mobilization briefs
May 15

Mobilization in Russia for May 13-14, 2024 CIT Volunteer Summary

Authorities and Legislation

Vladimir Putin has appointed Andrey Belousov as Russia’s Minister of Defense.The Kremlin published the decrees confirming the composition of the Cabinet of Ministers on the evening of March 14. Earlier in the day, Belousov addressed the Federation Council [upper house of the Federal Assembly] once again. He indicated that one of his priorities would be to supply the Russian Armed Forces, immediately clarifying that he was not referring to mobilization or emergency measures. The new minister intended to focus on provisioning the army with modern military vehicles, ammunition, electronic warfare systems, personal protection and communications equipment, as well as UAVs. Moreover, Belousov considered it imperative to address the military training issues. His wider goal was to "ensure the integration of the economy of the Armed Forces into the national economy."

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

Moscow regional authorities continue to conduct raids against migrants. Yet another roundup took place in Podolsk. Local officials, accompanied by law enforcement officers, raided markets and foodservice establishments in search of naturalized citizens who had failed to register for military service. Reportedly, they detained an undisclosed number of individuals, fined some, and sent others to military service.

Omsk authorities are serving draft notices to people applying for car registration, reports the Idite Lesom! [Flee through the woods/Get lost you all] Telegram channel. The notices summon the recipients to the draft office for a data check-up.

Mobilized Soldiers, Volunteer Fighters and Contract Soldiers

The list of mobilized soldiers killed in the war has been updated to include Aleksandr Zharikov, Andrey Makarov and Aleksandr Tirskikh from the Irkutsk region, Sergey Novokreshchyonnykh, Stepan Svinin and Ivan Kozhayev from Russia’s constituent Republic of Buryatia, Anatoly Zelenin from the Sverdlovsk region, Vadim Kachaykin from the Chelyabinsk region, Ivan Zhabin from the Tambov region and Semyon Goroshnikov from the Krasnodar region.

Sergey Andreyev, a Tula entrepreneur who was convicted of the murder of two people, was pardoned after participating in the war with Ukraine as part of the Wagner Group. In the summer of 2021, police found two bodies wrapped in a blanket in Andreyev’s car. Andreyev confessed to having "accidentally" killed the men for trespassing, as they were searching for a lost dog. The bodies were so severely mutilated that they were buried in closed coffins. Andreyev was sentenced to nine and a half years in a penal colony, where he was recruited by the Wagner Group and deployed in the ongoing war. He was later pardoned for his service and returned home, while the court initiated a new review of his case.

Volunteer fighters from the Kaskad military unit have complained about the lack of money which has rendered them unable to return home. The soldiers claim that all departments have ignored their requests. Currently, their unit is undergoing a process of disbandment, as all the servicemen were dismissed on April 30. However, they have been paid a total of 100,000 rubles [$1,090] for five months of service since January, instead of the agreed 195,000 rubles [$2,125] per month. Moreover, they are being denied disbandment pay and combat veteran certificates. Previously, the unit’s servicemen had already complained about the lack of promised payments.

Maxim Ivanov, a member of the State Duma [lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia] from the Sverdlovsk region has stated that ex-convicts who participated in the war are being denied combat veteran certificates. Allegedly, military officials justify the refusal to issue certificates by stating that the ex-convicts have been pardoned and that should be enough for them.

Sentences, Legal Proceedings and Incidents

In the Primorsky region [Russia's federal subject], a 24-year-old young man passed away following a brawl outside a bar. The relatives of the deceased are accusing both a police officer and a war participant for his death. However, law enforcement officials assert that the man died of cardiac arrest after consuming drugs. The Investigative Committee has initiated a criminal case under the article of intentional infliction of grievous bodily harm resulting in death due to negligence.

In the Chelyabinsk region, war veteran Nikolay Ryabtsev has been sentenced to two years of probation for violating traffic regulations, resulting in the accidental death of a person. In August 2023, Ryabtsev fell asleep at the wheel, causing his vehicle to veer onto the opposite lane and collide with another car. As a result of the accident, one person died, and several passengers sustained injuries.

Five Crimean residents have been found guilty of espionage and treason and sentenced to 11 to 16 years of imprisonment for allegedly providing information about the deployment of Russian troops in the "special military operation" zone to the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU). According to the court, the information they provided was used to coordinate strikes on Russian positions. Sergey Arefyev, a resident of the city of Kherson, was abducted on March 23, 2022, when the city was still occupied by Russia.

A court in Novosibirsk has sentenced local resident Dmitry Gurulyov to 12 years in a maximum security penal colony. He was found guilty of sabotage, preparation for sabotage, illegal acquisition of ammunition, manufacture of explosives and "cooperation on a confidential basis" with a representative of a foreign organization to assist in "activities deliberately directed against the security of the Russian Federation." The 48-year-old man allegedly attempted to set fire to a railway tanker at the Sibirskaya station in November 2022.

Two students and a teenage girl have beendetained on suspicion of setting fire to railway tracks in Voronezh on May 1. An electrician was inspecting the station when he discovered a charred relay box. The detainees said that an unknown person offered them 30,000 rubles [$330] to destroy the equipment. Three of the detainees have been charged with attempted sabotage. They are currently in pre-trial detention.

The health of 17-year-old school student Yegor Balazeykin, convicted in a case of arson of two draft offices in the Leningrad region, is deteriorating. The young man suffers from autoimmune hepatitis. Recently, his blood tests showed a significantly elevated level of alkaline phosphatase, which may indicate the onset of liver cell necrosis. In November, Balazeykin was sentenced to six years in prison.

In Zelenograd, a blogger who threatened servicemen during a live stream was detained. Ekaterina Mizulina, the head of the Russian censorship lobbying group Safe Internet League, reported him. In his stream, the blogger, whose surname is not mentioned, claimed that “only drunks support Putin in the special military operation." The blogger then called for "overthrowing this government." A criminal case has been initiated against him for inciting hatred or enmity. It is worth noting that earlier, the Ministry of Internal Affairs did not find "discrediting the Armed Forces" in the words of Krasnoyarsk City Council deputy Vyacheslav Dyukov, who called men signing contracts with the Ministry of Defense "alcoholics, homeless individuals, derelicts and convicts."

Children and Educational System

School administrations and branches of the Young Army [pro-Kremlin youth organization] report on meetings with "heroes of the special military operation" in almost identical posts on the VKontakte social network, the Sirena Telegram channel noted. At the end of such posts, it is usually noted that the meetings "contribute to the cultivation of a sense of pride" and the realization that "real heroes live among us." The meeting with the "hero" is called "exciting and unforgettable" in a number of such reports.


In Crimea, 1500 thousand land plots are intended to be transferred to the participants of the war against Ukraine. On April 7 this year, it became known that the authorities have already begun issuing orders for the provision of land plots.


The former Children's Rights Commissioner in the Vladimir region, Gennady Prokhorychev, who returned from the war, was appointed deputy minister of education and youth policy of the region as part of Putin's Time of Heroes personnel program for training officials from among the "veterans of the special military operation." Prokhorychev left as a volunteer fighter for the war in November 2022, where he served as a psychologist in a medical battalion. In December 2023, the official returned from the frontline stating that his contract had ended despite the fact that after the start of the "partial" mobilization in Russia, all contracts with the Russian Ministry of Defense became open-ended, regardless of the contract validity period.


The Sistema [System] project released a report on how the Saint Petersburg government recruits foreigners to send them to the frontline through local companies that employ migrants. Meanwhile, Mediazona [independent Russian media outlet], in collaboration with the Znaki Prepinaniya [Punctuation Marks] publishing house, explains why homeless people are joining the war in Ukraine and what their condition is like when they return.

The Sibir.Realii [part of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty] online media outlet released a report explaining what alternative civilian service is and how to participate in it during a full-scale war.

The [No to Violence] non-profit organization dealing with the problem of domestic violence tells about changes in their work during the war. While cases of violence by those returning from the frontline are already being recorded, human rights activists expect a significant influx of people needing help after the war ends.