mobilization briefs
May 6, 2023

Mobilization in Russia for May 4–5, 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 said that Russian corporations that own and run vital infrastructure, such as oil storage tanks, should install their own air defense systems. In order to do so, airborne and electronic warfare solutions should be accommodated early enough into the design and construction of such facilities. Kartapolov also suggested a hot line or a dedicated short telephone number be established so concerned citizens could report suspicious drone flights immediately.

Belarus began setting up temporary checkpoints at its land borders with Russia, with passport checks being introduced for Russian citizens entering Belarus, the independent news outlet Zerkalo reports. Citing the Belarus State Border Committee, RIA Novosti [Russian state-owned news agency] informs that Minsk began screening arrivals on six major roadways at the border with Russia “in preparation to the implementation of agreement on mutual recognition of visas.”

The authorities of the Novosibirsk region will be allocating at least 1.2 billion rubles from the emergency fund for financing the "special military operation," Governor Andrey Travnikov announced. This amount will be used to purchase quadcopters, thermal goggles, night vision equipment, anti-drone guns, and vehicles. 4.2 billion rubles from the fund were already spent on the "special military operation" in 2022.

Recruitment to the Armed Forces and Military Service Advertising

The advertising campaign for military service under contract continues. The Novosibirsk Department of Education has "recommended" in writing that local educational institutions post "propaganda materials on the issues of enlisting in the armed forces under a contract" on their websites and social networks. These institutions may be schools, kindergartens and various children's clubs, according to the source of the media outlet.

An advertisement for military service with a slogan "join your own people" appeared in Novosibirsk. In Yaroslavl, ads for "employment" under a contract with the Ministry of Defense were pasted on poles. The local military commissariat [enlistment office] denies its involvement. An advertisement for recruitment to the Wagner Group appeared in Yakutsk.

In Kazan, in front of the Institute of International Relations, a mobile recruiting station was deployed "to recruit citizens for military service in the special military operation". Students are given leaflets advertising military service under contract.

Another group of volunteer fighters from the Vladimir region was sent to the war in Ukraine. According to the regional government, 14 local residents voluntarily signed contracts.

Mobilized Soldiers and Volunteer Fighters

Sergey Reshetnikov from the Perm region, Anton Teslya from the Moscow region and Aleksey Slobodchikov from the Sverdlovsk region joined the list of draftees killed in the war.

Using open sources, journalists from Mediazona [independent Russian media outlet] and BBC News Russian, together with a group of volunteers, were able to confirm the death of 22,055 Russian soldiers, including 2,057 mobilized soldiers. Over the past two weeks, the list has been updated with 355 names, including 56 mobilized soldiers.

The Sirena Telegram channel published an audio recording made during a roll-call of the 3rd Special Forces Brigade stationed in Togliatti. On the recording, the soldiers are forced to raise money (100 rubles per person) for the funeral of a fellow serviceman who was killed in Ukraine. According to one of the soldiers from this unit, commanders regularly raise funds for the funerals this way, but the servicemen do not know whether the money reaches the relatives of the deceased. Previously, the prosecutor's office had already called for inspections of this unit in connection with complaints about monetary extortions related to housekeeping needs. The soldiers are also forced to purchase uniforms at their own expense.

The relatives of mobilized soldiers from several Russian regions signed a petition addressed to President Vladimir Putin demanding to establish limits for how long mobilized servicemen are to remain in Ukraine. The authors of the petition consider it “unfair” that those serving in the National Guard, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and other law enforcement agencies “are deployed to Ukraine for periods of 3 or 6 months,” while those who had been mobilized are supposed to stay there until the end of the “special military operation.”

The Yaroslavl 76.RU media outlet has shared stories of soldiers who are struggling to receive their entitled payments. For instance, one soldier was denied compensation for his injury because there was no information on the severity of the injury in his medical documents, while another was able to obtain compensation for the injury and a delayed monthly allowance only with the help of an ombudsman.

Sentences, Legal Proceedings, and Incidents

According to the Astra Telegram channel, an unknown package was found near a power transmission pylon in the Saratov region on the evening of May 4. Federal Security Service (FSB) officers arrived at the scene and detonated it to examine its contents. There were wires, a microchip, and a battery inside. Two bottles with an unknown liquid and wires were also found at the base of the pylon. They were also destroyed by a controlled explosion.

The Omsk Garrison Military Court sentenced Junior Sergeant Kamil Agafurov to two years in a penal colony. The soldier had a quarrel with his older brother and struck him on the head with a metal poker, causing serious injury.

The court canceled the arrest in absentia of Rustyam Abushev, the ex-mayor of Bolshoy Kamen town, Primorsky region, who had been accused of large-scale fraud with land plots and went to war to escape from arrest. Earlier, the court canceled the search warrant for Abushev.

A Russian military serviceman beat his wife to death in their apartment in Verkhnyaya Pyshma in the Sverdlovsk region. Vladimir Konkov, a 42-year-old soldier of the 228th Motorized Rifle Regiment, is suspected of delivering at least 30 kicks all over the body of his wife, Yulia Konkova, on the night of May 3-4. The woman died before the arrival of medical personnel. The couple's 20-year-old daughter was present in the apartment at the time of the murder. The soldier has been detained and has given a confession. A criminal case has been initiated under Article 105 part 2 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation.

A contract soldier from the Arkhangelsk region, Alexey Smetanin, while under the influence of alcohol, fatally hit a 14-year-old child and then fled the scene. A criminal case has been initiated. In the center of Vladivostok, a 22-year-old soldier who did not have a driver's license and was under the influence of alcohol, fatally hit a young woman.

In the Rostov region, a 48-year-old driver of a munitions delivery squad has been detained. According to the investigation, he hid a bag with two dozen grenades in a field. A local agronomist discovered them in early April. A criminal case may be initiated against the military serviceman in the near future.

In the Belgorod region, a man who threw a grenade in the center of the town of Valuyki has been arrested. The incident occurred on the evening of May 4. The explosion shattered the windows of neighboring houses.

A shepherd in Buryatia [Russia’s constituent republic] found six rounds of, presumably, tank ammunition in a field. Also, artillery rounds have been discovered in a solid waste landfill in the Zabaykalsky region. Police are investigating both cases.

A group of men in military uniform were involved in a brawl aboard a plane flying from Chita to Yekaterinburg. First, the men consumed all the alcohol found on the plane; then, they started quarreling between themselves. The servicemen were not detained on arrival in Yekaterinburg and, according to the Baza Telegram channel, flew on to Sochi.

Former soldier Artyom Semyonov who previously served in the Belgorod region has been sentenced to 13 years in a maximum security penal colony for treason. The court proceedings were held behind closed doors and, therefore, the details of the case are not known. Semyonov was detained on Mar. 30, 2022, and the crime he was charged with had allegedly been committed before the “special military operation” commenced.

Aleksey Moskalyov has been transferred to a pre-trial detention facility in the Tula region, reported the support group of his daughter Masha. A few days ago, after a month of trying to find out his whereabouts, he was finally located in a Smolensk pre-trial detention facility.


A retiree from the Khanty-Mansi autonomous region [Russia’s federal subject] spent all of her monthly retirement pension to purchase 300 kilos of paraffin wax and made trench candles out of it on her own balcony. Rostislav Antonov, a Novosibirsk city council member, demonstrated his homemade “drone-killing gun.” In his own words, the gun was assembled out of aluminum extrusion profile, a sewage pipe, and several custom 3D-printed components. The council member did not demonstrate how the gun operates.


Russian schoolchildren keep being groomed for war. In Cheboksary, a military parade of preschoolers and young guardsmen was held where children from fifteen city kindergartens marched dressed in uniforms of several military specialties: marines, paratroopers, and artillerists. In the Khanty-Mansi autonomous region, children participated in a game where they were taught how to make military supplies.

In Perm, an event focused on patriotic activities was organized for elementary school students. The event included a concert at the city railway station, to be followed by a sightseeing trip on the Lastochka train and singing of Lev Leshchenko’s song “Victory Day.”

Students of Russian universities are being warned against joining the Sky Regiment rally, the purpose of which is to release foil-lined balloons adorned with portraits of participants of the Great Patriotic War [1941–1945]. The authorities argue that the intent of the campaign is in fact mischievous as it will be deliberately disrupting the operation of air defense systems. The campaign was launched by a “politician” called Vyacheslav Maltsev through his Telegram channel.

Igor Ruzhansky, a schoolboy from the town of Yelets in the Lipetsk region, contributes to the  all-Russia Charm of Kindness handmade gifts campaign and uses a 3D printer to craft fins for bombs to be launched at the Ukrainians.

In Kabardino-Balkaria [Russia’s constituent republic], the Deti Geroyev [Children of Heroes] project will be launched in a trial mode to support the children of participants in the "special military operation" from the beginning of the new academic year. The project is planned to be extended to other regions of Russia.

Victory Day

Russian President’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov announced the cancellation of the reception dedicated to Victory Day in the Kremlin. The last time such a reception took place was in 2019. On May 9, Vladimir Putin traditionally met with veterans of the Great Patriotic War in the Kremlin. During the event, the head of state delivered a speech and presented awards.

In Kaliningrad, dog owners were going to march with their pets wearing military uniform and hold demonstration performances on May 9 to honor the memory of cynologists killed during the Great Patriotic War, yet the Shaggy Regiment procession was canceled due to the increased threat of terrorist attacks.

The intelligence unit servicemen, patronized by the municipality of Ozero Dolgoe in the Leningrad region, congratulated its residents on Victory Day with inscriptions on grenade launcher rounds.


In Moscow, a ban on launching quadcopters was announced. The fine for individuals is up to 50,000 rubles, while for legal entities — up to 300,000 rubles. According to the Baza Telegram channel sources, OMON-men [riot policemen] on duty in the center of Moscow will be given binoculars so that they can track possible UAVs.