mobilization briefs
March 26

Mobilization in Russia for March 24-25, 2024 CIT Volunteer Summary

Crocus City Hall Terrorist Attack

The number of fatalities in the terrorist attack at Moscow’s Crocus City Hall has reached 144, according to the latest reports; 285 people were injured, of which 182 admitted to hospitals. However, head of Russia’s Investigative Committee Alexander Bastrykin estimated the number of deaths as 139 in his statement. 75 of the bodies are already identified, Bastrykin said.

On the evening of March 24, the court ordered pre-trial detention for suspects. Dalerdjon Mirzoev, Saidakrami Rachabalizoda, Muhammadsobir Fayzov and Shamsiddin Fariduni will remain under arrest until May 22, charged with committing a terrorist attack resulting in the death of others. A court statement said Rachabalizoda and Mirzoev had pleaded guilty to all charges.

The four suspects appeared before the court showing signs of severe beatings. This did not go unnoticed by the human rights group Crew Against Torture which issued a statement condemning the violence against the suspects. In his interview with Mediazona [independent Russian media outlet], the head of the group Sergey Babinets explained why no one should be subject to torture. Meanwhile, Russia’s Ministry of Defense publicly recognized the law enforcement members who exercised restraint, awarding them for "bravery exhibited while arresting the Crocus City Hall assailants."

On March 25, in Moscow, three more suspects were put under arrest in connection with the terror attack. They are brothers Aminchon, 33, Dilovar Islomov, 24, and their father, Isroil Islomov, 64. A court put them into a pre-trial detention center until May 22 on charges of involvement in a terrorist attack. Dilovar Islomov, the most recent owner of a white Renault that the terrorists used during the concert hall attack, is a Russian citizen and was employed as a taxi driver, according to the Sota media outlet. His taxi driver permit was revoked on March 23. On March 22, Friday, the former owner of the Renault told Novaya Gazeta Europe [European edition of the independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta] that he and his brother had turned themselves in to the police following reports of the terror attack. He stated that he had sold the car about a week before the attack. In court, Aminchon Islomovmaintained his innocence. It is unknown whether or not the other two arrested have admitted to the charges. All three face life imprisonment.

Interior Ministry spokesperson Irina Volk announced that on the day of the terrorist attack, police arrived at the Crocus City Hall five minutes after being called. According to the Kremlin-aligned news outlet Mash, the initial calls for ambulance and emergency services were placed at 20:01. Thus, the Ministry's statement implies that officers were on the scene by 20:06. Meanwhile, terrorists, as media outlets reported, left the concert hall building at 20:13, unimpeded, and boarded their vehicle.

Several days before the attack on Crocus City Hall, members of Russia's Security Council were warned that citizens of Tajikistan might be used in terrorist attacks on Russian territory. Before the attack on Crocus, a source close to the intelligence services told the Dossier Center [an independent Russian investigative media outlet] about these warnings.

Russians are receiving mass solicitations to participate in acts of terrorism. Predominantly, these provocative offers are transmitted via Telegram, promising rewards ranging from 250,000 to 2 million rubles [from $2,700 to $22,000] for those willing to plant bombs in malls, schools, and other public spaces, including public transportation in Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Khabarovsk, Volgograd, Vladivostok, Chelyabinsk, Omsk, Cheboksary, and other cities. The anonymous originators of these messages pledge to provide weapons. They are prepared to supply a plan of action while threatening those who decline their offers. Notably, these solicitations often target minors.

In the aftermath of the Crocus City Hall terrorist attack, a wave of mass evacuations from shopping centers has swept through Russian cities following false reports of bomb threats. In Saint Petersburg, the Passage shopping center was evacuated, as was the Marmelad shopping complex in Volgograd, and the Gulliver shopping center in Orenburg. Moscow saw the evacuation of 10 shopping centers, along with the N.I. Pirogov National Medical and Surgical Center. According to the Baza Telegram channel, 38 shopping centers in the Moscow region were checked. All reported bomb threats turned out to be false.

Authorities and Legislation

The Ministry of Defense plans to change the procedure for issuing combat veteran certificates. In the future, the personnel offices of military formations could take over this responsibility from draft offices in order to relieve them.

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

Following reports of electronic draft notices distribution in Moscow, the Voyennye Advokaty [Military Lawyers] Telegram channel published a post explaining their legal status. According to their team of legal experts, an electronic draft notice can legally be served only if published in an official registry, but the federal government has yet to approve the rules regulating the creation of either the registry of draft notices or the registry of Russians subject to military service. In the absence of these regulations and registries themselves, the Moscow draft notices are best described as notifications, which can be ignored without legal consequences.

Vasiliy Vorobyev, a member of the Tolyatti City Council, announced his intention to go and fight in Ukraine as a result of the Crocus City Hall terrorist attack. He promised that "all obligations to the district" will be fulfilled, adding that he will not step down from the city council.

In Ufa, military pilot Oleg Movsesyan, 56, is selling the Homeland gym, having decided to join the "special military operation."

Mobilized Soldiers, Volunteer Fighters and Contract Soldiers

The list of mobilized soldiers killed in the war has been updated to include Sergey Miniakhmetov, Vyacheslav Losev, and Aleksandr Bukharov from the Sverdlovsk region, Rusif Abdurkhamov, Valery Avilov and Vladimir Agarkov from the Belgorod region, as well as Prokopy Opkhorov from the Irkutsk region.

Sentences, Legal Proceedings and Incidents

On March 24, in Moscow, a 51-year-old former Wagner Group mercenary, who had been pardoned by Putin, brutally murdered his 42-year-old partner. He inflicted 15 knife wounds on the woman, then severed her ear, and subsequently called the police (according to the VChK-OGPU Telegram channel, the man first severed the ear and then inflicted knife wounds). Previously, the man had been convicted of causing grievous bodily harm resulting in death. In October 2022, he enlisted in the war as part of the Wagner Group. After serving for six months, in April 2023, he returned home and acquired another conviction for deliberate property damage. He spent several months in pre-trial detention and was released. Currently, the former mercenary is detained again. VChK-OGPU specifies that at the time of the murder, the victim's 15-year-old daughter was in the apartment.

According to the Astra Telegram channel, on the morning of March 22, two unidentified men in military uniforms broke into the home of Maria, a resident of the occupied village of Lyubymivka in the Kherson region. They tied up the woman and her two children. The intruders stole 400,000 rubles ($4,340) and 7,000 US dollars. Before leaving, they threatened to return if the homeowners contacted the police. A criminal case has been initiated under the article on robbery.

A man who detonated a grenade, injuring five police officers in the city of Luhansk, turned out to be an ex-convict from Penza who was recruited for the war. According to Astra, Aleksey Shatilov, 34, previously convicted multiple times of theft, robbery, car theft and murder, signed a contract for war service in September 2023. On March 18, police officers stopped Shatilov and his companion in Luhansk to check their documents. In response, Shatilov threw a grenade at them and fled. However, VChK-OGPU reported that Shatilov was detained at the same time, while his companion managed to escape. Though, according to Astra, it was Shatilov who blew himself up with a grenade two days later during an attempt to detain him.

A military court in Abakan has sentenced soldier Anatoly Perm to five years in a penal colony for going AWOL. According to the court, on May 18, 2023, Perm failed to return to his unit from leave, but voluntarily reported to the draft office on Aug. 1.

On the night of March 23, unidentified individuals attempted to set fire to two military supply stores in Novosibirsk, resulting in no casualties.

A woman attempted to set fire to the draft office in Bogorodsk, Nizhny Novgorod region, on March 25, allegedly by throwing a Molotov cocktail at the building. According to, the woman is being sought, however, Baza reports that she was apprehended right at the attempted arson and handed over to the police.

On the night of March 25, unidentified individuals attempted to ignite equipment on the railway near Udelnaya station in Saint Petersburg. According to the Russian Railways [Russian fully state-owned railway company], the equipment was not damaged as a result of the arson attempt, and train operations continued unaffected.

The Federal Security Service (FSB) has arrested three residents of the Novosibirsk region on suspicion of intending to "set fire to one of the regional campaign headquarters on the eve of the Russian presidential elections" in Barnaul. Mediazona discovered that the target was Putin's headquarters, located in the United Russia party [Putin’s ruling party] office. According to law enforcement officers, three young men aged 18, 23, and 26, prepared five Molotov cocktails but they were "apprehended right outside the headquarters building while attempting to commit an act of terror." The arson was allegedly orchestrated by a "terrorist organization banned in Russia." A case of attempted terrorism by a group has been initiated.

The Second Western District Military Court is processing the case against bartender Vladimir Malina, 35, accused of setting fire to a relay cabinet at a railroad crossing near Naro-Fominsk in April 2023. The specifics of Malina's case remain undisclosed, but he is facing charges under 10 different articles. In November 2023, it was reported that Malina was under investigation for his involvement with the "Freedom of Russia Legion."

The First Eastern District Military Court has ordered compulsory treatment for Anton Platov, an Omsk resident accused of setting fire to the draft office. He is charged with committing an act of terror resulting in significant damage to property. Platov was arrested in February 2023. According to investigators, he attempted to arson the draft office on Feb. 9, throwing several Molotov cocktails at its windows, which failed to break and ignite.

The FSB has reported the arrest of four men for setting fire to transformer substations in Rostov. According to the law enforcement officers, the men also planned to set fire to an oil pipeline. The detainees are charged with an act of terror.

The court in the Volgograd region fined 77-year-old Galina Efimova 2,000 rubles [$22] for disrupting election commission activities. During the presidential elections, Efimova ignited a smoke bomb at a polling station in Volgograd,having been deceived by scammers. She fully acknowledged her guilt.


Experts from the Russian Academy of Sciences [RAN] have proposed to create another project to support "veterans of the special military operation": "The Care of the State for Defenders of the Motherland." The experts suggest a range of benefits.

In the Irkutsk region, volunteer fighters of Rosgvardia [the Russian National Guard] participating in the war have been exempted from paying fines for overdue utility bills.

Children and Educational System

On March 25, Russian schools held "Talking About Important Things" lessons [compulsory lessons held every Monday in schools across the country] dedicated to the Crocus City Hall terrorist attack. During these lessons, children were shown Putin's address and listened to a song by SHAMAN [a stage name of Russian pro-war singer Yaroslav Dronov]. Educators aimed to convey to students the notion of an "enemy" seeking to divide the Russian people. Details of how the lessons unfolded are available in reports by the Vyorstka media outlet and the Ne Norma [Not a norm] Telegram channel.