mobilization briefs
June 1, 2023

Mobilization in Russia for May 30–31, 2023 CIT volunteer summary

Authorities and Legislation 

Chairman of the Defense Committee of the State Duma [lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia] Andrey Kartapolov and his first deputy Andrey Krasov introduced a draft bill on the right of citizens with criminal records and limited fitness to serve under contract in the military during periods of mobilization, martial law, and wartime.

The Ministry of Finance submitted a new draft bill to the State Duma regarding taxes for individuals who left Russia. The bill states that individuals working abroad are to be subject to a personal income tax rate of 13% (15% for income of over 5 million rubles per year) once they lose their status as tax residents of Russia. If the bill is approved, the new rules will take effect in 2024.

The Defense Committee of the State Duma did not approve the draft bill on exempting individuals with a Candidate of Sciences or a Doctor of Sciences degree from mobilization. The committee noted that "having an academic degree is not equal to direct participation" in scientific research and that the necessary specialists can obtain their exemption from active duty locally.

The Russian government has imposed a temporary ban on the export of cartridges and cartridge cases for rifled firearms until Dec. 31, 2023. The ban does not apply to the movements of cartridges and cartridge cases for the needs of the Armed Forces and other military formations.

Governor of the Belgorod region Vyacheslav Gladkov announced in his Telegram channel that the evacuation of children from the Shebekino and Grayvoron districts begins on May 31. However, local residents are expressing their outrage on social media as they are not being evacuated and have to leave the city on their own.

Conscription and Military Service Advertising

The Voyennye Advokaty [Military Lawyers] project reminds that foreigners with Russian citizenship can also be drafted for military service in Russia. The project’s hotline is already receiving calls from foreign citizens who receive draft notices from military commissariats [enlistment offices]. According to Article 6 of the law "On Citizenship of the Russian Federation", all citizens are considered only as citizens of the Russian Federation, and, accordingly, are subject to military duty.

The administration of the Leningrad region announced that mercenaries of the Wagner Group will receive payments for injury and death from the region. Previously, payments were only available for servicemen of the Russian Armed Forces. The regional authorities also increased the sign-up bonus to 300,000 rubles [$3750].

The authorities of the Vladimir region have reported on sending another group of 21 volunteer fighters to Ukraine. According to official data, more than 100 volunteer fighters have left the region in the last month.

Advertising for contract military service has appeared in the official VKontakte group of the Kindergarten No153 in Kursk. Men between the ages of 18 and 60 are invited to sign contracts for one, three, or five years. Mobile contract military service recruitment facilities have been set up in Perm and Dobryanka. The mayor of the Bratsky District in the Irkutsk region held a meeting with residents of Vikhorevka to recruit them for contract service.

Dmitry Khubezov, Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Health Protection, has requested to be relieved of his position in order to go to the frontlines. He previously signed a contract with the Ministry of Defense and returned in January. Now he has decided to sign another contract.

For the first time in Russia, conscripts are facing the frontlines from the first day of their mandatory service, as a law passed in spring allows contracts to be signed with new recruits right at the draft office. Similar to the autumn conscription, military enlistment offices are ignoring illnesses and taking individuals into the army "in a single day." The Vyorstka media outlet spoke with lawyers about trends in military conscription during wartime and with young men about how they avoid army service.

The Groza [Thunderstorm] student media outlet has published a story on how scientific companies are organized. These are military units created by the Ministry of Defense. Serving in one of those companies is considered equivalent to completing compulsory military service. Since the start of the mobilization, the Ministry of Defense has been encouraging university graduates to join these companies. At the same time, former conscripts, who served in these units, report that they have been receiving draft notices ever since the mobilization was announced.

Mobilized Soldiers and Volunteer Fighters

Dmitry Krutikhin, from the Perm region, has joined the list of mobilized soldiers who died in the war. 

In Ufa, burial blocks in the presently closed Southern and Northern cemeteries are now being allocated for the burial of those killed in the war with Ukraine. Officially, no new burial plots are being allocated — the deceased are being interred in old family graves.

Servicemen complain about the food shortage on the frontline. According to the soldiers, the Ministry of Defense practically does not provide for them, thus they have to spend up to half of their salary for purchasing necessary items.

Sentences, Legal Proceedings, and Incidents

Igor Paskar, who threw a Molotov cocktail at the Federal Security Service building in the Krasnodar region, has been sentenced to 8.5 years of imprisonment with the first three years to be served in prison and the remaining term in a maximum security penal colony. He was found guilty of terrorism and vandalism motivated by political hatred. In June 2022, the activist threw a Molotov cocktail at a banner with the inscription "Z — we don't abandon our own" and at the Federal Security Service building in the Krasnodar region, after which he was apprehended. Paskar claimed to have been subjected to torture by the law enforcement officers.

Yevgeny Prigozhin [Russian oligarch, confidant of Vladimir Putin, and the owner of the Wagner Group] confirmed that the suspect in the rape of schoolgirls in the Novosibirsk region is a mercenary of the Wagner Group. To remind, the man raped 10 and 12-year-old schoolgirls, threatening them with a grenade. A criminal case has been initiated against him under the charge of sexual violence. The suspects in such crimes face imprisonment from 15 to 20 years or a life sentence.

The Tomsk Garrison Military Court found Private Magomedgazi Chanchiyev guilty of hazing. The court's press office reported that the serviceman, dissatisfied with his comrade's refusal to allow Chanchiyev to practice wrestling techniques on him, struck him five times in the abdomen with his fist. The court sentenced Chanchiyev to six months in a penal military unit.

In response to the increased frequency of arson attacks on relay cabinets, the first category of counteraction to various kinds of sabotage has been introduced at the Oktyabrskaya Railway [subsidiary of the Russian Railways company, servicing railway lines in the north-west of Russia]. Train drivers and other employees shall now provide an online report of any suspicion.


The Department of Social Development of the Khanty-Mansi autonomous region has proposed to introduce additional payments for servicemen participating in the war in Ukraine. The fighters will now get additional 150,000 rubles [$1854] provided that they have served for at least 4 months as of May 31, 2023. The subsequent payments will be transferred every four months of the service.

Maksim Ivanov, Member of the State Duma representing Sverdlovsk region, has reported of having sent another cargo to the combat zone. Among other things, it includes anti-drone netting. Meanwhile, members of the Legislative Assembly of Zabaykalsky region have bought a Garpia [Harpy] anti-drone gun worth around 350,000 rubles [$4323] for the military in the combat zone.

After being blamed for war aid going missing, the head of the Krasnozersky district of the Novosibirsk region, Oksana Semyonova, published a spending report. Earlier, activist Vladimir Kirillov said that the aid collected by the residents of the district had been sitting around for four months without being sent. Moreover, over 4 million rubles [$50,000] have been donated to personal bank accounts of the deputy head of the district and the director of the resource center.

Anatoly Lokot, Mayor of Novosibirsk, called all the donations coming towards the needs of the "special military operation" "the internal mobilization in the city of Novosibirsk."

According to public procurement data, the Ivanovo Region Employment Center is planning to provide free courses in manicure, driving and graphic design to the family members of war participants. In total, the authorities plan to allocate funds from the budget for four courses.

A fish donation campaign has been announced in Tatarstan [Russia’s constituent republic] to preserve and supply fish to mobilized soldiers, as they are "tired of canned stewed meat." The preserved food is home-made, produced without having a permission or inspection.


The Mozhem Obyasnit [We can explain] Telegram channel has gathered highlights of the Guardian’s coverage of the deportation of Ukrainian children to the territory of Russia. Thus, more than 6,000 cases of forced deportation of Ukrainian children had been confirmed by the time when the ICC issued arrest warrants against Vladimir Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova [Commissioner for Children’s Rights in Putin’s administration]. Their number has reached 16,000 to date, while only 300 children could be successfully returned to Ukraine. Also, the "foster" families get apartments and money from the government for the children taken from Ukraine. The children taken to camps and boarding schools are being convinced that they would be in danger in Ukraine as "traitors." Mykola Kuleba, Ukraine’s ex-Ombudsman for Children and CEO of the Save Ukraine rescue network, concludes that it is becoming harder and harder to bring the Ukrainian children back home.

Vazhnyye Istorii [IStories, independent Russian investigative media outlet], with a reference to the Russian data bank of children left without parental care, has reported that the number of children forcibly deported to Russia from Ukraine could be up to 2,500. The numbers of such children are highest in the Rostov, Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod regions.

The Serditaya Chuvashia [Angry Chuvashia] Telegram channel has released an overview of propaganda in the schools of Chuvashia [Russia’s constituent republic]over the entire school year that has just ended.


In response to the message of Roslesinforg [an all-Russian organization specializing in forest management] about the reduction in the volume of timber production due to the participation of prisoners in the "special military operation", the Federal Penitentiary Service issued a statement. The agency claims to have reduced deforestation by only 13.5%. At the same time, according to Roslesinforg, it is the total volume of timber harvesting that decreased by 13.5%, while in correctional institutions, the rate of decline was twice as high. The Federal Penitentiary Service also claims that the reduction in logging is not due to a decrease in the number of prisoners due to participation in the war but to a drop in demand for products. Mediazona [independent Russian media outlet] has published an article about how residents of the transpolar tundra region rationalize the loss of their sons and brothers in the war in Ukraine. In March, more than 180 people from Russia’s constituent Nenets autonomous region with a population of 41,000 left for the war. At least 29 soldiers have already been killed, with approximately half of them being representatives of indigenous small-numbered peoples.

The Lyudi Baikala [People of Baikal] independent media outlet has shared a story about Selendum, a village located 160 kilometers away from Ulan-Ude, the capital of Buryatia [Russia’s constituent republic]. There are scarce job opportunities in the village, so men choose to serve in the military under contract. In the meantime, the village actively engages in patriotic education, while young men continue to be killed in the war.