mobilization briefs
May 26, 2023

Mobilization in Russia for May 24–25, 2023 CIT volunteer summary 

Authorities and Legislation

Diabetes will not be included in the list of medical conditions granting eligibility for exemption from military duty during mobilization, Russia’s Ministry of Defense announced. "Include diabetes, and you’ll have to include hypertension as well. Include hypertension, and it will drag ischemic heart disease along with it. Carry on like this, and we will end up with no personnel at all — everyone will be diseased in one way or another," the ministry concluded.

Legislation that will rename the Military Glory Day Sep. 3 into "Day of Victory over Militaristic Japan and the End of World War II" was adopted in the first reading by lawmakers in Russia’s State Duma [lower house of the Federal Assembly]. According to the concept summary, the law was prompted by the fact that Japan did not support the Russian military operation in Ukraine and imposed sanctions against Russian officials.

State Duma Member Dmitry Kuznetsov appealed to Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin suggesting that prominent Russian writers and performers designated as "foreign agents" for criticizing Russian aggression in Ukraine be taken off the register of foreign agents, conditional upon their commitment to "publicly express their solidarity with the people and provide financing for the humanitarian aid for mobilized (citizens)."

Governor of the Chelyabinsk region Aleksey Teksler held a conference attended by 500 residents of the region, 50 of whom were veterans of the war in Ukraine. In particular, Teksler announced the launch of a new One-Stop Support Center for participants of the "special military operation." Meanwhile, Marina Knyazkova, an activist from the Togliatti division of the Sh'yem Za Nashikh [Sewing for Our Guys] nationwide campaign, spoke at the public meeting held by Governor of the Samara region Dmitry Azarov and suggested for a coordinator to be appointed in each municipality to manage the collection of aid for the armed forces.

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

A photo of a letter from the Committee for Regional Control and Supervision of the Pskov region has surfaced online, requesting that housing and utility bills issued by Pskov housing cooperatives and management companies include information promoting contract military service. Previously, similar advertisements on utility bills have been documented in various regions of the country, including the Vladimir, Voronezh, Leningrad, and Penza regions, as well as  Komi and Khakassia constituent republics.

Governor Alexander Avdeev of the Vladimir region invited residents of the region to the recruitment center for contract service in his Telegram channel. Women along with men are being offered the opportunity to join the military.

The head of the Nizhneilimsk district in the Irkutsk region, Maxim Romanov, posted a video encouraging people to enter into contracts with the Ministry of Defense. In early May, this video, along with other propaganda videos, became available to SOTA [independent news outlet] journalists. In the Belgorod region, advertisements for contract service appeared simultaneously in all colleges, not only in specialized ones but also in a pedagogical college.

The military commissar of Novokuybyshevsk town is sending letters to businessmen demanding to "select candidates" for participation in military camps in the period from Jun. 1 to Jul. 15, 2023. Men with service fitness categories "A" and "B" up to 49 years old are required. The list of such men is requested to be provided by May 25.

Mobilized Soldiers and Volunteer Fighters

The list of mobilized soldiers killed in the war has been updated with Yury Mokrousov from the Khanty-Mansi autonomous region [Russia’s constituent subject], Stepan Babanov from the Omsk region, Dmitry Merkulov from the Kursk region, Andrey Samoylov from the Novosibirsk region, Akhsan Turakhanov from the Perm region, Dmitry Smakaev from the Arkhangelsk region, and Aleksey Petryaev from the Voronezh region.

As reported by Mikhail Zakomaldin, the Commissioner for Human Rights in Bashkortostan [Russia’s constituent republic], at the plenary session of the Kurultai [regional parliament], in 2022, 739 family members of mobilized soldiers killed in the war in Ukraine were paid 548 million rubles [$6,850,000] in the republic. However, according to the collected data by Mediazona [independent Russian media outlet] and BBC News Russian, at least 735 residents of the republic have been killed in the war.

In Shelekhov town in the Irkutsk region another cemetery of Russian soldiers and mercenaries killed in the war with Ukraine has been found. Satellite images show that the site was prepared in October 2022. All those buried in this area were killed in late 2023 or early 2023. Another previously unknown mass burial of participants of the war in Ukraine was discovered in the small Dyatlovka village in the Moscow region. Almost 50 identical graves appeared there in just 2 days. Judging by the markings, they belong to Wagner Group mercenaries.

In June 2023, 5000 beds in 27 civilian hospitals across 11 regions of Russia will be transferred to military medical organizations. According to Deputy Head of the Main Military Medical Directorate of the Ministry of Defense Alexander Sergoventsev military medical facilities, especially in Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Rostov, and the occupied city of Sevastopol, are overwhelmed. Therefore, military personnel will be admitted to civilian hospitals.

Russian authorities claim that people with HIV and hepatitis are not being conscripted for the war in Ukraine. However, The Vyorstka media outlet investigation revealed that there are at least hundreds of HIV-positive combatants on the frontlines.

State Duma Sverdlovsk region deputy Maksim Ivanov informed that the issue of delayed payment of military injuries indemnity to servicemen is now resolved in a more timely manner. Up to ten war participants from the region have already received their payments, and more improvement is underway. Previously, there were repeated reports of problems with the payment of indemnities promised to war participants as compensation for their injuries.

Sentences, Legal Proceedings, and Incidents

The Federal Security Service (FSB) claims to have prevented sabotage by explosion of over 30 power line supports of the Leningrad and Kalinin nuclear power plants planned by Ukrainian special services on the eve of May 9, 2023. However, the saboteurs managed to detonate one power line support. Moreover, additional 11 supports were found to be mined. Two Ukrainian citizens were detained, and another person, a Ukrainian and Russian citizen, is currently wanted. The FSB also reported the identification and detention of two Russian citizens who provided assistance to the detained individuals.

Unknown individuals broke into and set fire to two relay cabinets at the Bugach station in Krasnoyarsk during the night. Investigators are currently on-site. In January, a group of young people was already detained for disruptions in train operations at the Bugach station. A relay cabinet was also likely set on fire in Saint Petersburg. The cabinet caught fire around 6 a.m. on the Zanevsky Post II – Rzhevka section. In a location approximately 20 kilometers from Magnitogorsk, on the Magnitogorsk-Gruzovoy – Kuybas stretch, unknown individuals set fire to two relay cabinets, completely destroying the equipment. It is reported that there were no casualties, and trains are running according to schedule.

In Omsk, a military court has handed down a five-year suspended sentence to Sergeant Sergey Grigoryev for leaving service after the command refused to discharge him. According to the court, Grigoryev believed he had the right to resign from service as his contract had expired. He approached the command, but his request was denied. On Nov. 29, 2022, he left the military unit without permission, and on Mar. 22, 2023, he voluntarily appeared at the military investigative department.

In Novosibirsk, Private Vladimir Konstantinov has been sentenced to five years in a penal colony for leaving a field camp on Dec. 29, 2022, and going to his family. On Jan. 23, 2023, he voluntarily reported to the military investigation department.

According to the Baza Telegram channel, a Wagner Group mercenary was shot dead in the Irkutsk region. Yury S. was celebrating his return from the war in the company of a friend in the village of Karakhun on the evening of May 24. An argument broke out, during which the acquaintance pulled out a rifle and shot Yury.

The Basmanny District Court of Moscow has sent 25-year-old Konstantin Kochanov to pretrial detention. He is facing charges of hooliganism motivated by political hatred. It is reported that on the night of May 9, Kochanov made at least three graffiti drawings resembling red crosses on the pavement in the center of Moscow. According to the investigation, he expressed "disagreement with the ongoing special military operation" and engaged in actions that "pose a real threat to undermining state security."

The man who threw a Molotov cocktail at the Federal Security Service building in the city of Vidnoye did so as a protest against the construction of a bypass road on Zavidnaya Street. He revealed this information during questioning.

Kirill Brik, a defendant in the "Tyumen case," pleaded guilty on all charges. Apparently, he was forced to sign a plea bargain and agreed to cooperate, that is, give testimony against other defendants. All six defendants in the case reported torture and pressure by the police. For several months, Brik was kept in custody in a pretrial detention center. Finally, he stopped responding to mail from the family and refused the lawyer found by the support group. Consequently, new charges were brought against all the defendants except Brik. The young people were detained at the end of last summer. They were accused of organizing a terrorist group and preparing a terrorist attack: allegedly, the anti-fascists were going to set fire to draft offices, railways and police offices.

A court in Kazakhstan ruled to deport Igor Sandjiev from Russia’s constituent republic of Kalmykia, who fled mobilization, back to Russia. In September 2022, the man was mobilized when he came to the draft office for data check-up. In January 2023, he fled to Belarus but was later expelled from the country. In March, Sandjiev illegally crossed the Kazakhstan border and applied for asylum.


Opposition deputies from Russia’s constituent Khanty-Mansi autonomous region refused to donate money for the war. According to Aleksey Savintsev, the first secretary of the regional branch of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, who previously actively supported the war, the party decided to spend the money on social needs. Meanwhile, Mikhail Selyukov, a deputy from the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, announced that the funds would be spent on equipping instructors from the Sibirsky Legion [Siberian legion] special training center.

The mother of a mobilized soldier from Khanty-Mansi autonomous region addressed Radiy Khabirov, the Head of the Republic of Bashkortostan where she currently resides, asking to provide firewood at a discount. Because her son was mobilized in Khanty-Mansi autonomous region, local administration could not provide the benefits that the relatives of mobilized soldiers are eligible for, and offered her to take the logs remaining from a volunteer clean-up, free of charge.

The Higher School of Economics started the preferential admission of war veterans and their relatives, with the university covering tuition costs. In 2023, the university has already exceeded the 10% quota previously established by President Putin for the new category of students.

It was decided to not send the rusty GAZ-66 trucks, previously donated by the forestry of Buryatia [Russia's constituent republic], to the war. Activists doubt these vehicles can be repaired.


Russia continues the patriotic education of youth. From Jun. 1 to 11, 2023, summer recreational camps in 11 regions of Russia launch military-patriotic sessions. These are organized by the Center for Military Sports Training and Patriotic Education of Youth Voin [Warrior]. Over 9,000 young people aged 14 to 17 will be sent to these camps, where they will meet participants of the "special military operation."

Rosobrnadzor [the Federal Service for Supervision in Education and Science] announced that the Unified State Exam-2023 in Geography will be using maps that include the "new regions of Russia": the occupied Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions of Ukraine.

In Pod'yapol'skoye village, Primorsky region, various weapons were brought to a class in school no. 14. People dressed in camouflage were teaching children how to handle assault rifles, grenades and grenade launchers, and took a group picture with students afterwards.

Students of the Volgograd State Pedagogical University are offered to participate in the Vmeste Za Pravdu! [Together for the Truth/Justice!] patriotic session. According to the project’s website, one of the main goals of the event is to "demonstrate the continuity of generations by comparing the heroism of soldiers of the Great Patriotic War to that of their successors in the fight against Nazism — heroes of the special military operation."

Starting September, all first-year students will be studying a new subject, Fundamentals of the Russian Statehood. Meduza [international Russian-language online media outlet] has got hold of the detailed program of this course.


The Sibir.Realii [part of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty] online media outlet has published a report from Nevelsk, a town of 10,000 people on the west coast of Sakhalin, where more and more graves of those killed in Ukraine have been appearing in the cemetery.

Institutions of the Federal Penitentiary Service had their logging amounts reduced by 31% in 2022 as compared to 2021. The Federal Agency for Forestry (Rosleskhoz) has directly linked the drop in logging with prisoners’ involvement in the "special military operation."

Deputies of Lyubertsy City District, Moscow region, at a regular meeting have resolved unanimously to name a street in the local village of Mirny after Maxim Fomin (the real name of "war correspondent" Vladlen Tatarsky who died in an explosion).

Women’s Basketball Club Platov from Rostov-on-Don has proposed the Wagner Group to become their sponsor. For this cause, the team, managed by a participant of the war in Ukraine, is even willing to change its name. Furthermore, the club wants to expand and start training children in the territories of occupied Donetsk and Luhansk.