mobilization briefs
May 22

Mobilization in Russia for May 20-21, 2024 CIT Volunteer Summary

Authorities and Legislation

Exemptions from military service would not apply in the event of a full mobilization, said Viktor Sobolev, a member of the State Duma [lower house of Russia's Federal Assembly] Committee on Defense, assimilating full mobilization with a formal state of war. Answering questions about the committee’s recent decision to reject a bill, which seeks to provide exemptions for fathers of three or more children, Sobolev argued that naturalized citizens originating from Central Asia all have more than three children, but authorities would have to send them and everyone else to fight in the event of a full mobilization. However, a full mobilization is not expected at this time and the lawmaker stressed that the Ministry of Defense is meeting its goals for staffing the Armed Forces. On the other hand, he indicated that there were no plans for rotating mobilized soldiers in the near future, adding that the approximately 50,000 of them, who have three children or disabled dependents, have allegedly either concluded contracts or have already been discharged and returned home.

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has drafted a resolution regarding the issuance of international passports by Russian consulates. Conscription orders, referrals for alternative civilian service, draft notices published in the future Draft Registry and bans on leaving the country would all become grounds for refusing to issue an international passport. The Voyennye Advokaty [Military Lawyers] Telegram channel noted that, according to the law, authorities should not be serving draft notices to citizens, who have been removed from the military rolls, because they reside abroad.

Authorities and Relatives of Mobilized Soldiers

In Novosibirsk, a group of relatives of mobilized soldiers has announced that they have applied for a rally in defense of the rights of children of mobilized soldiers. According to the Zashchita Prav Mobilizovannyh [Defense of the Rights of Mobilized Soldiers] Telegram channel, the event is scheduled for June 1. However, the location and precise time of the event have not yet been announced, as it has not been officially approved.

In the Khanty-Mansi autonomous region–Yugra [Russia's federal subject], the mother of Aleksandr Aristov, a volunteer fighter who died of pneumonia, has been denied a regional payment of 3 million rubles [$33,100] for his death "in the special military operation zone." In May 2023, during a shooting incident in his military unit, Aristov suffered a wound that severely compromised his health. This resulted in another hospitalization in early 2024. Aristov was discharged in mid-March, but was readmitted to the intensive care unit a few days later, where he passed away the next day. The death notification received by Aristov’s mother stated that "the death was not related to the performance of military duties." Due to this wording, she was denied the payment and the certificate of a family member of a deceased participant in the "special military operation." Consequently, she can only expect federal insurance payments of 3 million rubles [$33,100].

Mobilized Soldiers, Volunteer Fighters and Contract Soldiers

The list of mobilized soldiers killed in the war has been updated to include Semyon Sharagulov from the Irkutsk region and Aleksandr Kataev from the Perm region [Russia's federal subject].

Mobilized and contract soldiers from the Russian Far East, serving in the 155th Guards Naval Infantry Brigade, told the Ostorozhno, Novosti [Beware the News] Telegram channel that they have been receiving incomplete salaries for several months. One of the soldiers received 29,000 rubles [$319] in April instead of the expected 234,000 rubles [$2,580], and 12,000 rubles [$130] in May. According to him, a large number of servicemen are facing this problem, including those who have been in a combat zone for a second year.

A mobilized man is being sent to the frontline despite having suffered a spinal fracture during training exercises. Thirty-seven-year-old Vyacheslav Manilov was mobilized despite having three minor children. In November 2022, during training, he was accidentally run over by an armored personnel carrier, breaking his two vertebrae and injuring his leg. While in hospital, Manilov complained of constant back pain. However, the military commission deemed him fit for deployment to the frontline. His family has managed to secure his return to Moscow for further treatment, but civilian doctors are refusing to treat him due to his military status and are demanding a referral from the military medical board. Currently, Manilov and his relatives are striving to obtain a referral for surgery and his discharge from service.

Ex-convicts pardoned for participating in the war with Ukraine as part of the Storm-Z unit have recorded a video address to Putin. In the video, they complain about being unable to receive the promised payments for injuries and other insurance benefits, to register for military disability, or obtain a war veteran certificate. According to them, the hospitals of the Ministry of Defense also refuse to admit them. In response to their appeals, officials tell them that since they are a "special contingent" rather than volunteers, they are not entitled to any payments or social guarantees. The ex-convicts are asking Putin to change their status from "special contingent" to “volunteer fighters” to be entitled to payments and benefits.

Sentences, Legal Proceedings and Incidents

In the Zabaykalsky region [Russia's federal subject], a resident of Chita is suspected of murdering war participant Aleksandr Tovstonogov. After an argument during a drinking session, the accused waited for his friend to fall asleep and then stabbed him to death. The man attempted to dismember the victim's body. Tovstonogov, an orphanage graduate and ex-convict, had been "free for over 25 years" before volunteering for the war.

Dmitry Khvostov, a former deputy governor of the Vladimir region, was sentenced to 12 years in prison for accepting a bribe of 10 million rubles [$110,200]. Recruited to the war from prison, he has since returned from Ukraine and regained his freedom. In December 2023, he registered as an individual entrepreneur in Krasnodar to start a new business.

The Rtishchevo District Court has sentenced Ilya Usoyan, a resident of the Saratov region, for "organizing voluntary surrender." According to prosecutors, he attempted to persuade his friend, who had gone to fight in Ukraine, to surrender. As a result, the court sentenced Usoyan to three and a half years in a penal colony.

Officers of the Federal Security Service (FSB) in the Vladimir region have announced the initiation of a criminal case for aiding terrorism against a Ukrainian citizen born in 1994. His name has not been disclosed. According to law enforcement, the man allegedly "used the Internet to incite residents of the region to set fire to cars to intimidate the population." In August 2023, four residents of the Vladimir region, who agreed to carry out the arson for compensation, were detained. Each of them is charged with an act of terror.

It is worth noting that on the night of May 19 in Vologda, unknown individuals set fire to the workshop of the "Vologda Sewing Battalion," which supports Russian soldiers. According to the workshop's volunteers, they produce about 500 camouflage nets for the army every month.

A Perm city official has been sentenced to 12 years in a penal colony for preparing for treason, preparing an act of terror, and justifying terrorism online. He was sentenced in March 2024. The convict’s name has not been disclosed, but Mediazona [independent Russian media outlet] has identified him as 42-year-old Anton Galetu. His defense is now trying to appeal the court's decision. According to the law enforcement authorities, in September-October 2022, the convicted man allegedly collaborated with representatives of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and prepared terrorist attacks "on industrial facilities and law enforcement agencies of the city of Perm." A source from the Properm media outlet reported that he is from Belgorod and previously worked in the Perm regional government.

The Saint Petersburg City Court has sentenced 77-year-old physicist Anatoly Maslov to 14 years in a maximum security penal colony for treason. The prosecution had requested 17 years in the colony for the scientist. According to the Federal Security Service, in 2014, Maslov handed over secret scientific developments related to hypersonics to German intelligence in 2014. Kommersant claimed that the testimony against Maslov was given by 76-year-old Aleksandr Kuranov, another scientist who was sentenced to seven years in a penal colony for treason in April. Maslov was the head of the research at the Novosibirsk Institute of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences and was detained in 2022. According to BBC News Russian, over the past six years, the FSB has arrested at least 12 Russian scientists working on hypersonics on charges of treason.


Dovod [independent Russian media outlet] has published a list of "non-combat casualties" among the residents of the Vladimir region. In addition to the more than 500 residents of the region who have been killed in combat in Ukraine, 7 military personnel on the list were victims of accidents or diseases or were killed by their fellow soldiers or law enforcement officers.