mobilization briefs
May 11, 2023

Mobilization in Russia for May 9–10, 2023 CIT volunteer summary

Authorities and Legislation

President Putin has signed a decree calling up military reservists for training in 2023. The specific number of citizens planned to be called up is classified. Similar decrees are issued annually by the president. However, this time, according to Andrey Kartapolov, the chairman of the State Duma [lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia] Defense Committee, paper draft notices for reservists may be duplicated electronically.

It should be noted that military training exercises are conducted annually to prepare citizens in the reserve for military service. These exercises are divided into training and verification phases. Citizens in the reserve, regardless of whether they served in the military through conscription or on a contract basis, graduated from a military department or a military training center, or have not served in the army at all, can be called up for these exercises. Before the military exercises, citizens undergo mandatory medical examinations. Draft notices for military training must be sent at least 10 days before the start of the course. Citizens can legally ignore them if they have a legitimate reason. The duration of the military training cannot exceed 2 months. Failing to report to the military training can lead to charges under article 21.5 of the Code of the Russian Federation on Administrative Offenses. While participating in military training, citizens are deemed to be military personnel and are consequently liable for military crimes, such as those listed in articles 337 (going AWOL) and 338 (desertion) of the Russian Criminal Code. Legal experts from the Voyennye Advokaty [Military Lawyers] Telegram channel published a detailed list of categories of citizens, who are exempt from military training.

In another decree, Putin added Rosseti [a group of public power distribution companies] to the list of strategic enterprises. As a result, prosecutors will be able to treat acts that damage power lines as sabotage. The corresponding article of the Russian Criminal Code sets the maximum prison sentence at 20 years.

For now, servicemen from the Zabaykalsky region will not be receiving bonus payments for destroying tanks in the course of the "special military operation." According to the press secretary of the regional Ministry of Labor and Social Protection, they have yet to agree with the federal Ministry of Defense on what constitutes proof of the destruction of a tank. For context, Governor Aleksandr Osipov signed a decree on Jan. 30 promising bonus payments ranging from 100,000 to 3,000,000 rubles to any serviceman from the region who captures or destroys a tank, constructed in a NATO country.

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

The campaign to recruit contract servicemen carries on. Advertisements for military service were spotted above the entrance to a clinic in Saint Petersburg, on advertising stands in Nizhny Novgorod and on containers for separate waste collection in Moscow. In Saratov, an advertisement for military service under a contract was printed on an announcement by the Capital Repair Fund. According to the advertisement of the Ministry of Defense, residents of the city of Artyom, Primorsky region, will receive 400,000 rubles as a sign-up bonus and 200,000 rubles monthly after signing a contract for military service. In Novosibirsk, citizens are sent invitations to get a job in the Wagner Group in envelopes with the inscription "Together we will win!"

According to the Rus Sidyashchaya [Russia Behind Bars] human rights watchdog, on Apr. 24–25, 2023, officers of the Ministry of Defense recruited about 40 convicts from a Tomsk penal hospital. One of the drafted convicts is diagnosed with "sluggish schizophrenia," and is also a father of six. Nevertheless, he was taken to the front, and after Apr. 25 he stopped reaching out to his relatives.

Fake mobilization orders with malicious software are sent en masse by e-mail to Saint Petersburg residents. The orders require citizens to report to military commissariats for military registration data check-up. The sender is the non-existent "Main Directorate of the Military Commissariat of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation." Russian banks and enterprises faced a similar problem: they received more than 600 fake emails with draft notices and malware. Experts have determined that a Trojan virus is hidden in the attachments to the emails, allowing remote access to the devices.

Mobilized Soldiers and Volunteer Fighters

The names of Ivan Semyonov (Volkov) from the Russia’s constituent Sakha Republic [Yakutia], Aleksey Murzin from the Penza region, Roman Kanivets from the Zabaykalsky region and Ivan Fufin from the Moscow region were added to the list of draftees killed in the war.

As reported by the Lyudi Baikala [People of Baikal] news outlet, a monument to a military serviceman killed in Ukraine was unveiled to the music from The Hunger Games movies. Recall that in the movies, authorities of a totalitarian state hold cruel competitions with contestants fighting for their survival and broadcast them as a reality show.

Over 10 draftees were wounded as a result of a drone attack on the Pogonovo military training grounds in the Voronezh region. 10 paramedic crews were dispatched. The exact number and the severity of the injuries are being determined.

The Mediazona news outlet noticed that since the beginning of the invasion into Ukraine, 3,954 people received the status of a disabled war veteran. Only in April, 232 new names were added to the registry of disabled war veterans, a record for new registrations in a month. The application process for the status takes several months; therefore, these data do not reflect the number of persons severely wounded in the front in real time.

Sentences and Incidents

Military service members keep being sentenced for refusing to fight in Ukraine. Two members of the military from Kamchatka refused to participate in combat in Ukraine. At their military unit, they stated that they would not follow their commander’s orders and wouldn't go to the front. Court sentenced both soldiers to 2.5 years in a penal settlement.

In the Murmansk region, the deputy commander of a military and political regiment has been handed a two-year sentence for refusal to fight in Ukraine. According to the prosecution, in December 2022, the officer refused twice to follow the orders to depart to the combat zone. In March 2022, the military service member informed his battalion commander of his refusal to follow the order to deploy to Ukraine. The contract service member was tried under Article 332, part 2.1 of the Russian Criminal Code. Today, the garrison military court sentenced him to two years in a penal settlement.

The mobilized soldier was fined 25 thousand rubles for the purchase of drugs. The draftee, who was in a tent camp in Novosibirsk, made a transfer of 2,000 rubles for a stash of marijuana, which he later collected. The drugs were found on Jan. 13 during a personal search at the military commandant's office, and then at the location of the unit.

On May 9, a video with a burning Sukhoi Su-24 front-line bomber appeared on the "Freedom of Russia Legion" Telegram channel]. The authors of the post claimed that the arson occurred on May 8 on the territory of the Novosibirsk Aircraft Plant. On the same day, the pro-Kremlin resource Voyna s Feykami [War on Fakes] refuted this information. According to propagandists, the video was filmed in Ukraine, and no incidents were recorded at the plant in Novosibirsk. However, later FSB [Federal Security Service] officers went to check the aircraft facility after reading the publication and discovered a preserved airplane with traces of arson, as well as a hole in the fence with a diameter of about one meter. Unknown individuals simply cut through the chain-link fence and entered the territory of the aircraft plant.

In Rostov-on-Don, the Sirena [alert] plan [coordinated measures for apprehending criminals or suspects] was introduced because of a man in a cap with symbols of the Wagner Group. Early in the morning, he approached a citizen and, demonstrating objects similar to a pistol and a grenade, uttered, "Look what I’ve got," and then disappeared. No information about the capture of the unknown man has been received.

At the end of April in Ulan-Ude, a serviceman was convicted of beating a visitor at a shopping mall. Initially, the city garrison military court sentenced the accused to one and a half years of community work with a 15% wage deduction payable to the state. Subsequently, the punishment was replaced by one and a half years of military service restrictions. The same 15% will be withheld monthly from the man’s allowance.

FSB officers detained 5 young people in Moscow and the Moscow Region: 15-year-old Leon S., 20-year-old Ilya Korchak, 19-year-old Ilya Silin, 20-year-old Sergey Korkhov, and 19-year-old Anton Khripko. According to investigators, the young people planned to blow up a military unit in Balashikha. Criminal cases have been initiated against them for organizing a terrorist community and participating in it. All five have been arrested.

In the Samara region, the FSB detained a citizen of Ukraine on charges of preparing a terrorist attack at the "Guitars in the ranks!" festival in Samara (a report about this "anti-fascist song festival" was published by the Novaya Gazeta. Europe media outlet). According to security officials, the woman was going to hand over the means for arson to an "unidentified person"; she was detained after putting a package with chemical components in a cache. In addition, the means of communication found in her car contained correspondence with a representative of a Ukrainian military organization.

Svetlana Kaverzina, member of the City Council of Novosibirsk, posted that children found a grenade in the yard of one of the buildings adjacent to hers in the city of Novosibirsk. It is unclear whether this was a live grenade or a dummy.

Novocollege, a private college in Novosibirsk was cited with three administrative violations. The official reasons given were conduct of educational activities at unspecified addresses, absence of a "safety passport" for one of the premises, and a line in the contract, according to which the college assumes additional obligations to students and their parents. However, Sergey Chernyshov, head of the college, ties them to the refusal to hold "Talking About Important Things." Earlier, Sibir.Realii [part of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty] online media outlet reported about Chernyshov fighting back against the imposition of militarism and support for the war in educational institutions.

The Tverskoy District Court of Moscow sentenced the poet Nikolay Daineko, who was detained after the Mayakovsky Readings, to four years in a penal colony. Daineko was found guilty on charges of extremism, as well as calls for anti-state activities. Two other defendants in the case, Artyom Kamardin and Yegor Shtovba, are in jail awaiting trial. According to the prosecutors, Artyom Kamardin read a verse on Sept. 25 with a recommendation to decline accepting draft notices and not to go to military commissariats. Daineko and Shtovba "repeatedly read Kamardin's work aloud and raised their hands up."


Nun Yevgenia [Elena Tsivtsivadze] from the Oryol region, known for her support of the war with Ukraine, organized a fundraiser in honor of Victory Day to buy an armored car for RuAF servicemen. Previously, she was awarded the medal "Participant of the special military operation."

The office of the Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Dmitry Chernyshenko instructed MinTsifry [Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media] and the Russian Post to ensure free delivery of parcels weighing up to 10 kilograms for the participants of the "special military operation" from the beginning of May. The instructions have been sent to all post offices in Russia and the occupied territories of Ukraine.

A UAZ 2206 cross-country minivan and a Mavic 3 quadcopter were handed over to Russian servicemen from the Irkutsk region. The minivan needs repair, and the quadcopter needs "flashing." Residents of the village of Tugulym, Sverdlovsk region, bought a set of tools for the military. Meanwhile, the judges and employees of the Magadan Region Court took part in raising funds to purchase a UAV to be sent to the front.


In kindergarten No. 56 in Ivanovo, children were shown a film about the war in Ukraine. After watching the film, they cried and could not sleep. Now outraged parents complain about the psychological state of their children in the media.

Discover why the militarization of kindergartens is a dangerous process and learn how to counter it in an article by the 7x7 media outlet.

An orthodox school in the Vladimir region congratulated everyone on Victory Day by displaying a tricolor "XB/ZV" flag [where “XB” stands for “Christ is risen”]. The school’s director explained the appearance of the flag with such a design by saying that Easter and victory are connected, since "Easter is victory over death."


A grove will be planted in Ulan-Ude dedicated to participants of the war in Ukraine.

The Bumaga [Paper] online media outlet published a review of the second series of a sociological study by the Laboratory of Public Sociology on how Russian citizens perceive the war in Ukraine. The study reveals a trend of increased radicalization among both ardent supporters and opponents of the war. At the same time, mobilization did not have a noticeable effect on the attitude of Russians to the war. However, both opponents and supporters of the war do not believe that the conflict will end quickly and successfully for Russia.

Meduza [international Russian-language online media outlet] has published a report about checks at the border between Belarus and Russia. Currently, it is known that these are the first introduction of such extensive measures at the border between the two countries since 1995. At the same time, according to Telegram chats, vehicles are not subjected to thorough inspections, and border guards do not use any database to verify individuals.