mobilization briefs
March 11

Mobilization in Russia for March 8-10, 2024 CIT Volunteer Summary

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

Advertisement banners on the Vesti Tatarstan web site [news portal operated by the state TV corporation of Russia’s constituent Republic of Tatarstan] are urging women to sign a contract with the Ministry of Defense and enlist in the "Victory Army." These banners link to the Vse SVOi [We're All in the Same Boat] web site, which refers to military service as a "true man’s work" and calls on visitors "to join the unbreakable brotherhood of men."

Governor of the Kursk region Roman Starovoyt has reported that over 3,500 residents have joined volunteer militias since 2022.

Authorities and Relatives of Mobilized Soldiers

The Put Domoy [Way Home] Telegram channel has decided to cancel the event planned on March 9, following reports of a possible terrorist attack. The wives of mobilized soldiers and other participants in the social movement have been laying flowers at memorials to fallen soldiers every Saturday. In Moscow, the ceremony regularly takes place at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Meanwhile, Oleg Nikolaev, Head of Chuvashia [Russia’s constituent republic], has announced a pro-war "white scarves" campaign of prayers "for the Holy Rus and for peace, [...] in support of those who fight against Fascism." Churches and mosques in the republic held a special service on March 10 for this purpose, with Nikolaev urging residents to attend while wearing white scarves. It is worth noting that the wives of mobilized soldiers and other participants of the Put Domoy movement adopted the white scarf as a symbol of their protest last year.

In a recent update on the Zaschita Prav Mobilizovannyh [Defense of the Rights of Mobilized Soldiers] Telegram channel, relatives of mobilized soldiers have declared their intention to "vote for the Lord" in the upcoming presidential election. This decision is explained in a video published by Lidiya Nekrasova from Novosibirsk, the author of the Telegram channel. The video summarizes Putin’s address to the Federal Assembly, where he "did not say a word about rotation, nor about any legislative changes concerning mobilized soldiers, and most importantly, did not even mention demobilization."

Mobilized Soldiers, Volunteer Fighters and Contract Soldiers

The list of mobilized soldiers killed in the war has been updated to include Anton Kovrizhnykh, Denis Korotkov, Viktor Nechaev, Dmitry Alekseyev and Mikhail Dyomin from the Sverdlovsk region, as well as Aleksandr Podorvanov from the Zabaykalsky region [Russia's federal subject].

Additionally, it has been reported that 19-year-old Stepan Perfilyev was killed on the frontline. The young man had been conscripted for regular military service after completing 9 grades of school, signing a contract three months later.

Sentences, Legal Proceedings and Incidents

In the Primorsky region, a criminal case has been opened against a man who allegedly intimidated a disabled war veteran, threatening to "rip off" the veteran’s remaining leg. The offender has been apprehended and faces charges of threatening to cause grievous bodily harm and of disorderly conduct. The incident occurred near the Russian Market shopping mall, where the war veteran confronted a person who had parked in a disabled parking space, taking a photograph of the offender’s license plate. In the video posted on a local news channel, the war veteran claimed that the offender had threatened to "rip off his remaining leg" while leaving the parking lot, however, no video recordings confirming the threats were provided. It is worth noting that the veteran had lost his leg while allegedly saving his fellow soldiers near Vuhledar in Ukraine.

Ilkin Melikov, a resident of the city of Nizhnevartovsk, has claimed that Georgian police contrived a pretext to wrongfully detain him, only to force him into signing a statement of consent for crossing the border with Russia and to hand him over to Russian law enforcement. Aiming to obtain a political asylum in Georgia, Melikov fled from Russia after being detained and beaten by police in Nizhnevartovsk. He has since returned to Russia and is currently held in a pre-trial detention center on terrorism-related charges.

Sergei Popov, a resident of Tambov, was arrested for 12 days for laying flowers in tribute to Alexei Navalny on the day of the politician’s funeral on March 1. Six days after the funeral, Popov was detained by police. The court found him guilty of a misdemeanor, alleging that Popov had used foul language in public and ignored police warnings. In Saint Petersburg, on Feb. 18, a local resident Yevgeny Smirnov was arrested and placed into a pre-trial detention center on charges of "disorderly conduct motivated by political hate." According to the press service of the Saint Petersburg courts, Smirnov was arrested for "inappropriate tagging" of a fence. Smirnov’s mother told the independent human rights project OVD-Info that her son had been arrested for painting a graffiti that read "Putin murdered Navalny." Following the incident, police searched Smirnov’s home and seized digital devices and bank cards.

There are over 50 female political prisoners in Russian colonies and pre-trial detention centers. Among them are those persecuted for cooperating with Navalny or accused of "treason," as well as those who have opposed mobilization and the invasion into Ukraine. Novaya Gazeta Europe [European edition of the independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta] has compiled their stories and the addresses where you can write to them.

According to human rights advocate Nadezhda Nizovkina, among the women pardoned by Putin in honor of March 8 is Natalya Filonova, a political prisoner from Buryatia [Russia's constituent republic]. In August 2023, she was sentenced to 2 years and 10 months in a penal colony for allegedly attacking four police officers in September 2022 during a protest against mobilization. After her arrest, her adopted son was placed in an orphanage, where he experienced bullying with the administration's apparent complacency.


The adult children of killed participants in the "special military operation" are upset by the "injustice of the law" as they face challenges in receiving death gratuity in the event of their father's. Compounding the issue, this financial support sometimes goes to the deceased's siblings, regardless of their age. These siblings, in turn, often show no intention of sharing the funds with their nieces and nephews.

Children and Educational System

Schoolchildren in the Sverdlovsk region will be taught to manufacture drones. A corresponding extracurricular program will be introduced in 17 schools. Children will learn to design and operate drones. A budget of 285 million rubles [$3.14 million] will be allocated for the purchase of equipment and the training of teachers.

The Ministry of Defense has reported on a "Lesson of Courage" held in the occupied city of Mariupol for "students of a sponsored school and members of the Yunarmia [Young Army, pro-Kremlin youth organization]." During this lesson, military engineers educated children about the danger of unexploded ordnance, as well as anti-personnel and anti-tank mines, which, according to the Ministry, are used by "Ukrainian nationalists."


Krasnoyarsk City Council member Vyacheslav Dyukov has returned from the frontline. He promised to go to the "special military operation zone" after a scandal over his statement that "mainly alcoholics, homeless individuals, derelicts and convicts" sign contracts with the Ministry of Defense. After being expelled from the United Russia party [Putin’s ruling party], he posted apologies and promised to go to the "special military operation zone for an indefinite period." Dyukov left for the frontline on Feb. 29 and on March 9, he wrote a post stating that "all the tasks set for this trip to the special military operation zone have been completed."


The Sota media outlet recalls the history of various movements advocating for the return of mobilized men, starting from The Council of Mothers and Wives movement, created by followers of the sectarian People's Union for the Revival of Russia led by Svetlana Peunova, and ending with the Put Domoy movement, boasting over 70,000 subscribers on its Telegram channel. These movements employ diverse methods to advocate for the return of mobilized soldiers, such as writing letters to or otherwise engaging in dialogue with authorities, and organizing public actions. Activists' attitudes toward the war vary, ranging from demands for peaceful negotiations to steadfast support until victory. Regardless of the level of support for the war, authorities seek to suppress any protest, using both propaganda to discredit the movements and pressure from law enforcement. Although many movements have existed for over six months, they have not been able to achieve any results during this time. Olga Katz, the leader of one of the most popular channels Vernyom Rebyat [Let's Bring Our Boys Back], lost her brother in the war, after which the channel ceased its activities.

The Vyorstka media outlet has examined the opinions of Russian officials, senators, political analysts and sociologists on when the war will end. While many express weariness, the prevailing sentiment is that the war will persist for the foreseeable future. According to one senator, the war will continue "until Putin steps down."