mobilization briefs
April 1

Mobilization in Russia for March 29-31, 2024 CIT Volunteer Summary

Crocus City Hall Terrorist Attack

According to the Ministry of Emergency Situations, 144 people were killed in the Crocus City Hall terrorist attack. 134 victims had been identified by the evening of March 30. A total of 551 people, including 10 children, were injured. Most of the injured are undergoing outpatient treatment.

Radio Ozodi [Tajik branch of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty] reports that the sister of Shamsiddin Fariduni, one of the four main suspects in the Crocus City Hall terrorist attack, is married to Aminchon Islomov, who, along with his brother and father, was arrested on charges of aiding terrorists. The Islomovs sold a white Renault sedan to the suspected attackers, who used it both prior to and after the attack. One of the suspected terrorists, Dalerdjon Mirzoev, testified that his acquaintance Abdulloh bought the car from his relatives. Later, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and the Sistema investigative project found that Shamsiddin Fariduni was nicknamed "Abdulloh" on social media.

Following the "Anti-Immigrant" operation targeting citizens from Central Asian countries in Saint Petersburg, 418 migrants will be deported, while another 48 are expected to leave Russia voluntarily. 584 cases of migration law violations were brought to the city's district courts between March 25 and 29. Additionally, the Saint Petersburg police conducted a large-scale inspection of vehicles, drivers, and their passengers, checking nearly 1,500 foreign citizens. The police reported several hundred administrative violations, with approximately 300 related to violations of migration laws and traffic regulations.

The Deputy Minister of Labor, Migration and Employment of Population of Tajikistan noted an outflow of economic migrants from Russia after the terrorist attack, which she attributed not so much to actual repressions, but to fears of their potential intensification.

In the wake of the Crocus City Hall terrorist attack, the Bumaga [Paper] independent media outlet has identified at least four criminal cases related to false bomb threats in Saint Petersburg. One defendant is facing eight years in prison, while the others could face a maximum of five.

The Financial Times has published the results of an online poll by the Open Minds Institute [Anglo-Ukrainian sociological project] following the Crocus City Hall terrorist attack. Over half of the 652 Russians surveyed attributed the attack to the Ukrainian authorities, while 27 percent believed the Islamic State was responsible. Other six percent said the so-called collective West was behind the attack. Very few respondents believed that it had been organized by the Russian authorities or by former participants of the invasion of Ukraine. Moreover, the authors note that respondents between the ages of 18 and 30, who oppose the war in Ukraine, were more likely to blame ISIS for the attack. Among all opponents of the war, 50 percent attributed the attack to ISIS, compared to only 12 percent of war supporters.

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

Putin has signed a decree on the spring conscription for military service, which will last from April 1 to July 15. Authorities plan to call up 150,000 men, which is 3,000 more than in the previous spring conscription campaign (147,000). In the fall of 2023, the authorities announced a plan for conscripting 130,000 men. The spring conscription of 2024 will be the largest in recent years - the last time more than 150,000 people were drafted was in 2016. The current conscription will be the first to include men aged 27 to 30. As noted by the Voyennye Advokaty [Military Lawyers] Telegram channel, if a citizen reaches the age of 30 before or during the conscription campaign, according to the law, he is subject to enrollment in the reserve and will not be conscripted.

In the Sverdlovsk region, the establishment of a regional draft board has been announced. A total of 80 municipal draft boards will operate within the region. The number of places for alternative civilian service in the region has increased from two in 2023 to 61 at present. Mostly, young men will serve in hospitals and clinics throughout the region, but the list also includes theaters and colleges.

Authorities and Relatives of Mobilized Soldiers

The wives of mobilized soldiers staged solitary pickets outside the Ministry of Defense building in Moscow. Activists stood with a placard reading "It's time for the mobilized to come home," demanding the return of Russian soldiers from the frontline. According to the activists, the number of law enforcement officers is sufficient to conduct the "special military operation" solely with their forces. While the women anticipate another mobilization, they do not believe they will see their husbands return home, as they believe the new wave will be used to replenish losses. Police checked the documents of one of the activists, and SotaVision correspondent Anna Sliva, who covered the protest, was detained by the police and taken to the Khamovniki police station. After a "conversation," she was released. An investigation is reportedly pending against her.

Igor Krasnov, the Prosecutor General of Russia, has acknowledged a recent increase in complaints regarding the shortage of uniforms and delayed payments to war participants. These payments are due to individuals who have been wounded or received state awards.

Mobilized Soldiers, Volunteer Fighters and Contract Soldiers

The list of mobilized soldiers killed in the war has been updated to include Ilya Yudin, Vyacheslav Mitin, and Maksim Fadeev from the Sverdlovsk region, as well as Andrey Boyko from Russia’s constituent Republic of Dagestan.

According to their video address, only fifteen soldiers from the entire company returned from an assault. Servicemen of the 98th Separate Rifle Regiment, who were mobilized from the "DPR," reported that they had been transferred under the command of the 114th Motorized Rifle Brigade, which deceitfully sent them to an assault near Avdiivka. After returning with heavy losses, the soldiers refused to participate in another assault. They are now being forced to surrender their weapons and face accusations of desertion.

The Dovod [independent Russian media outlet] obtained a document signed by the chief of the department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in the Kameshkovsky district, Vladimir region. The document proves that a local, sentenced to 9 years in a maximum security penal colony for committing an aggravated crime, was pardoned by Putin's decree. It states that he participated in the war with Ukraine and returned home. However, the Commissioner for Human Rights in the Vladimir region previously stated that only one convict had been pardoned by Putin's decree in the region over the past 10 years, which happened in 2014.

The Governor of Samara promised to deal with the request of POWs from the Samara region who asked for "assistance in their prompt release from captivity," noting that many of them were wounded.

Sentences, Legal Proceedings and Incidents

In the Pskov region, a suspect has been arrested for the murder and rape of an 11-year-old girl. According to investigators, on Jan. 1, the man, while intoxicated, met the girl, took her to an abandoned building, strangled her, and left the settlement the next day. The girl's body was found on Feb. 25, almost two months later. The man was detained after attempting to leave for the war in Ukraine. He signed a contract, after which he was sent to training in the Kursk region, where he had to undergo tests. His data matched DNA samples of the murder suspect of the girl. 

An Izhevsk resident, who works at the Aeroscan unmanned aerial vehicle production company, received a funeral wreath. Attached to it was a card that read "In loving memory of the hardworking Aeroscan employee. This is your final warning. You wanted to earn extra money but got involved with the wrong crowd." After this, the young man began receiving threatening messages. He noted that his colleagues did not receive such threats.

Children and Educational System

Vyacheslav Gladkov, Governor of the Belgorod region, stated that students from Belgorod and the border areas of the Belgorod region would switch to remote learning due to shelling. Gladkov mentioned that around 5,000 children have already been evacuated from the Belgorod region, with authorities planning to evacuate a total of 9,000 children from the area.


The Russian Orthodox Church has issued a circular letter to priests, instructing them to perform daily prayers for "Holy Russia." This is the first official document regulating intra-church support for the war, with priests facing sanctions for non-compliance, including being defrocked. The prayers seek divine assistance for the victory of Russian arms.

A woman from the Krasnoyarsk region was denied the chance to conceive a child using her deceased husband's biomaterial, who was killed in the "special military operation." Despite seeking help from a reproductive medical center where her husband had previously stored his biomaterial, she was refused access rights. However, she took legal action and won her case in January 2024.

The Belgorod operational headquarters has imposed restrictions on entry into the Grayvoronsky urban district territory—women and children are not allowed in. There are also issues with entry for men under the age of 21, according to local residents. This decision has been met with dissatisfaction from many, who did not expect to be away for such an extended period.


Meduza [international Russian-language online media outlet] has published an analysis of the measures taken by government agencies in anticipation of mass PTSD issues among soldiers returning from war. New clinical guidelines for PTSD treatment suggest that refraining from immediate evacuation during stress reactions and sending the person back to combat as soon as possible has a positive impact on them. Special funds established by the state for the "defenders of the fatherland" are not functioning as anticipated, leaving military personnel to grapple not only with disease symptoms but also societal stigmatization. The situation promises to be challenging not only for those involved in the invasion but also for their families. All these factors increase the possibility of a surge in crime and domestic violence.