mobilization briefs
June 5

Mobilization in Russia for June 3-4, 2024 CIT Volunteer Summary

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

The Voyennye Advokaty [Military Lawyers] Telegram channel has posted an explanation of the process of being called up for military training and the potential consequences of ignoring a draft notice. Authorities can summon any person liable for military duty if they are staying in the reserve, although the law provides for a wide range of grounds for exemption. Moreover, authorities must serve each draft notice at least 10 days before the date of appearance at the draft office, precluding same-day call-ups. Ignoring a draft notice is considered an administrative offense and can result in a fine of 10,000 to 30,000 rubles [$112 to $340]. During military training, however, the law treats reservists as military personnel, who are subject to both administrative and criminal penalties if they commit crimes against military service.

Mobilized Soldiers, Volunteer Fighters and Contract Soldiers

The list of mobilized soldiers killed in the war has been updated to include Bogdan Bokov from the Belgorod region and Ivan Kutmarov from the Khanty-Mansi autonomous region–Yugra [Russia's federal subject].

In the Stavropol region, soldiers who refused to serve due to cancer, tuberculosis, and mental disorders were sent back to the war. Mobilized soldiers and contract servicemen from a Stavropol unit were awaiting medical examination after submitting reports to refuse participation in the war. However, on May 31, the men were informed they would be taken for questioning to the commandant's office in the city of Rostov-on-Don. Instead, they were taken under this pretext to a military training ground near the town of Ilovaisk in the "DPR" and then sent into combat. Previously, a mobilized miner from the city of Luhansk complained that the "LPR" authorities had deceptively sent him to a training range near Ilovaisk, where he was assaulted for refusing to participate in combat operations.

An HIV-positive volunteer was denied a discharge from service and faced deployment to a combat zone. Dmitry Savelyev, 33, enlisted voluntarily for the war in August 2023 despite knowing his diagnosis. He informed the draft office about his illness and requested a non-combat role but was assigned to assault troops. According to the Defense Ministry's decree, the ministry is not authorized to recruit HIV-positive individuals. In January, Savelyev was wounded, and after receiving treatment alongside other soldiers, he sought discharge. However, the commander of the 15th Motorized Rifle Regiment sent him back to a combat zone and ordered him to await a decision there.

In the Chelyabinsk region, the families of servicemen and mercenaries are widely complaining about the non-payment of promised financial benefits. These complaints include the failure to receive payments due upon the death of a close relative in the war and the sign-up bonuses promised upon signing a contract.

Aleksandr Mikhailov, a former Storm-Z unit fighter from Bashkortostan [Russia's constituent republic], continues to complain to Putin about being denied compensation for his injury and proper treatment. The Ministry of Defense and the military unit claim that Mikhailov is not listed in the official records of military personnel and demand the originals of his documents. According to the ex-convict, instead of the promised 200,000 rubles [$2,240] per month, he received about 40,000 rubles [$450]. Mikhailov had previously recorded a video appeal with complaints. As noted by the Agentstvo [Agency] independent media outlet, during a court case, the draft office of Karelia [Russia’s constituent republic] officially stated that an ex-convict sent to the war "does not acquire the status of a serviceman," but belongs to a "special contingent" and is not entitled to additional social benefits.

Sentences, Legal Proceedings and Incidents

In the Oryol region, police officers have detained members of a criminal group consisting of former Wagner Group mercenaries. According to investigators, the group has been operating since May 2023. Over the course of a year, the suspects extorted money, cars and apartments from individuals involved in drug trafficking. The case includes a total of eight counts. Currently, the group members are in pre-trial detention, charged with extortion. However, the press releases of the Federal Security Service (FSB) and the police do not mention that three of the detainees are war participants.

In April 2024, a court in Russia’s constituent Republic of Tatarstan sentenced Aleksandr Kuzmin, a 41-year-old previously convicted member of the Wagner Group, to eight years in a maximum security penal colony for a new murder. According to case files, this winter Kuzmin visited a 62-year-old woman in the village of Nadezhdino with whom he had a relationship, but she refused to let him into her home. Kuzmin then broke a window and hit the woman with his fists at least 19 times, after which he slashed her body with a knife and left. The next morning, he found her dead, called a taxi, and left. The autopsy revealed that the woman died of hypothermia from the broken window. Relatives and acquaintances of the murderer told the court that Kuzmin had been convicted of murder and had spent the last 10 years in prison. He then joined the Wagner Group and went to war, receiving a pardon by a secret decree of Putin.

In Yekaterinburg, Yury Lopatin, a 36-year-old drunken war participant, attacked his neighbor, an elderly man involved in "patriotic education" of the youth. Lopatin had returned from the war about a month earlier. During that time, according to his mother, with whom he lived, he drank constantly, behaved inappropriately, and threatened the entire courtyard, including children. He claimed he could do anything without consequence. On June 3, after learning of neighbors' complaints about his behavior, Lopatin burst into the elderly man's apartment and hit him in the head with a hammer. Law enforcement officers who arrived at the scene of the attack questioned Lopatin and then released him to go home. The police refused to write a report or detain the man as he was due to return to the war the very next day. The police confirmed the information about the incident. Lopatin had previously been convicted of murder twice.


Novaya Gazeta Europe [European edition of the independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta] reported, citing a source, that Russia's only hospital for cystic fibrosis patients will be converted into a hospital for war veterans and then closed.


The Bumaga [Paper] independent media outlet spoke with relatives of convicts and those recently released from the colony about how the recruitment of suspects and those accused of crimes for the war is currently organized in Saint Petersburg.