mobilization briefs
June 7

Mobilization in Russia for June 4-6, 2024 CIT Volunteer Summary

Authorities and Legislation

Speaking at the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum, Vladimir Putin stated that 1,348 Russian soldiers and officers were currently being held captive by Ukrainian forces. He also claimed that Russian forces were holding 6,465 Ukrainian prisoners of war. It is worth noting that Russia and Ukraine conducted a "75 for 75" prisoner exchange a week ago. Moreover, answering a question about the losses of Russian forces, Putin contended that they were approximately 5 times smaller than those of the Ukrainian side. He asserted that the Armed Forces of Ukraine lose 50,000 people every month with an alleged 1:1 ratio between recoverable casualties and permanent losses. Thus, a literal interpretation of Putin’s words would mean that Russia loses 10,000 military personnel every month, of which 5,000 are permanent losses.

The State Council of Russia's constituent Republic of Tatarstan withdrew a bill from the State Duma [lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia] after the federal government refused to support it. In October 2023, members of the State Council had voted to submit the bill to the State Duma, in an attempt to mitigate the manpower shortages in the defense sector. They sought to encourage young men graduating in relevant specialties to join military-industrial complex enterprises by treating this work as alternative civilian service, which would entitle them to draft exemptions.

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

In Rostov-on-Don, Astrakhan, and two districts of the Volgograd region, law enforcement officers conducted another series of raids targeting labor migrants. During the roundup in Rostov-on-Don, 200 people were checked, and 18 of them were sent to draft offices for military registration. In Astrakhan, raids continued for the third day in a row. No violations of military registration were reported there or in the Volgograd region. Additionally, law enforcement officers conducted raids in the Krasnodar region, as a result of which 31 people registered for military service in Krasnodar and Sochi as a result. Since the beginning of the year, draft offices in the region have forcibly registered 408 new Russian citizens.

Mobilized Soldiers, Volunteer Fighters and Contract Soldiers

The list of mobilized soldiers killed in the war has been updated to include Denis Shchapov from the Vladimir region, Aleksandr Malakhov from the Krasnoyarsk region, and Vyacheslav Nevedomyi from the Arkhangelsk region.

The Lyudi Baikala [People of Baikal] independent media outlet has analyzed the biographies of 1,007 volunteer fighters from Buryatia [Russia's constituent republic] and the Irkutsk region. Of these, at least a third, or 334 people, signed contracts in pre-trial detention centers or colonies, representing 12% of all losses from these two regions in the war. More than half of all deceased convicts, 186 people, fought as part of the Wagner Group.

Journalists analyzed reports from draft offices and planned budget expenditures of the Irkutsk region for compensation payments for injuries and deaths of Wagner Group mercenaries. It was revealed that at least 349 mercenaries from the Irkutsk region were killed in the war, and another 376 suffered severe injuries. Relatives of the deceased will receive one million rubles [$11,250] from the regional budget, while the injured will receive between 300,000 and 600,000 rubles [$3,375 to $6,750], which is significantly less than the payments due to regular military personnel and mobilized soldiers. In total, more than half a billion rubles have been allocated for these expenses.

Andrey Serebryannikov, a resident of the city of Perm who was sentenced in 2016 to nine and a half years in prison for the murder and rape of a 22-year-old woman, was pardoned due to his participation in the war. Serebryannikov was supposed to pay compensation to the victim’s family amounting to 3 million rubles [$33,800]. However, the payments stopped about a year ago. Serebryannikov told journalists that in 2023 he enlisted to fight in the war, was pardoned, and has since returned home.

On the evening of June 4, a contract soldier escaped from the building of the Military Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee in the city of Rostov-on-Don. A Telegram channel associated with law enforcement agencies claims that the man in question is 29-year-old Abdulla Hasanov. It was not reported whether he was armed.

An artillery officer is facing criminal charges for attempting to resign from the army. Senior Lieutenant Eduard K., who had been serving under contract since 2019, submitted a resignation report shortly after the start of the war with Ukraine, citing his political and pacifist beliefs. However, the report was initially lost, and its consideration was delayed. With the onset of mobilization, Eduard lost his right to resign. He took the matter to court, which upheld his right to alternative civilian service or discharge on the basis of his beliefs. Nevertheless, investigators informed him in June that a preliminary investigation was being conducted against him for refusing to participate in combat operations.

Sentences, Legal Proceedings and Incidents

The Ostorozhno, Novosti [Beware the News] Telegram channel has published a video recorded shortly after Yury Lopatin, who had returned from the war, attacked his elderly neighbor. The footage shows both the victim and Lopatin himself. Despite his bloodied hands, Lopatin claims that he did not attack his neighbor.

A serviceman from Perm killed his grandfather. During a gathering, a conflict arose between the man, who had returned from the war in Ukraine, and his grandfather. The serviceman hit his opponent several times with his fists, including blows to the head. The elderly man died from his injuries. The man was sentenced to four years in a penal colony—the court considered his participation in the wars in Syria and Ukraine, as well as the fact that he has a child.

The Second Western District Military Court has sentenced mobilized soldier Senior Sergeant Dmitry Lobovikov to 23 years in a penal colony. He was found guilty of attempted murder, murder of two or more persons committed from molester motives, illegal possession of explosive devices and deliberate destruction of property by explosion. On Jan. 14, 2023, while intoxicated, Lobovikov threw a grenade into a room where his subordinates Vyacheslav Pustovarov, Yury Sergienko and Artyom Nalivkin were sleeping. The explosion caused the detonation of military ammunition and gas cylinders stored under the beds, leading to a fire. As a result, seven soldiers were killed and 16 more were injured—all of them were mobilized men. The jury delivered a guilty verdict against Lobovikov and also decided that the soldier deserved leniency. Lobovikov pleaded not guilty, claiming that he had no intention of killing his fellow soldiers. He blamed the incident on "an accident, stupidity and alcohol." Shortly after the incident, Mediazona [independent Russian media outlet] spoke with residents of the village of Tonenkoye, where the explosion occurred. According to them, the mobilized soldiers had arrived in the village were buying alcohol in a local store and were drinking hard.

The Southern District Military Court in Rostov-on-Don has begun hearing the case of Aleksandr Tkachenko, a contract soldier from Volgograd, accused of several crimes. After being hospitalized in August 2023, Tkachenko went AWOL and headed to Voronezh to buy drugs, where he was detained and sent back to his unit. In October, following a conflict, he shot at his fellow soldiers, killing Junior Sergeant Aleksandr Saveliev and wounding Private Mikhail Yakovlev. Tkachenko was detained on charges of murder by a generally dangerous method.

Investigators have closed the criminal case against Dmitry Sh., a mobilized soldier from the "DPR," who was accused of going AWOL. According to the case materials, the mobilized man left his post, was declared wanted and was eventually apprehended in the fall of 2023. However, it was impossible to hold him accountable as he had not signed a contract with the Russian Ministry of Defense. His mobilization was carried out under a decree by the "head of the DPR" rather than Russian law. The Voyennye Advokaty [Military Lawyers] Telegram channel notes that this legal loophole allows AWOL soldiers to avoid prosecution. Nevertheless, due to the unclear legal status, mobilized soldiers from the "DPR" and "LPR" have no legal grounds for discharge from the army.

In Tatarstan, 17-year-old Reval Kurmanaev, 15-year-old Yegor Kunitsyn, and 19-year-old Bulat Ibragimov have been found guilty of sabotage. Kurmanaev and Kunitsyn were sentenced to five years in a juvenile correctional facility, while Ibragimov received a 17-year prison term. According to investigators, on March 20, 2023, Kunitsyn, Kurmanaev, and a 14-year-old boy, whose name was not disclosed, set fire to a relay cabinet on railway tracks in Naberezhnye Chelny. These tracks are used for transporting military vehicles to the war in Ukraine. The damaged equipment has not yet been restored. Ibragimov allegedly directed the arsonists' actions. The minors were paid 1,000 rubles ($11) each for the task, while Ibragimov was paid 6,000 rubles ($68).

According to the Astra Telegram channel, the Federal Security Service (FSB) detained two teenagers in the Kaluga region on suspicion of terrorism. Early in the morning of May 30, intelligence services reported that 18-year-old Radislav Kudenkov and a 15-year-old boy set fire to a Megafon [mobile provider] tower in the Kaluga region. Law enforcement officers believe that the young men acted in concert with other unidentified individuals. Kudenkov was arrested, while his 15-year-old companion was released on recognizance.

A court in Moscow sentenced Kirill Gorkov and Yevgeny Zaichkin, residents of the Moscow region, to 17 and 22 years in prison, respectively, on charges of creating a sabotage community and committing sabotage. The men allegedly recruited teenagers to set fire to relay cabinets. The Kommersant daily newspaper reports that this is the first criminal case in Russia under the article for creating a sabotage community.

In Saint Petersburg, 44-year-old Aleksandr Stalberg was detained on charges of attempted confidential cooperation with a foreign state or organization. According to Mediazona, Stalberg lived in the Moscow region and worked as a driver until 2021.

The Investigative Committee reported the detention of a French citizen in Moscow, suspected of failing to provide documents for inclusion in the register of "foreign agents" while collecting information in the field of military and military-technical activities. The Committee stated that the French citizen regularly visited Russia and met with Russians. Later, an analysis by the Agentstvo [Agency] independent media outlet revealed that the detainee was Laurent Vinatier, PhD, an expert on the Chechen conflict, Russia, and Central Asia. According to Vazhnyye Istorii [IStories, independent Russian investigative media outlet], the detention occurred a few hours after information emerged about the arrest near a Paris airport of a 26-year-old native of the Donbas, who fought against Ukraine on the side of Russia for two years, on suspicion of preparing a terrorist attack.

A new criminal case for state treason has been initiated against anti-war blogger Sergey Veselov from Shuya. On May 17, the blogger, who is being prosecuted in four criminal cases, was sentenced to two years and one month in a penal settlement for repeatedly “discrediting” the Armed Forces over a video titled "Do not confuse Germans with Hitlerites and Russians with Putinists."

Human rights project Avtozak Live has calculated that since February 2022 more than 550 people in Russia have been prosecuted for sabotage and arson of draft offices. Human rights activists have published a list of 547 individuals mentioned in court cases, who participated in 514 attacks. Institutions associated with the Ministry of Defense were targeted more frequently. The overwhelming majority of them were draft offices. Out of 195 Ministry of Defense facilities, 173 draft offices were set on fire or planned to be attacked. The number of acts of sabotage reached 148, mainly involving damage to railway tracks and arson of power and relay cabinets. According to the project’s analysis, Russians most frequently set fire to draft offices or organized sabotage on railroads in the Moscow region, where 41 targets were attacked. Saint Petersburg (36) and Moscow (31) were in second and third place, respectively.

An elderly woman, Nadezhda Nikulina, was sentenced to one year’s probation in a criminal case for obstructing the electoral process. She poured dye into a ballot box. According to investigators, an unknown person messaged Nikulina on WhatsApp offering to pay off her loan in exchange for ruining the ballots.

Children and Educational System

The 7x7—Gorizontalnaya Rossiya [Horizontal Russia] news outlet investigated the impact of two years of war on Russian school education. Since February 2022, at least 91 teachers from Russian schools have gone to war, with some being conscripted through mobilization. Nearly 100 schools now bear the names of "heroes" of the "special military operation," with a quarter of these located in Russia’s constituent Republic of Dagestan. Additionally, to date, nineteen war veterans are now working as teachers.

The Bumaga [Paper] independent media outlet highlights that an increase in the number of war veterans and their children admitted to universities through special quotas could significantly increase competition among applicants, as these quotas account for 10% of all state-funded places.

Anna Tsivilyova, head of the Defenders of the Fatherland Fund, stated that "more than 3,500 veterans of the “special military operation” are involved in the education of children and youth." According to Tsivilyova, more than 500,000 children have participated in the Fund's activities.

A patriotic quest "Raising a Little Patriot" was held at the Lesya Ukrainka City Center of Ukrainian Culture in the occupied city of Makiivka. The game, dedicated to the "Day of the Donetsk People's Republic," taught children about "military duty" and "service to the Motherland."


People in Russia are paying  tribute to the opposition politician Alexei Navalny. He would have turned 48 on July 4. Many people brought flowers to the Borisovskoye Cemetery, where the politician is buried. According to reports from the OVD-Info independent human rights project several people were detained.


Bumaga tells about the problems in the families of Russian soldiers who return from the war in Ukraine.

Mediazona investigated Russian Post [postal service] deliveries to the frontline and found that a single person, some Lieutenant Gontarenko, received every fifth package. Within the last 12 months, Russians sent him 180 tons of old blankets. The media outlet provides a detailed account of this case.