mobilization briefs
November 3, 2023

Mobilization in Russia for Nov. 1-2, 2023 CIT Volunteer Summary

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

The Yaroslavl 76.RU media outlet reports that the Wagner Group plans to resume the recruitment of mercenaries in the region, citing Aleksey Garov, a former Wagner Group regional representative. Until the end of the week, the group also plans to resume recruitment in the Kaliningrad and Zabaykalsky regions. Earlier, similar plans were announced in the Novosibirsk and Perm regions. However, in a comment to MSK1.RU [Moscow news online media outlet], a Rosgvardia [the Russian National Guard] representative indicated that they are not recruiting people for the Wagner Group. Concurrently, Alexander Khinshtein, Chairman of the State Duma [lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia] Committee on Information Policy, dismissed the rumors of the incorporation of the Wagner Group into Rosgvardia. According to him, former mercenaries can only sign contracts as individual volunteer fighters, and the "absorption of a private military company by Rosgvardia is impossible by definition."

Vazhnyye Istorii [IStories, independent Russian investigative media outlet] discovered that Russian officials are required to submit weekly progress reports on recruitment for the war and indicate, among others, how many people were informed about military service contracts and how many accepted to sign one. The report template identifies 22 categories of citizens to target for recruitment, such as individuals who are unemployed or registered in job centers, those who have committed minor or moderate offenses, those subject to a preliminary investigation, bankrupt individuals or those with considerable enforcement proceedings debts. Moreover, Vazhnyye Istorii spoke with military personnel working at the contract recruitment point of one of the military units. According to him, all the authorities are now involved in recruitment and are bringing in "people who are roaring drunk, homeless, have obvious developmental disabilities, drug addictions or are fresh out of prison," in an attempt to meet the recruitment objectives imposed from above.

In Yekaterinburg, law enforcement units joined by military commissars conducted a raid targeting undocumented migrants and individuals who had recently obtained Russian citizenship but failed to register with the draft office. As a result, draft notices were served to 28 of 358 workers located during the raid. In recent months, similar raids have taken place all over Russia.

Administrator of the Protestny MGU [Protesting Moscow State University] Telegram channel Dmitry Ivanov, who is kept under arrest in Moscow’s Vodnik pre-trial detention center No. 5, revealed that military recruiters, presumably from the Ministry of Defense, had visited the center on Oct. 27, seeking to lure pre-trial detainees, who may eventually be acquitted, into the armed forces.

In the city of Oryol, kindergarten teachers were engaged in the military recruitment campaign, having to post standardized announcements advertising contract military service on social media. Meanwhile, the city administration of Cheboksary organized a meeting with managers of cafés, restaurants and bars, aiming to recruit contract soldiers among food service personnel. And in Yekaterinburg, an advertisement seeking contract soldiers was spotted in the public children’s library.

Governor of the Lipetsk region Igor Artamonov refused to create territorial defense units, saying that after careful considerations the authorities did not yet view such units as a meaningful asset to the region. It should be noted that earlier this week the minister of regional security of the Vladimir region visited the regions sharing a border with Ukraine to inspect the implementation of territorial defense measures.

In Moscow, police officers took 26-year-old Usman Satuev during his commute to work to a military collection point. Satuev underwent a medical examination, was deemed fit for service, and was assigned to the troops within a day.

Despite having a spinal fracture, a resident of the Chelyabinsk region is being compelled to serve in the army, as his father has repeatedly submitted documents confirming his son's health problems, to no avail, as he continues to receive draft notices. The father is concerned that his son may be conscripted into the army during the current conscription campaign.

Mobilized Soldiers and Volunteer Fighters

The list of mobilized soldiers killed in the war has been updated to include Aleksandr Gotmanov from the Novosibirsk region, Sergey Sychov from the Orenburg region, Zaur Kizov from Russia's constituent republic of Kabardino-Balkaria, Mikhail Dubovets from the Volgograd region, Nikolay Cherepanov from Russia's constituent republic of Tatarstan, Maksim Titov from the Kursk region, Aleksandr Kharitonov from the Arkhangelsk region, Igor Shilnikov from Russia's constituent republic of Buryatia, and Vladimir Krasnov from the Vladimir region.

A mobilized soldier from Russia's constituent republic of Khakassia has been sold to the Redut PMC for 25,000 rubles [$268]. The commander of the mobilized soldiers, Colonel Kozhanov, is said to have sold his fighters to the Veterany [Veterans] Air Assault Brigade, which is part of the Redut PMC controlled by the Ministry of Defense.

Colonel Vladislav Matuzas, the commander of the 1251st Regiment, has released a video statement in which he refutes reports of his death and labels the information about the mass deaths of mobilized soldiers from his regiment as "fake news."

21-year-old Kirill from the Krasnoyarsk region has been living in a military unit in the city of Omsk for almost a year. He was mobilized in the fall of 2022, but due to serious health problems, he was neither deployed to the front nor allowed to return home. Recently, there has been mounting pressure on him, including threats of criminal charges, to make him go to the war voluntarily.

Sentences, Legal Proceedings and Incidents

In the city of Volgograd, a hand grenade resembling an RGD-5 grenade was found in the grass near a kindergarten. Previously, in the same city, a 71-year-old woman was injured when a grenade exploded. She is currently hospitalized.

The Garrison Military Court in the city of Abakan [capital of Khakassia, Russia’s constituent republic] sentenced Junior Sergeant Chayan Khunazhik to three and a half years of probation for attempted murder. During a conflict, the serviceman stabbed the victim in the chest in response to offensive remarks made against him.

From January to September 2023, the number of crimes involving the use of firearms in the Belgorod region increased by 1,734.9% compared to the same period in the previous year. These figures were revealed in the Ministry of Internal Affairs' crime report, which caught the attention of the Vyorstka media outlet. The exact number of crimes in this category in the region is not provided, but across the country, there were 4,152 such cases. The significant increase in firearm-related crimes is also noted in neighboring border regions, such as the Kursk and Bryansk regions. Furthermore, the Belgorod region leads in the growth rate of crimes related to illegal arms trafficking, with their number increasing by 73.9% in a year.

A court in Tomsk sentenced Private Aleksey Kapranov to eight years in a penal colony for going AWOL. On Dec. 6, 2022, Kapranov ran away, but on April 5, 2023, the police found the soldier and handed him over to the commandant’s office, from where he was transported back to his unit. However, on May 18, he once again went AWOL, only to be found again by the police on July 10.

In southern Russia, contract soldiers who went AWOL are being sentenced to probation in exchange for promises to go back to the war. Several such cases have been considered by the courts in the Southern Military District:

  • Contract soldier Gadzhi Akhkubekov received a five-year probation. On Feb. 27, he abandoned his unit but in early April, he voluntarily reported back to the commandant’s office. The court took into account that Akhkubekov had participated in the war and promised to go back to fight.
  • Contract soldier Rustam Bedirkhanov received a two-year probation. On March 9, he went home from a military hospital. On April 4, he voluntarily reported back to the commandant’s office. His participation in the war and intention to return became alleviating circumstances.
  • Mobilized soldier Aleksandr Glebov has been sentenced to six years of probation. In court, Glebov promised that he was ready to go back into the war zone.
  • Contract soldier Aleksandr Salamakhin received a two-year probation. On May 24, the soldier abandoned his unit training ground, but on June 16, he returned to a draft office and confessed to his escape. The court took into account that he is a father of two children.
  • Military service member Viktor Ivanov has been sentenced to one and a half years of probation. Ivanov went AWOL on April 6 but on April 28, he voluntarily reported to the draft office. The court considered his participation in the war in Ukraine and his status as a combat veteran as mitigating factors.

In Tyumen, there was an attempted arson of three relay cabinets on the railway. The damaged equipment was discovered not far from the Utyashevo station. The incident did not disrupt their functionality. The arsonist is being sought.

Two residents of the Primorsky region [Russia's federal subject], 31-year-old Kirill Getman and 51-year-old Roman Lozovoy, were added to the register of "extremists and terrorists." They are accused of attempting to set fire to the draft office in the city of Artyom.

The Lefortovo District Court of Moscow has arrested M.I. Rylov, who is accused of treason. The specific details of the charges are undisclosed. As noted by Mediazona [independent Russian media outlet], at the end of October, the Dorogomilovsky Court imposed a penalty on Rylov for petty hooliganism, and on Nov. 2, the Lefortovo District Court approved two search warrants under the article on treason, allowing access to the billing information of the case's defendant under the same charge.

The Moscow City Court has sentenced Akhatzhon Zokhidov, a 36-year-old father of multiple children from Krasnogorsk, to 13 years in a penal colony for a high treason case and preparation for contraband. The details of the case were not disclosed, and the hearings were conducted behind closed doors.


The Kuban authorities will allocate 9.5 million rubles [$102.000] for patriotic projects aimed at children. In Kaliningrad, students from the Nakhimov School are being involved in weaving camouflage nets for Russian soldiers.


Participants in the war with Ukraine and their children will receive benefits when enrolling in colleges and technical schools, as announced by the head of the working group overseeing the "special military operation" and First Deputy Speaker of the Federation Council, Andrey Turchak.

In Tambov, healthcare professionals have been mandated to donate one day's salary to support the war effort in Ukraine.

Vitaliy Khotsenko, Governor of the Omsk region, has ordered to employ residents of the region who have returned from the war. They will be involved in military-patriotic education. It remains uncertain whether ex-convicts recruited from prisons will be allowed to participate.  Additionally, Tomsk State University will be responsible for retraining war veterans. According to the university, they will have the opportunity to acquire new digital skills online. By the end of the year, 150 individuals are expected to undergo this retraining.


Vyacheslav Gladkov [governor of the Belgorod region] has reported a shortage of operating rooms in Belgorod, naming the "special military operation" as one of the contributing factors to the shortage.


Soldiers from the newly formed Sibir [Siberia] volunteer battalion within the Armed Forces of Ukraine, which includes indigenous people from the Trans-Urals, Siberia, and the Russian Far North, shared their motivations for fighting on Ukraine's side with the Sibir.Realii [part of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty] online media outlet.

Novaya Gazeta Europe [European edition of the independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta] examined the typical profile of a Russian volunteer fighter. They analyzed the VKontakte social network profiles of 675 deceased soldiers from the list maintained by Mediazona and BBC to gain insights into why Russians voluntarily joined the war.