mobilization briefs
May 31, 2023

Mobilization in Russia for May 29–30, 2023 CIT volunteer summary

Authorities and Legislation

The State Duma [lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia] adopted a law in the second and third readings, excluding the commission of crimes by law enforcement officers from the list of aggravating circumstances. We have previously reported on this bill in one of our previous summaries.

In its final, third reading, the State Duma also passed a bill allowing confiscated goods of light industry to be transferred to the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Emergency Situations. Confiscated goods will be used to provide assistance to the military and the civilian population. Previously, such confiscated items were destroyed.

The Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) wants to reintroduce mandatory distribution of graduates of medical universities in Russia. In this way, party members hope to address the shortage of personnel in healthcare. Graduates are also planned to be sent to "new territories." However, the mandatory term of service there, as well as in the Far East, will be half as long as in other regions — 1.5 years instead of 3 years.

State Duma member Andrey Gurulyov announced a new bill providing for criminal liability for video shooting of drones. According to the deputy, "the first thing you need to do if you notice a drone, immediately call 112 and say: the object is such-and-such, the location is so-and-so. This is the best option. Don't do anything else."

Conscription and Military Service Advertising

The administration of the Omsk region promised an additional payment of 100,000 rubles [$1250] to contract servicemen. The payment would apply not only to the residents of the region, but also to anyone who signs a contract with the Ministry of Defense at a contract military service recruitment facility in the Omsk region starting from Mar. 1, 2023. According to Governor of the region Vitaliy Khotsenko, the Omsk region organized a decent training of the military: there is a "special forces school", where war veterans train soldiers.

The Rastsvetay construction company from Novosibirsk is forming a unit of kamikaze drone operators that will be sent to the frontline. They are planning to recruit UAV instructors in June. In the first half of July, they will conduct a selection process for a group of trainees, who will be deployed to the combat zone as early as September.

According to the SOTA Telegram channel, the Penal Enforcement Inspection is recruiting convicts throughout Russia whose punishment does not involve imprisonment, including those who are under administrative supervision following their release. They are promised presidential pardons. Contracts are not offered to those who have served sentences for murder, terrorism and pedophilia, but to those who have had lesser charges such as theft, assault and drugs. Meanwhile, alcohol and drug addictions are not taken into account in the Penal Enforcement Inspection’s selection process.

The Venets [Crown] hotel in Ulyanovsk plans to host ads for the contract service. According to the agreement for placing such advertisements, they are classified as "social." In Saint Petersburg, a poster with an advertisement for the contract service was noticed, featuring a quote from the Russian anthem. Contract service ads continue to appear on utility bills — that's how republican battalions of Bashkortostan [Russia's constituent Republic] are promoted, and social benefits and guarantees are promised for the military contractors' families in the Saratov region. One of the residents of Saratov even received an invitation to join the Wagner Group, in an envelope with the inscription "Together we will win!"

Mobilized Soldiers and Volunteer Fighters

The list of mobilized soldiers killed in the war was updated with Viktor Mirov from the Arkhangelsk region, Vladimir Makeev from the Tambov region, and Aleksey Lubentsov from the Kursk region.

The soldiers of the Rosomakha [Wolverine] battalion are once again complaining about their superiors. Two months ago, these mobilized soldiers from the Tyumen region in their complaint said that the soldiers were being transferred to the so-called DPR army. Now, the mobilized soldiers and their wives are saying that this transfer has become widespread. Men from the battalion are being taken by local units under different names. Soldiers, through relatives, report a range of other problems, from medical care and lack of pay to difficulties with leadership. But the authorities respond to women's requests for help that the soldiers are attached to units in the Southern Military District and everything is done legally.

Andrey Panfyorov, First Vice-Speaker of the Novosibirsk Legislative Assembly, who refers to himself as the commander of the Vega volunteer battalion, has returned to Novosibirsk. Panfyorov did not specify whether he would go back to the war, but his position has already been taken by an unnamed officer from Novosibirsk. Previously, member of the State Duma Dmitry Savelyev, who was also assigned to Vega, and Deputy Chairman of the Novosibirsk City Council Yevgeny Levedev have already returned from the war to Novosibirsk.

Relatives are searching for the military service member Artyom Ivanov. The man was drafted Oct. 23, and in early 2023 found himself at the front near Lisichansk. Ha has not been heard from since March and has been considered missing in action since Apr. 4.

Authorities were planning to send a man with shrapnel embedded in his shoulder back to the "special military operation." Denied a military medical examination after his discharge from the hospital where surgeons were unable to extract the shrapnel from his shoulder, the man was about to be sent back to the front. Only after an intervention by the human rights commissioner in Buryatia [Russia’s constituent republic] Yulia Zhambalova, representatives of the man’s military unit promised to send him to undergo a medical examination to confirm the severity of his injury.

Sentences, Legal Proceedings, and Incidents

A court in Tomsk sentenced corporal Nikita Sergeev to six years of prison for going AWOL. On Oct. 7, 2022, the serviceman did not report for duty on time and instead went to his parents in the Kemerovo region. On Feb. 9, the man was detained by military police officers.

The Borzinsky Garrison Military Court sentenced a serviceman to 2 years and 3 months in a penal colony for his failure to comply with an order while being mobilized. The serviceman refused to "go on a tour of duty to perform combat or special tasks during the period of mobilization." The verdict was passed at the end of April with the man fully admitting his guilt.

The Borzinsky Garrison Military Court sentenced a contract soldier to 5 years and 4 months’ probation for going AWOL. According to the court’s report, the man failed to return from his leave within the prescribed period without a valid reason.

The Odintsovo Garrison Military Court sentenced eight draftees from the Kaliningrad region to prison sentences in the desertion case. The men fled the camp on the territory of the "LPR" by taxi and surrendered themselves at a police station in a Moscow suburb city of Podolsk. The draftees received sentences ranging from 6 to 7 years. They were all found guilty of desertion committed by an organized group and a failure to execute orders during the period of mobilization or armed conflict. Mediazona [independent Russian media outlet] reported more details about their story.

The Supreme Court of Dagestan [Russia’s constituent republic] upheld the verdict against Adam Gadzhiev, a participant in a protest against mobilization. In February he was sentenced to one and a half years in a penal colony under the article on the use of non-life threatening violence against a government official.

The head of the personnel department of the 20th Motorized Rifle Division was demoted from major to private and sentenced to five years in a strict regime colony for taking a bribe as well as for fraud with allowances for a mission to a combat zone. The officer extorted money for processing paperwork of a wounded soldier, without which he could not receive compensation.


The administration of Krasnozyorsky district, Novosibirsk region, was collecting money on a "forced voluntary" basis to support the military from public-sector workers and businessmen, including local farmers. The latter might be required to pay 120 rubles [$1.50] per hectare of their land. Heads of rural settlements were to pay 1000 rubles [$12.50] each, employees of community halls, kindergartens and schools — 500 rubles [$6.25] each. Those who refused to give money were publicly reproached and insulted by local authorities and could subsequently fall into disgrace, meaning that public officials could refuse to sign an application for the allocation of funds for fire safety measures.Governor of Novosibirsk region Andrey Travnikov supported his own initiative and transferred his salary for April to help the army.

The Izhvodokanal enterprise will send three employees from each unit to work in the so-called LPR. They may already go this summer to Luhansk to "restore communications." The offered salary starts from 130,000 rubles [$1625] per month. At the same time, Izhevsk has a shortage of emergency repair fitters and drivers.

Galina Balabanova, a resident of Chaikovsky in the Perm region, organizes the weaving of camouflage nets and collects assistance for the mobilized. She notes that children are also actively involved in weaving nets. Meanwhile, employees of the Social Insurance Fund of Russia branch in the Nizhny Novgorod region handed over 10 meters of camouflage nets for the benefit of the participants of the "special military operation." They also organized a collection of canned food, personal care products, and essentials.

On May 30, the first branches of the Defenders of the Fatherland Foundation opened in 34 regions of Russia. They are meant to serve many purposes: from organizing medical support to assisting in solving legal issues and employment of the "special military operation" veterans. To carry out rehabilitation activities aimed at helping the soldiers to return to civilian life, the Bronka Space business center in Saint Petersburg provided its territory to the Foundation.


The Center for Civil and Patriotic Education and Public Projects of the Novosibirsk region has ordered 14 mock-ups of the AK-74 assault rifle worth 19,000 rubles [$237] each at the expense of the regional budget. The assault rifles will be prizes in the Na blago otechestva [For the Benefit of the Fatherland] competition held among the military-patriotic organizations of the Novosibirsk region.

According to Chairman of the Chelyabinsk City Duma Andrey Schmidt, the children of the Chelyabinsk residents killed during the "special military operation" will be provided with two free school meals a day. Previously, only mobilized servicemen’s children had such a benefit.


Employees of the Zhilishchnik State Budgetary Institution [Moscow utility provider] will be on watch around the clock to monitor the airspace again. The employees were informed about that by the heads of the enterprise today. It is planned that groups of state employees will work until Jun. 13 inclusive.

The authorities of the Nenets autonomous region have banned the usage of drones and pledged to distribute anti-drone guns to employees of vital enterprises after the attack of drones on Moscow, Governor of the region Yury Bezdudny said.

The Chek Index analytical resource, which analyzes consumer demand in Russia, has reported an increase in the demand for forest survival kits from Russian buyers. Sales data from May 1 to May 25 indicates a significant increase compared to the same period last year: tents sales have risen by 121%, survival kits by 32%, and sleeping bags by 84%.