mobilization briefs
May 20

Mobilization in Russia for May 17-19, 2024 CIT Volunteer Summary

Authorities and Legislation

Lawmakers are set to introduce a bill into the State Duma [lower house of the Federal Assembly], seeking to cover the cost of air, car and ship transportation, when service members and volunteer fighters taking part in the "special military operation" go on leave. The subsidy would be limited to soldiers who enlisted in distant regions, such as those in the Far North or those composing the Ural, Siberian and Far Eastern Federal Districts.

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

The Ministry of Defense is no longer recruiting among female convicts, writes the Agentstvo [Agency] independent media outlet, citing Olga Romanova, Executive Director of the Rus’ Sidyashchaya [Russia Behind Bars] civil rights movement. The authorities have reportedly stopped sending women from penal colonies to the front at the end of 2023. According to Romanova, around 1,000 female convicts had joined the war, since the recruiting practice was introduced in December 2022. She believes that the Ministry of Defense deemed the "experiment" a failure, which led to its suspension. Earlier, Vazhnyye Istorii [IStories, independent Russian investigative media outlet] had reported on recruitment attempts in penal colonies for women across several regions at once. In all cases described by the media outlet, however, those who had agreed to serve were only waiting to be sent to the front, and none had actually left.

In Kabardino-Balkaria [Russia’s constituent republic], a court has imposed the minimum sentence on a citizen of Tajikistan for violating immigration laws after he expressed his intention to participate in the war with Ukraine. The man was detained at the Malka checkpoint, where it was discovered that his residence permit in Russia had been annulled, yet he had not left the country. In court, the defendant stated that he was traveling to Chechnya [Russia's constituent republic] for further deployment to the war as part of the Akhmat unit. The court took into account that the migrant was "taking steps to leave Russia" and limited his punishment to a fine of 2000 rubles [$22] without deportation to his homeland.

Mobilized Soldiers, Volunteer Fighters and Contract Soldiers

The list of mobilized soldiers killed in the war has been updated to include Sergey Kuleshov from the Rostov region, Yury Parshev from the Moscow region, and Anzor Muzaev from Russia's constituent Republic of Kalmykia.

Aleksey Arsyutin, a mobilized soldier from the Moscow region, was captured by the Armed Forces of Ukraine. In the fall of 2022, shortly after his mobilization and without training, Arsyutin was deployed as part of the 423rd Motorized Rifle Regiment to the forward positions near Svatove. There, the mobilized soldiers came under attack and retreated. In an attempt to force the unit to return to the frontline, Colonel General Aleksandr Lapin, the Commander of the Central Military District, held a gun to the head of Commander Dmitry Vodnev, threatening to execute him. Nevertheless, Vodnev refused to lead untrained soldiers into combat. Subsequently, Arsyutin and others were sent to an illegal basement prison in the village of Zaitseve, Russian-occupied area of the Luhansk region of Ukraine, according to Nastoyashсheye Vremya [Current Time, an editorially independent US-funded Russian-language media outlet]. Arsyutin was later transferred to a pre-trial detention center, where he remained for 14 months while facing unspecified criminal charges. The man was released on the condition of rejoining the war effort and returned to the same regiment. Shortly thereafter, the unit was used in an attack, during which Arsyutin was captured by the AFU.

Sentences, Legal Proceedings and Incidents

In Volgograd, a former mercenary of the Wagner group attempted to strangle a 12-year-old girl. The attacker was scared off by a man with children exiting an elevator. By this time, the girl had already begun to lose consciousness. The attacker was identified as a 45-year-old local resident, Aleksandr B., a 45-year-old local resident with a criminal record. He has been charged with attempted murder. The V1.RU news outlet reported that the detained man had previously faced criminal charges for intentionally causing harm that resulted in the victim's death. He had been pardoned for his participation in the war.

In Vladivostok, a war veteran was assaulted by his neighbor due to the noise made by his prosthesis in the apartment. The man, who had returned from the war in November 2023 without his right leg and with a metal plate in his right hand, picked up some repair work in an apartment to earn extra money. However, the neighbor downstairs was disturbed by the sound of his prosthesis, prompting him to go up to the apartment where the disabled man was working and assault him. As a result of the incident, the veteran's arm was broken along with his prosthesis.

In Volgograd, authorities are searching for a 46-year-old war veteran named Artur Kustanaev. He was being treated for tuberculosis at a local hospital but left of his own accord on May 10 and has not been heard from since.

Muaz Kibishev, a native of Kabardino-Balkaria who fights on the side of Ukraine in the Muslim Corps Kavkaz, has been charged with "fakes" about the military and treason.  Law enforcement officers considered videos from 2022, in which Kibishev talks about his decision to join the AFU and his participation in fighting against Russia, as well as discovering mass graves of local residents and seeing the corpse of a woman with her hands tied behind her back, as "fakes." Since last year, Kibishev has been wanted in Russia on charges of treason. In 2014, he was sent to a Russian penal colony for two and a half years on a terrorism charge. Kibishev claimed that his case was fabricated, which influenced his desire to fight against the Russian regime.

In Saint Petersburg, two men were detained in connection with the arson of a cell tower. The incident occurred on May 15, with the fire covering one square meter. Police found a plastic bottle and a bag of flammable liquid nearby. Two days later, two previously convicted local residents were arrested on suspicion of arson. The arsonists were charged with sabotage and remanded in custody.

Children and Educational System

Several schools in Ekaterinburg regularly organize collections of supplies for soldiers fighting in Ukraine. This information was shared with the Ostorozhno, Novosti [Beware the News] Telegram channel by parents of elementary school students. According to these parents, since the beginning of May, they have received at least three requests from class teachers listing items and medicines needed by the soldiers. University staff have also received similar lists.

At a camp in Chita, a military-patriotic game, "Zarnitsa 2.0," is currently underway, with 12,500 schoolchildren aged 11 to 17 participating.


The Govorit NeMoskva [NonMoscow Is Speaking] Telegram channel highlighted a video from the Belgorod Hospital No. 2, showing the facility overcrowded and soldiers being placed in the hallways due to a lack of space. Volunteers are calling for donations of mattresses, blankets, and used clothing to support the hospital.

Govorit NeMoskva also reported how elderly women from Tatarstan [Russia’s constituent republic] are supporting Russian soldiers: the women have developed and refined a model of anti-drone "invisibility blankets" for reconnaissance purposes.


Sergey Sechenov, a veteran disabled due to injuries sustained in the war with Ukraine, has been nominated by the United Russia party [Putin’s ruling party] to run as a candidate in the Tomsk deputy elections. Senator Vladimir Kravchenko from Tomsk Oblast has already appealed to the district’s residents to support his candidacy.

Meanwhile, the Novye Lyudi party will not be able to nominate activist Paulina Safronova from the Movement of the Wives of Mobilized Soldiers for the Moscow City Duma elections. Safronova herself revealed this information, stating that party representatives had informed her that "all the districts have already been allocated among the candidates."