mobilization briefs
March 12

Mobilization in Russia for March 10-11, 2024 CIT Volunteer Summary

Authorities and Legislation

President Putin has signed a decree introducing a death gratuity of 5 million rubles [$55,000] for civilians employed by the Russian Armed Forces who are killed in the war. In case of injury, these civilians are now eligible for disability compensation of 3 million rubles [$33,000]. The decree also applies to federal employees working in law enforcement and other executive branch agencies with military service provisions, such as the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Federal Bailiff Service, Federal Penitentiary Service, Federal Customs Service and State Courier Service. It is worth noting that Putin had already signed a decree in March 2022, which introduced a similar death gratuity for military personnel killed in the line of duty in Ukraine.

Putin has also instructed the federal government to consider extending the list of death gratuity beneficiaries to include the adult children of fallen participants of the war. This directive is to be reviewed by April 1. The adult children had previously been complaining about the "unfairness of the law," as it had rendered them ineligible to receive any part of the benefit payment.

Fontanka [pro-Russian media outlet of the Leningrad region] has reported that the State Duma [lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia] Committee on State Building and Legislation has approved the bills seeking to regulate the conditions under which mobilized and enlisted participants of the war against Ukraine can be exempted from criminal prosecution and punishment. The federal government has also endorsed these bills.

Other than that, the Russian government has approved a bill aiming to reduce the age of criminal responsibility for sabotage from 16 to 14 years. The creators of the bill have also proposed to criminalize involvement in training aimed at sabotage, as well as organization of and participation in groups committing sabotage. The maximum penalty these offenses can carry is life imprisonment. The bill was triggered by a series of arson attacks on relay cabinets and other railway equipment, often committed by teenage offenders. Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, out of the 124 individuals arrested for arson attacks targeting the railway, 39 were under the age of 18.

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

Krasnoyarsk City Council member Vyacheslav Dyukov, notorious for having joined the forces in Ukraine in mitigation of his derogatory comments on contract soldiers, has revealed that residents from Krasnoyarsk were lured to relocate to other Russian regions to sign contracts with the Ministry of Defense on more favorable terms. The official complained that the army recruitment campaign highlighted lucrative salaries rather than patriotic values. Following Dyukov’s statement, the Ngs24 media outlet examined and compared the benefits available to men volunteering to join the armed forces in different Russian regions.

In Tatarstan [Russia’s constituent republic], the sign-up bonus for newly recruited contract soldiers has been increased to 400,000 rubles [$4,400]. Prior to this adjustment, since August 2023, the bonus for signing up with the Ministry of Defense had amounted to 305,000 rubles [$3,350]. The bonus is being paid to citizens who sign a contract in Tatarstan, including young men subject to mandatory conscription who opt to become contract soldiers instead. Moreover, additional benefits worth 100,000 [$1,100] and 105,000 rubles [$1,150] are enabled in the republic’s capital city of Kazan by local businesses and by DOSAAF [Russian Army, Air Force and Navy Volunteer Society] respectively.

A Unified Military Recruitment Center, tasked with consolidating data from all district draft offices on individuals aged 18 to 30 not already in reserve, has commenced operations in Moscow. The Prizyv k Sovesti [Call to Conscience] coalition first reported this news, citing information from potential conscripts. The Center is currently issuing draft notices, including to college seniors who are not typically subject to the regular spring conscription campaign. Human rights activists postulate that the Unified Military Recruitment Center may become a basis for a distinct digital military record-keeping system for the city of Moscow. Despite the legal requirement for electronic draft notice systems to be implemented nationwide, authorities have yet to establish a unified data platform. Lawyers representing the Prizyv k Sovesti also say that, based on their conversations with military commissars and conscripts, electronic draft notices will be sent out in Moscow starting April 1. According to activists, the creation of the Unified Military Recruitment Center aims to streamline resources at district draft offices for mobilizing reservists as part of a new wave in the campaign to deploy more soldiers to the frontline.

A photo of an alleged decree by Russia's Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu ordering additional mobilization of 300,000 people between March 25 and June 1, 2024 has been circulating on social networks. However, experts suggest that the document shows clear signs of being fake. The "document" appears to be copied from a "decree" from the previous year, which surfaced in September 2024, and like the previous one, it contains a number of significant errors.

Mobilized Soldiers, Volunteer Fighters and Contract Soldiers

The list of mobilized soldiers killed in the war has been updated to include Aleksey Trefilov, Vitaliy Popov and Georgy Yevsin from the Sverdlovsk region, as well as Sergey Isupov and Garma Namkhaev from Buryatia [Russia's constituent republic].

Vladimir Frolov, who was illegally drafted in spite of his 3rd degree disability, has been missing for a week. The man was held at a military unit in the "DPR," pressured to return to the frontline, and, on Feb. 27, sent to a training range with promises of being ordered into an assault later. Frolov’s wife, who told his story to the Astra Telegram channel, last heard from him on March 5. Currently, Frolov’s whereabouts are unknown.

A forensic medical expert has recommended a re-examination that involves the exhumation of the body of a tank operator from Volgograd who was killed in the war with Ukraine. It is worth noting that the soldier's parents have been unable to receive compensation, as the official documents state that he committed suicide. However, they question whether their son actually took his own life.

War participants from Udmurtia [Russia's constituent republic] have complained that they have not been able to receive combat veteran certificates for almost six months. The servicemen have posted complaints on the social media page of the Defenders of the Fatherland Fund, an organization created to help veterans.

Sentences, Legal Proceedings and Incidents

According to sources cited by Astra, a 32-year-old former convict, Ivan Kalinin, has been detained in the Kurgan region for assaulting a 7-year-old girl. Kalinin, who had been granted a presidential pardon for participating in the war, had prior convictions twice for grievous bodily harm, robbery and burglary. Astra discovered that after serving his sentence, he enlisted for the war, where he served from May to November 2023, before being pardoned and returning home. He now faces up to 20 years in prison for the charges brought against him.

In the Zabaykalsky region [Russia's federal subject], a military court has sentenced Viktor Besschetnov, a soldier, to nine years in a maximum security penal colony for inflicting beatings that resulted in death.

In Rostov-on-Don, a court has sentenced Vasily Khabarov, a participant in the war with Ukraine, who threatened to blow up a hotel and subsequently assaulted a police officer upon their arrival, to eight months in a penal settlement. The court considered his involvement in combat as a mitigating factor.

The Baza Telegram channel, citing its sources, has reported the detention of a resident of the Voronezh region who allegedly was recruited by Ukraine and was supposed to carry out acts of terror in Belgorod on March 8. In particular, an explosive device was discovered and neutralized in the House of Military Officers. On the same day, near one of the city's police departments, a fire extinguisher was found, and the publication claims that it also contained an explosive device, which was successfully neutralized. Official information is currently unavailable.

In the stairwell of a residential building in Moscow, a box containing a hand grenade, a VOG grenade (fragmentation grenade launcher round), signal cartridges and dozens of cartridges of various calibers was found. According to the SHOT Telegram channel, an engineer-sapper group inspected the ammunition and concluded that the box contained real projectiles. The sappers removed the ammunition, and residents were allowed back into their apartments.

In December of last year, a court in the Tula region sentenced Yuliya Tishchenko to four years in a penal colony on charges related to online calls for activities against state security. The verdict was only recently made public. The case was initiated due to a Facebook post containing information about fundraising for radios and thermal cameras for Ukrainian army fighters, which was published in 2022. The verdict specified that Tishchenko had lived in Ukraine for ten years.

A resident of Bashkortostan [Russia's constituent republic], Aisur Tulybaev, has been detained for participating in a rally in support of Fail Alsynov. According to his relatives, his trial is scheduled for March 12. Tulybaev becomes the 75th person to be detained on criminal charges following the protests in the town of Baymak.

The lawyer of Natalya Filonova, a female political prisoner from Buryatia, has refuted the information regarding her pardon by Putin. Human rights activist Nadezhda Nizovkina had previously reported this, citing the lawyer. The lawyer clarified that he was misunderstood, emphasizing that there is only information from the court about the cassation appeal. Regarding the pardon, he informed the activist that "there is such a rumor."

The Vyorstka media outlet has calculated that in 2023, the Investigative Committee of Russia initiated a record 159,400 criminal cases, marking a peak for the past 13 years. The previous highest number of criminal cases was recorded in 2015, with investigators initiating 147,700 cases. The increase in case number may be attributed to the fact that the Investigative Committee now includes data from the occupied territories of Ukraine  in its statistics. Additionally, cases initiated after Ukrainian attacks on territories occupied by Russia and border regions of the Russian Federation are also contributing to this increase.


The Chistaya Liniya [Clean Line] company has responded to a request from Russian soldiers by dispatching ice cream and anti-drone equipment to the frontline.

In a gesture of support for war veterans, 30 land plots ranging from 6 to 15 ares have been prepared to be allocated to war veterans in the Arkhangelsk region.

Children and Educational System

Meduza [international Russian-language online media outlet] has conducted an investigation into how Russian authorities are trying to indoctrinate forcibly deported children from Ukraine and put them under strict digital surveillance. The authorities are allocating billions of rubles for these initiatives.

In the occupied city of Mariupol, School No. 4 has been named after Russian Major General Vladimir Frolov, who served as the deputy commander of the 8th Combined Arms Army involved in the capture and destruction of the city. Frolov was killed two years ago.

Meanwhile, in schools across the Moscow region, the "Week of Good Deeds" has begun. Students are weaving camouflage nets and making trench candles to be sent to the frontline. This initiative will continue until March 15 in all schools throughout the region.


Military personnel, along with representatives of the Baltic Fleet, attempted to remove a T-34 tank from the territory of a memorial complex in Kaliningrad. It is likely that the tank is still officially listed as part of one of the regiments.


The Bumaga [Paper] independent media outlet and the Idite Lesom! [Flee through the woods/Get lost you all] Telegram channel have released accounts from two mobilized soldiers who explain how they got to the war, what they experienced there and what helped them get away from the frontline.

Mediazona, an independent Russian media outlet and the Sota media outlet are covering the case of bikers from Stavropol region who were brutally tortured and then accused of preparing an act of terror in Pyatigorsk. The men were in a private chat for eight people, where they called Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu a "swamp creep" and emotionally discussed the war in Ukraine. Following their arrest, the bikers admitted guilt but later refused to testify, claiming they were tortured. Other chat participants have become witnesses for the prosecution, and one of them, a former policeman, managed to leave Russia.