war is being conducted. According to journalists, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Federal Security Service, the Ministry of Emergency Situations, the Federal Customs Service and even bailiffs operating under the supervision of the prosecutor's office are involved in recruiting contract soldiers alongside the Investigative Committee. They have all been tasked with collaborating with draft offices to invite physically healthy men aged 18 to 65 who are involved in criminal cases to serve. Similar practices were previously reported by the Baza and the Voyennye Advokaty [Military Lawyers] Telegram channels.

Mobilized Soldiers, Volunteer Fighters and Contract Soldiers

Fighters of the Sura Battalion from Russia's constituent Republic of Chuvashia have recorded a video address to the Ministry of Defense and the Military Prosecutor’s Office, demanding a raise in their salaries. In February, the servicemen were relocated from the vicinity of Luhansk in the Russian-annexed part of Ukraine to the Belgorod region of Russia, which, according to documents, is not considered part of the "special military operation" zone. For this reason, their salaries were reduced from 200,000 rubles [$2,260] to 40,000 rubles [$460]. Moreover, according to the soldiers, the battalion’s casualties only increased after the redeployment. Previously, other servicemen stationed on the Russia-Ukraine border between the Belgorod and Kharkiv regions had expressed similar grievances.

In Russia's constituent Republic of Tyva, a book has been published about mobilized and contract soldiers who have been killed in Ukraine. As of today, BBC News Russian and Mediazona [independent Russian media outlet] have verified the deaths of 591 Tyva residents in the war. Due to the large number of casualties, the book includes only one hundred names. This has drawn dissatisfaction from the relatives of the killed, who are confused and upset about the rationale behind the selection process.

Sentences, Legal Proceedings and Incidents

The Southern District Military Court has upheld the conviction of Yegor Buzmakov, who was sentenced to six and a half years in a penal colony for assaulting a superior officer. According to prosecutors, the soldier engaged in loud profanity after lights-out, which led the captain to issue a reprimand. In response, Buzmakov struck the officer in the face with the wooden handle of a knife. Journalists have observed that an individual with the same full name as the accused had previously been convicted of assaulting a fellow soldier and is now facing criminal charges for robbery and causing minor harm to health.

A court in Omsk has found two soldiers guilty of going AWOL. One was sentenced to five years, and the other to one year and two months in a penal settlement. The court took into account mitigating factors such as their status as parents, their participation in the war in Ukraine and their admission of guilt.

As discovered by Mediazona, a case of cooperation with a foreign organization has been filed against Dmitry Polunin, a resident of Anapa who spoke out against the war with Ukraine. Prior to this, Polunin had been held for 140 days in detention centers under various misdemeanor charges. He was found guilty of disobeying police, petty hooliganism and other charges. According to Mediazona, this case sets a record in the practice of "carousel" arrests, a tactic where law enforcement repeatedly detains individuals to prolong their isolation while gathering evidence for a criminal case. In the initial decision to arrest Polunin, it was stated that he had already been charged with disobeying police within the last year, suggesting that he may have endured even longer periods of arrest.


The Ural Federal University trade union reported on collecting medicines to be sent to the frontline. Additionally, the chairman of the Azerbaijani diaspora in the Ryazan region and his colleagues delivered approximately 500 kg of various supplies to Russian soldiers. These supplies included washbasins, wires, drainage pumps and hoses for pumping rainwater out of dugouts.

Children and Educational System

Events to commemorate the start of the Great Patriotic War were held in Russian summer school camps. According to guidelines and reports in school groups on the VKontakte social network, the program included discussions about the "special military operation" and a propaganda film justifying the invasion of Ukraine. According to the Agentstvo.Novosti [Agency News] Telegram channel, over 2,000 schools published reports about these events, with more than 800 specifically mentioning the film. The film asserts that "the Western masters of the criminal regime in modern Ukraine used artillery, aircraft and tanks to subdue the freedom-loving Donbas, resulting in the death and impoverishment of hundreds of thousands and the destruction of once-thriving cities."


Head of the Altai Republic Andrey Turchak has invited officer Aleksandr Surazov to join his team. Surazov gained prominence through his involvement in the news coverage by pro-Russian war correspondent Alexander Sladkov. It is reported that Surazov brought a brick from Bataysk to the mother of Roman Rudkov, who was killed in the war, with an inscribed suicide message allegedly left by Rudkov. Surazov is now among the participants of the Time of Heroes personnel program.

The post-war crime wave stemming from the war with Ukraine might cost Russia 1 trillion rubles [$11 billion], or 0.6% of the country's GDP, according to Aleksandr Isakov, chief economist at Bloomberg Economics. He notes that the Russian state will face increased spending on social security and public safety, especially police. In 2023, there was a more than 20% increase in non-war-related crimes committed by military personnel, with significant rises in violent crimes, thefts and drug offenses. In particular, there has been a spike in violent crimes, as well as theft and drug offenses. Additionally, crimes involving military personnel have quadrupled compared to 2021.


BBC News Russian has reported on the fate of the Wagner Group's military assets a year after the Yevgeny Prigozhin’s [deceased owner of the Wagner Group] armed rebellion.