mobilization briefs
May 3, 2023

Mobilization in Russia for May 1–2, 2023, CIT volunteer summary  

Authorities and Legislation

Andrey Kartapolov, Chairman of the Defense Committee of the State Duma [lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia], called for strengthening surveillance of military personnel in the zone of the “special military operation.” He expressed the opinion that it is necessary to improve the work of military prosecutors and counterintelligence service in order to more effectively identify those who violate Russian laws in the zone of the “special military operation.” To this end, he also proposed to return to the army military commissars responsible for maintaining discipline in the Red Army in 1941–43 [actually, until 1942 — CIT].

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin signed a resolution under which participants in the “special military operation” will be able to receive free education or additional special education in the most popular areas, while employers will receive subsidies for their employment. The education will be organized by the Institute of Professional Education Development, the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, and Tomsk State University. The government will reimburse the expenses of the educational institutions through grants.

Lawyers from the "Military Lawyer" project studied the draft "Regulations on military service conscription" proposed by the Ministry of Defense. If the proposal is approved, the work of draft boards will become year-round, and new methods of delivering draft notices by registered mail and in electronic form will become standard. Instead of the usual conscription registration records, electronic personal files of conscripts should be created. The format of the draft notice will also change: the reverse side will contain explanations of the citizen's obligations and possible consequences in case of failure to appear for the conscription.

Conscription and Military Service Advertising

On May 2, the heads of several Russia’s regions published materials related to recruitment for contract service. Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin posted a photo report on his trip to the "Avangard" and "Patriot" centers, where Moscow residents who voluntarily signed a contract are being trained. Governor of the Kursk region Roman Starovoyt appeared in military uniform for a promotional video for the contract service. In his Telegram channel, Starovoyt promised volunteer fighters a monthly salary of 204,000 rubles, payments from the region, and the president. Governor of the Bryansk region Alexander Bogomaz placed a similar advertisement in his Telegram channel. Governor of the Astrakhan region Igor Babushkin accompanied the advertisement with a message that he visited a mobile recruitment point for contract service.

Active advertising continues on the streets of various regions of Russia. Banners and leaflets are appearing in increasing numbers in Podolsk, a suburb of Moscow. Advertisements are being placed in the entrances of buildings in Moscow and Yekaterinburg. In Moscow and the surrounding region, new mobile recruitment stations for contract service have been deployed, and in Moscow near the Nekrasovka metro station, promotional leaflets are being distributed.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Defense has released a new promotional video. This time it uses a well-known excerpt from the Brother 2 movie by Alexey Balabanov, in which the character played by Sergey Bodrov asks, "What is strength in?”

Mobilized Soldiers and Volunteer Fighters

The lists of those killed in the war have been added to by Denis Bolnov from the Novosibirsk region, Denis Efanov from the Yekaterinburg region, Roman Zuev from the Volgograd region, and Sergey Paykov from Russia’s constituent Republic of Khakassia.

The Mozhem Ob'yasnit [We can explain] Telegram channel identified five draftees from the village of Talitskoye, Sverdlovsk region, which allegedly were killed on Oct. 24, 2022 when the AFU attacked a community hall in the village of Chervonopopivka, Luhansk region. This attack took place more than two months before the attack on Makiivka on the night of Jan. 1 and was hushed up by the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation. According to various estimates, the number of servicemen killed in the attack ranges from 20 to 25.

Residents of the Irkutsk region, who left for the "special military operation" as part of volunteer formations and signed contracts for military service, cannot receive the one-time payments of 200 thousand rubles promised by Governor Igor Kobzev. This is due to the fact that "military units to which they were sent are not included in the list approved by the military commissariat [enlistment office] of the Irkutsk region." At the same time, a number of servicemen are officially registered in a training unit in Novosibirsk, although they are in the combat zone for the third month. Another volunteer fighter cannot receive the promised money because the order on his dismissal states that he "refused from further participation in the special operation," however, at the time when the order was signed, the serviceman was participating in hostilities and suffered a mine-blast injury.

The wife of a serviceman from the Tyumen region cannot obtain regional benefits for her husband for more than a month. According to the woman, he left for Ukraine as part of the Siberia regiment at the end of March. At first, she was advised at the military commissariat that her husband was on the list to receive money. Later, however, she was informed that the payment was not due, and after a while, that the Siberia regiment did not exist. Another group of 20 volunteers was sent off from Tyumen. Meanwhile, at the Chervishevsky cemetery near Tyumen, many newly made graves with flags and insignias were spotted.

Sentences, Legal Proceedings, and Incidents

In Irkutsk, Private Konstantin Zausayev was sentenced to two years in a penal colony for going AWOL from his military unit. On Jan. 16, the serviceman left the unit, but on Feb. 13 he voluntarily reported to the draft office.

In the summer of 2022, a resident of Nizhny Novgorod voluntarily signed up for a three-month contract and went to the war. Upon the end of the contract at the end of October, he turned in his resignation and left, first for the Belgorod region, and then home. There, he turned to binge drinking for three months, until unexpectedly finding out that he was on the federal wanted list for going AWOL. Now he faces up to 10 years in prison.

In Novosibirsk, Private Vyacheslav Mandrakhanov was sentenced to three years in a penal colony for extortion and beating a fellow service member. Mandrakhanov demanded 50,000 rubles from his fellow serviceman; when the latter refused, Mandrakhanov assaulted him.

On May 2, in the Bryansk region, another explosive device detonated on the rail tracks of the Snezhetskaya — Belyye Berega stretch. Russian Railways put out a statement saying that “the train's front locomotive and around 20 wagons derailed due to illegal interference with railway transport.” No casualties were reported so far. The pro-Kremlin media outlet Mash released a video from the scene. The approximate distance between the locations of yesterday's and today's incidents is about 111 kilometers.

Yet another explosion on the rail tracks in the Bryansk region was prevented, according to Mash. A trackman noticed some caves under the rail tracks on the 77th kilometer of the Krasny Rog — Pochep stretch and reported suspicious excavations to the police. The location of the alleged sabotage attack was roped off, but no explosives were found in the area up until now.

The Ostorozhno, Novosti [Beware the news] Telegram channel published details of yesterday's train explosion in the Bryansk region. As a result, 6 meters of rail and 4 concrete rail sleepers were destroyed. The explosion left a crater about 2.5 meters deep. The power of the explosion was equivalent to 10 kilograms of TNT, with a total of 3 charges being placed. As a result of the fire, a locomotive and 4 cars were burned, and 12 tons of diesel fuel leaked. More than two people are currently being sought in connection with the incident.

Additional information has also emerged about yesterday's explosion on a power line in the Leningrad region. Another explosive device was found on the blown-up pylon, and two more were found on the neighboring one. According to Mash, a black Chevrolet Captiva with Volgograd license plates is being sought in connection with the incident.

Two soldiers (ages 29 and 44) were wounded in a drone attack near the village of Sushany in the Bryansk region on Apr. 30, 2023. The same day, another 35-year-old soldier received shrapnel wounds to the chest in the village of Valuets, Bryansk region.

An F-1 grenade was found near dog-walking grounds in the Yuzhnoye Butovo [Southern Butovo] district in Moscow. Whether it was a real grenade or a "dummy" remains unknown.

While processing mail at a sorting center in New Moscow, a bag with four machine guns was discovered. The guns were sent in for an examination, and they turned out to be accessories for playing laser tag.

A resident of Moscow, subject to conscription, was detained after visiting a branch of Sberbank [Russia's largest consumer bank.] According to the police officers who detained him, the cameras installed in the bank branch identified the man. The young man was taken to the local draft office, where he underwent a medical examination, but later he was released.

Assistance and Children

Governor of the Primorsky region Oleg Kozhemyako offered to send to the front equipment (bulldozers, truck cranes, and off-road vehicles) seized due to criminal cases of illegal logging.

Governor of the Tambov region Maksim Egorov along with his deputies and members of the regional government, launched a campaign for weaving camouflage netting. Nets will continue to be woven at Tambov companies and universities, and on May 9, they will be handed over to military units. In the meantime in Saint Petersburg, a master class on making camouflage netting and trench candles took place at the community club for youth Luch [Ray].

Schoolchildren in Tula collected assistance and made amulet dolls for mobilized soldiers. Meanwhile, as part of the Avtopoyezd [Road Train] campaign, 4 off-road vehicles were sent to the front from the region.

Archpriest Andrey Tkachev [a former priest of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate] introduced the prerequisites for the beginning of the “special military operation” to the students of a Moscow university. Tkachev said that he had been aware about the beginning of the war 20 years before it began and associated the events with the sins committed by people.

Victory Day

Governor of the Astrakhan region Igor Babushkin suggested that residents place portraits of their dead ancestors and killed participants of the “special military operation” on cars, balconies, windows and clothes as part of the Immortal Regiment rally. Let us recall that earlier the authorities of the Russian Federation canceled the procession this year.

In Novosibirsk, mothers of disabled children will take part in the guard of honor at the Eternal Flame as part of the celebrations on Victory Day. They are taught to march, assemble assault rifles and shoot.

Ahead of the Victory Day on May 9, state employees and municipal deputies in Moscow are made to take part in unpaid anti-terrorist patrols. Patrol members are advised to pay attention to anything that seems potentially dangerous, from suspicious boxes to UAVs.


The administration of Voronezh has published a checklist of actions to be taken when discovering an UAV in the air or on the ground.

Meduza [an international Russian-language online media outlet] obtained a new manual prepared by the Russian presidential administration for Russian propagandists. Among other things, it tells state-owned and pro-government media about how to cover Ukraine’s impending counteroffensive.

Russian soldiers recorded a video message with threats towards Mikhail Ivanov, head physician of Voronezh city hospital No 10. According to the Bloknot Voronezh media outlet, a volunteer asked Ivanov to hand over some medical equipment to the troops in the “special military operation” zone. Although the list of demands wasn’t long, the doctor refused. Now soldiers are threatening to “pay him a visit.” According to the Department of Health Care of the Voronezh region, the head physician motivated his refusal by the fact that medical instruments should only be used by trained professionals and not fighters and that he couldn’t alienate the property of a state-funded organization.