mobilization briefs
June 1

Mobilization in Russia for May 30-31, 2024 CIT Volunteer Summary

Authorities and Legislation

The Ministry of Justice has designated the Put Domoy [Way Home] movement led by mobilized soldiers’ relatives, along with its leader, Maria Andreeva, as "foreign agents." The corresponding announcement has been published on the ministry’s website.

Sri Lankan authorities have met with Russian diplomats in Colombo to request the return of their citizens fighting in Ukraine on the Russian side. Further talks are expected to be held in Moscow. This is the first known instance of such negotiations since the beginning of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Unofficial reports suggest that approximately 600 to 800 Sri Lankan nationals are currently in Russia, with at least 16 known to have been killed in the war.

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

The Perm region Bailiff Service is promoting contract military service, specifically targeting individuals behind on child support payments living in the region to enlist. As mentioned in yesterday’s summary, more than 40 alimony debtors have already gone to war from the Kurgan region.

A resident of the Belgorod region, who had been evacuated as a result of cross-border attacks claims that officials forced him to sign a contract to participate in the war. In March, Vladimir Lyapin moved from the town of Grayvoron to a temporary accommodation center in Stary Oskol. His girlfriend claims that an official forcibly took him from the center without even giving him time to pack his belongings. The official insists that Lyapin volunteered for military service. The Fonar [Lantern] local media outlet published a detailed account of the incident.

In the Vladimir region, the number of men willing to sign contracts with the Ministry of Defense has been declining for the fourth consecutive month. In May, 130 people were sent to the war. In contrast, February 2024 saw 248 new contract soldiers in the region, March—182, and April—164. In May 2023, 137 residents of Vladimir signed contracts.

In Russia’s constituent Republic of Dagestan, police conducted a roundup of conscripts right on the beach. According to a source from the Astra Telegram channel, law enforcement officers detained about a dozen young men and took them to the draft office. There, the young men were lined up and threatened that if they refused to undergo the medical examination, they would be "sent to prison." It was later reported that several dozen young men caught on the beach were kept overnight at the draft office.

A suspect in the murder of a Perm entrepreneur wants to go to war. In October 2023, entrepreneur Aleksandr Lukov was shot near his bar, and in December, the alleged killer, his former business partner Ruslan Shardakov, was arrested. On May 31, the brother of the murdered entrepreneur held a one-person picket in protest because Shardakov had submitted documents to the Ministry of Defense to sign a contract and be sent to war. The family of the deceased opposes sending the murderer to war.

Mobilized Soldiers, Volunteer Fighters and Contract Soldiers

Based on open sources, Mediazona [independent Russian media outlet] and BBC News Russian, together with volunteers, have verified the names of 54,763 Russian fighters killed in Ukraine, including 6,601 mobilized soldiers. Over the past week, the list has been updated with the names of 578 military personnel, including 160 mobilized soldiers. According to journalists, the largest category of losses (20%) remains convicts recruited from colonies to the frontline. The second largest category is volunteer fighters, comprising 14%. This is the fastest-growing category of losses at this stage.

Russia and Ukraine have exchanged prisoners of war on a "75 for 75" basis. According to Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Ukraine has received back servicemen from the Armed Forces of Ukraine, National Guard Forces personnel, border guards, and four civilians. The Russian Ministry of Defense reported that the United Arab Emirates was a mediator in the exchange. The Agentstvo [Agency] independent media outlet identified some of the exchanged Russians through video footage. Among them were several mobilized men, including a children's sambo coach and a software engineer who was tricked into going to the frontline. Another prisoner ended up at the front after being recruited directly from an investigator's office.

Yevgeny Tsaregorodtsev, a volunteer fighter from the Novosibirsk region who was beaten so badly a month ago to the point of developing a stutter, is living in a tent and has no money. On April 5, he was found unconscious with a head injury about 60 kilometers from his unit. He spent four days in intensive care, and a criminal case has been opened in connection with the incident. Tsaregorodtsev's relatives are now complaining about the treatment he is receiving from his unit's command and medical staff. Despite his injuries, he has not been sent to a hospital for treatment. His mother has to send him money for medication from her modest pension.

According to the Vedomosti [The Record] business daily newspaper, in 2023, one-third of all appeals (over 30,000 out of 94,000) to Tatyana Moskalkova, Russia's Commissioner for Human Rights, were related to the war in Ukraine. The total number of appeals exceeded the 2022 figure by 18%. This year, the number of war-related requests has already surpassed 11,000.

Sentences, Legal Proceedings and Incidents

A 26-year-old manraped and murdered a 17-year-old girl in Chita, where he had arrived to sign a contract with the Ministry of Defense to participate in the war. Early in the morning, while intoxicated, he tracked down the 17-year-old girl, raped her and then strangled her. He was apprehended several hours later. The man pleaded guilty to some of the charges. According to the Sibirsky Express media outlet, he had previously been convicted four times.

A court in the Zabaykalsky region [Russia's federal subject] has sentenced contract soldier Daniil Vyzhevich to seven years in a maximum security penal colony for murder. On Feb. 4, Vyzhevich argued with a nightclub visitor. They went outside, where the soldier punched the man and pushed him off the porch, causing him to hit his head. The victim later died at the hospital.

A court in Angarsk has sentenced Wagner Group mercenary Aleksandr Novikov to six years in a maximum security penal colony for the murder of a Ukrainian native during an argument about the war. During the trial, the mercenary stated that the fight began because his drinking companion "insulted his participation in the special military operation, accusing him of murdering the Ukrainian people." The court considered the "unlawful behavior of the victim" and Novikov's participation in the war as mitigating factors and sentenced him to the minimum sentence for murder.

A court in Peterhof has arrested 37-year-old former contract soldier Leonid Popov on charges of attempted murder in an axe attack on the brother of his ex-girlfriend, 26-year-old Anastasia. According to Anastasia, the assault and murder threats began after Popov returned from the war. A month later, he broke her nose, and recently killed her dog. Although she repeatedly went to the police because of the assaults and threats, she was discouraged from filing a report. Popov signed a contract with the Ministry of Defense in February 2023, while he was in a penal colony.

BBC News Russian has reported on the case of Russian soldiers accused of murdering 23-year-old Valentina Davronova from the city of Luhansk. Journalists spoke with the girl's mother and discovered that another suspect in the case died in circumstances in the summer of 2023.

A mobilized soldier from Saint Petersburg has been sentenced to two and a half years of probation for going AWOL. The soldier fled from a combat zone and went home, but two weeks later, he voluntarily turned himself in to the military investigation department.

In May 2024, the Vladimir Garrison Military Court received 13 criminal cases for going AWOL, which is a slight increase compared to the number of cases received in April and March. This adds up to a total of 138 criminal cases for going AWOL that have been brought to the Vladimir Garrison Military Court since the beginning of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

In Perm, 72-year-old Andrey Gorodkov, who attempted to set fire to a draft office, was sentenced to two years of probation. In November 2023, fraudsters convinced Gorodkov that large loans had been taken out in his name and that he needed to set fire to the draft office to write them off.

The Voronezh Regional Court has sentenced Aleksandr Shevchenko to 24 years and 4 months in a maximum security penal colony on charges of treason and murder. He was accused of attempting to cross the border with Ukraine with the intention of fighting on its side, as well as murdering the taxi driver who was transporting him.

In the Russian-annexed Crimea, the Federal Security Service (FSB) has detained a 30-year-old Sevastopol resident who was allegedly tasked by Ukrainian intelligence services with the elimination of a member of Russia's Black Sea Fleet using an improvised explosive device.

In Saint Petersburg, German Moyzhes, a cycling activist, has been arrested on charges of treason. The reason for his arrest is unknown. Moyzhes is currently being held in the Lefortovo pre-trial detention center.


Vladimir Uyba, the head of Komi [Russia's constituent republic], has asked residents to donate weapons to Russian soldiers to combat drones on the frontline. Previously, Buryatia [Russia's constituent republic] began accepting smooth bore firearms from the population for transfer to the military.

The Ministry of Labor of Chuvashia [Russia’s constituent republic] proposes extending the payment of 1 million rubles [$11,100] designated for "families of participants in the special military operation," to the families of men who have signed contracts with private military companies.

In Perm, a hospital will be opened for war participants. Previously, the building housed the Center for Helping Children with Disabilities Left Without Parental Care. Meanwhile, in Surgut, volunteers plan to create the first dog shelter in the Khanty-Mansi autonomous region–Yugra [Russia's federal subject] for the pets of military personnel.

Children and Educational System

Despite the attacks, the Belgorod region hosts five-day Armata military-historical training for schoolchildren and students. Meduza [international Russian-language online media outlet posted photos from such training. A military-patriotic club for children aged 8 to 16 has been opened in Pyt-Yakh in the Khanty-Mansi autonomous region–Yugra [Russia's federal subject]. Children will be taught hand-to-hand combat, weapon assembly and disassembly, and assisting the wounded.

The NeNorma [Not Normal] Telegram channel marks the eighth anniversary of the Young Army [pro-Kremlin youth organization] by reminding the public of its long-standing promotion of militarism among Russian children. As of today, 1.5 million children have joined the movement.


High-ranking officials of the Voronezh region participated in a mobilization drill organized by the regional government. According to Deputy Governor Sergey Trukhachyov, the purpose of the training was to "prepare the workflow" for the deployment of a "mobilization reserve." During the drills, officials studied the standards for setting up an assembly point, fired assault rifles, and rode in buggies and tanks.

The Mozhem Ob'yasnit [We Can Explain] Telegram channel reported that war participants are being massively denied employment opportunities.

From the Saint Petersburg reserve fund, about 11.5 billion rubles [$128 million] could have been spent on the war with Ukraine in 2023, with total expenditures amounting to 33 billion rubles [$367 million]. In particular, the city spent 1.7 billion rubles [$18.87 million] on the restoration of the destroyed city of Mariupol.

Nikolay Zakharov, the former military commissar of the Chelyabinsk region and deputy prime minister of the government of the Zabaykalsky region [Russia's federal subject], became one of the participants of the first group of the Time of Heroes personnel program created at Putin’s  suggestion.


Journalist Katerina Gordeeva spoke with a war participant from the Storm-Z unit who spent about half a year on the front. Holod [independent Russian media outlet] published a lengthy text on how medical service is organized in the Russian Army. The Bumaga [Paper] independent media outlet examined the increase in complaints from soldiers who are sent to the frontline without completing their medical treatment. Vazhnyye Istorii [IStories, independent Russian investigative media outlet] reports on how the price of making coffins has risen since the beginning of the war and how the full-scale invasion has changed the funeral business.

The Vyorstka media outlet wrote about how the situation with domestic violence has changed since the beginning of the war. The number of criminal cases for assault has doubled, and war participants are often sentenced to forced labor or a mere fine of 5,000 rubles [$56].