mobilization briefs
May 12, 2023

Mobilization in Russia for May 10–11, 2023 CIT volunteer summary

Authorities and Legislation

Viktor Sobolev, a member of the State Duma [lower house of Russia's Federal Assembly] Committee on Defense, stated that Russian citizens who did not serve in the army may be called for a special reserve military training to receive necessary military skills.

Deputy Governor of the Rostov region Vadim Artyomov stated that residents of the Rostov region, called up for military training, will not be sent to the "special military operation" zone.

The Voyennye Advokaty [Military Lawyers] Telegram channel lists all legal ways of serving draft notices. A draft notice can be handed to a citizen personally and under a receipt, by registered mail with a notification of delivery and / or in electronic form through a personal account on the Gosuslugi public services portal. The lawyers also compared the reserve military training announced in 2023 and those carried out in previous years. The only significant difference, lawyers believe, is that now restrictions can be imposed on a citizen for non-reporting to a military commissariat [enlistment office] after a notice was served. This measure, however, is technically difficult to implement in the absence of the common e-register of Russians subject to military service.

Governor of the Belgorod region Vyacheslav Gladkov claims that reports about a search of volunteers among residents of the region to dig trenches, as well as the address of residents of the village of Krasnoye to the Wagner Group, are a PSYOP by the Ukrainians.

Head of the State Duma Committee on Family Issues Nina Ostanina has introduced a draft law proposing to give participants of the "special military operation" the opportunity to enter universities without exams. If the draft law is adopted, the government shall determine the list of specialties. Ex-servicemen would be enrolled after a successful interview within three years after demobilization.

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

Another group of volunteers from the Vladimir region will be sent to fight in Ukraine. Governor of the Vladimir region Aleksander Avdeyev escorted 26 local residents who signed contracts to a training unit.

Dmitry Rogozin [Russian nationalist politician and former Director General of Russia’s space agency Roscosmos] has raised concerns about personnel shortages in the forces involved in the "special military operation" and the need for a second wave of mobilization to replenish the losses.

According to human rights activist Nadezhda Nizovkina, residents of remote areas in Buryatia [Russia’s constituent republic] have once again started receiving mobilization draft notices since April. The military commissariat of the Khorinsky district in Buryatia has previously confirmed ongoing mobilization in the republic. However, on the same day, the press service of the government of Buryatia stated that there is no second wave of mobilization. Nevertheless, according to Nizovkina, the number of complaints she has received regarding illegal mobilization in April and May has increased, which may indicate the ongoing mobilization in the region.

Reports of fake mobilization orders containing malicious software continue to emerge. Information about such messages has been received from residents of Yekaterinburg and Voronezh.

It appears that private recruitment structures have been established in Russia to search for contract soldiers for the war with Ukraine. The government of Yakutia [Russia’s constituent republic] has published a document on compensations for legal entities that have incurred expenses for the transportation of individuals to the military service recruitment facility in Yakutsk, specifically for those who wish to sign contracts with the Ministry of Defense and who do not reside in the republic.

Mobilized Soldiers and Volunteer Fighters

The lists of mobilized soldiers killed in the war have been supplemented by Aleksandr Smirnov from the Kostroma region, Nikolay Nimchenko from the Khanty-Mansi autonomous region [federal subject of Russia], Nikita Paliy from the Oryol region, Ivan Babak and Dmitry Puchkov from the Rostov region, Artyom Ogryzkov and Zakhar Zudin from the Kemerovo region, Valentin Velichko from the Belgorod region, Pyotr Sushchev from the Moscow region, Vladislav Pripa from the Tver region, as well as Dmitry Malyov and Sergey Bykov from the Chelyabinsk region. As a result of a traffic accident, mobilized soldier Stanislav Shevtsov from the Kursk region died.

Wives of the mobilized soldiers from the Novosibirsk region asked the authorities to save their husbands who were on the frontline. They recorded two video appeals, one of which, however, has already been deleted. The wives reported that their husbands, as part of the 109th Regiment (formerly the "People's Militia of the DPR" unit), were sent to the frontline without weapons. One of them said that there are only "about nine people left," they are "sitting among the corpses, and the wounded are not being evacuated."

Participants in the war with Ukraine are starting to look for jobs and offer specialized services on the Avito website [a popular Russian classifieds platform]. For example, a certain Grigory Belin posted an advertisement for conducting training on building capture and combat. He is ready to improve the skills of trainees within a period of one to three weeks.

Sentences and Incidents

Unknown individuals attempted to set fire to the Federal Security Service (FSB) building in the Komi Republic [Russia’s constituent republic]. According to preliminary data, the arson attempt at the local FSB department building in Usinsk occurred on the night of May 11 using a Molotov cocktail. The fire area was one and a half square meters. The arsonist fled. A criminal case has been initiated under the article on terrorism.

Mikhail Lazakovich, an 18-year-old resident of the Tver region, was sent to pre-trial detention center on May 9, 2023, for setting fire to a draft office in Likhoslavl. Mikhail denies his guilt. We’ve previously reported on the attempted arson of this draft office in one of our previous summaries.

In the Moscow City Court, a jury began hearing the case of Vitaly Koltsov, 46, who in May of the last year threw two Molotov cocktails at police vehicles in central Moscow. Koltsov was charged with "terrorism." He is accused of attempting to kill 12 special purposes militia unit officers, but it was revealed in court that only six officers were near the vehicles at the time and none of them were injured. Only the asphalt and one bus caught on fire due to the Molotov cocktails. Mediazona [independent Russian media outlet] reported on what is known about the case and how the first court session went.

The FSB detained a 19-year-old resident of Yekaterinburg suspected of attempting to leave for Ukraine to fight against Russia. According to the FSB, the detained man found "unidentified representatives of one of the armed groups" through Telegram and said he wanted to join their group. A criminal case was opened against him for preparing for state treason. However, Sota's [media outlet] investigation shows that a network of fake bots has been created in Russia to "recruit for the Ukrainian Armed Forces." All fake Telegram bots collect personal data on candidates and are controlled by accounts with Russian IP addresses. Criminal cases are then brought against those who respond to the offer. The media regularly reports on people who have been detained for attempting to fight on the side of Ukraine or carry out sabotage. All detainees are accused of being associated with the "Freedom of Russia Legion" or the Russian Volunteer Corps. Sota found out that some of these detentions may be planned provocations.

According to the FSB of the Stavropol region, the department terminated preparations for an arson attack on the district draft office and the Mineralnye Vody town administration buildings. According to the FSB, the suspect was preparing the arson attack on the instructions of the Right Sector [right-wing to far-right Ukrainian nationalist organization].

In Samara, a mobilized soldier is tried for going AWOL. 28-year-old Vladimir Samoilov from Zhigulevsk received a draft notice on the first day of mobilization, and on Sept. 25, he was already in a military unit in Roschinsky. The next day, the man was hospitalized after fainting on the parade ground. Military doctors could not improve his condition, so he turned to private doctors, after which a criminal case was initiated against Samoilov for "going AWOL."

The court sentenced a soldier who lost his AK-12 assault rifle during the New Year celebration to two years of probation with a probationary period of two years. During the trial, the defendant reimbursed the Russian Ministry of Defense for the cost of the lost rifle in the amount of 96,900 rubles [roughly $1,260].

Mediazona analyzed the data from military court websites. From January to May 2023, the courts received 1,053 cases under the article on going AWOL, which is more than in all of 2022 (1,001 cases). Most of the cases were initiated after the announcement of mobilization. Among 169 available sentences under the "mobilization" clauses of the article on going AWOL, almost half are suspended sentences. After Putin's decree on mobilization, probationers are not fired and can be sent back to the front. In their decisions, judges sometimes write that they leave the defendant at large in order to send him to the war.

Nikita Usachyov, a member of the Ryazan Regional Duma [regional parliament], made a decision to go to war as a volunteer soldier two days before the trial for fraud. The appeal claim hearing for his criminal case, involving charges of large-scale fraud, was supposed to take place on May 11. In 2022, Usachyov was found guilty of falsifying documents to receive financial compensation from the regional budget for his activities as a member of the regional parliament.

In the Tyumen region, volunteers apprehended a man who was walking through the forest from Yekaterinburg to Khabarovsk. They tied him to a tree and then delivered him to the police. Volunteers suspected the man of being a Ukrainian saboteur responsible for setting fire to forests. The information center of the Tyumen regional government published a photo of the man and explained that he was just a hiker. The authorities urged residents to "strictly abide by the laws of the Russian Federation, refrain from taking matters into their own hands and seek help from law enforcement bodies."

Galina Dovgopolaya, a 66-year-old resident of Crimea, sentenced to 12 years in prison under charges of treason and being held in IK-1 penal colony in the Vladimir region, wrote a letter in which, among other things, she thanked compassionate people who wrote letters to her for their support.


At a meeting with Vladimir Putin, Governor of the Tyumen region Aleksandr Moor said that the region had spent almost a billion rubles on provision of RuAF servicemen in the "special military operation" zone. Meanwhile, deputy Chairman of the Volgograd Regional Duma Sergey Bulgakov reported on the work of Governor Andrey Bocharov’s "support for the special military operation" fund. According to him, 534 million out of 674 million rubles collected for the war have already been spent. However, in local social networks, people report that the mobilized residents of Volgograd do not get the assistance.

The first batch of cars seized in the Far East from people engaged in illegal logging was handed over to the marines of the Pacific Fleet and volunteer fighters of the Tigr unit. These vehicles were arrested as part of the criminal cases on illegal logging and have been at arrest sites until now.

Residents of the town of Raduzhny in the Khanty-Mansiysk autonomous region sent another shipment of aid to the "special military operation" zone. It included 3,500 army dry showers, as well as food rations with a total weight of more than one and a half tons.


Head of Buryatia Aleksey Tsydenov reported on the opening of the Center for Military Sports Training and Patriotic Education of Youth in the region. In this center, young people of pre-conscription and military age will be able to take an intensive course in military applied arts.

In a kindergarten in the Kaliningrad region, during a matinee, children wearing military uniforms were lined up in the front row, while children in ordinary clothes had to sing and dance behind a cardboard tank.