mobilization briefs
November 14, 2023

Mobilization in Russia for Nov. 12-13, 2023 CIT Volunteer Summary

Authorities and Legislation

The Legislative Assembly of the Novosibirsk region will be considering a bill seeking to forbid demonstrations, rallies and other mass events in almost all public spaces in the region. The authors argue that the measures are needed to "protect the rights and freedoms of the people and citizens." Just recently, the relatives of mobilized soldiers applied for an authorization to hold a rally in Novosibirsk on Nov. 19 under the aegis of the Put Domoy [Way Home] movement. In Krasnoyarsk, the wives of mobilized soldiers submitted a similar request, but officials withheld authorization under the pretext of ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, even though the city held public celebrations for National Unity Day not long ago. "Restrictive measures do not apply to official events, organized by regional and local authorities," they commented.

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

Sergey Chirkov, Military Commissar for the Tyumen region, indicated that at least six female residents have signed contracts with the Ministry of Defense since the beginning of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Priority is given to medical professionals, but other roles, such as signallers, are also available, he added.

Mobilized Soldiers and Volunteer Fighters

The list of mobilized soldiers killed in the war has been updated to include Aleksandr Mikhailov from the Leningrad region, Sergey Alifanov from the Volgograd region and Aleksey Moroz from the Kamchatka region.

In a military unit in the town of Yelan, 22-year-old conscript Artyom Bulatov died under mysterious circumstances on Nov. 4. According to the official version, he committed suicide by falling headfirst from the window of the headquarters. However, his parents do not believe this and suspect that their son may have been killed.

Another 16 mobilized soldiers were taken to the illegal basement for Russian military personnel in the village of Zaitseve, as reported by the Astra Telegram channel. The spouse of one of the members of the Storm unit from the 1st Tank Regiment of the 2nd Motorized Rifle Division shared this information. The men in the basement are mostly mobilized soldiers from the Moscow and Ivanovo regions who refused to participate in the assault without getting leave. They were told that they should not expect leave in the next six months, even though most of them have not received it yet at all. The command threatens the soldiers with extrajudicial punishment for refusing to participate in combat activities.

Soldiers from the Kamchatka Battalion, composed of residents of the Kamchatka region, have expressed grievances, claiming that the command is deploying them to forward positions without proper training and gear. According to a volunteer who recorded a video address, most of the soldiers, aged 18–20, have received minimal training, having spent only "four days at the training range" before being sent to the frontline. The command does not provide them with gear and food, and they are forced to purchase everything at their own expense. The soldier also issued threats against the governor of the region, who had actively promoted the conditions of service in the battalion. Earlier, members of the battalion had repeatedly complained about the situation with provisions and supplies, and even attempted to organize a protest.

For a whole year, Margarita Novikova, a mother of many children from the city of Yaroslavl, has been striving to bring her mobilized husband back from the combat zone. Yevgeny, the father of three children, was taken from home to participate in the war with Ukraine in October 2022. At that time, his wife was already pregnant with their fourth child.

Sentences, Legal Proceedings and Incidents

The Krasnoyarsk Garrison Military Court sentenced Senior Lieutenant Aleksey Fuks to two years in a penal colony for going AWOL during mobilization. In April 2023, he left his military unit in the Krasnoyarsk region and was apprehended by the police at the end of April.

In Ulyanovsk on Nov. 12, an unknown person attempted to set fire to two cabinets on the railway. The cargo train driver noticed the person and alerted the police. Law enforcement is seeking the arsonist.

In the Sverdlovsk region, unidentified individuals set fire to a relay cabinet on the railway in the settlement of Monetniy. It is reported that the train traffic was not affected. Law enforcement is seeking the suspects.

In the Moscow region, a 53-year-old woman was arrested for throwing a bottle with a flammable liquid into the window of the local military commissariat [enlistment office]. Only the first glass of the double window broke. In August 2023, there were two previous attempts to set fire to this military commissariat.

According to the Ostorozhno, Novosti [Beware the news] Telegram channel, a 62-year-old woman from Sevastopol, who tried to set fire to the Federal Security Service (FSB) headquarters in Sevastopol (previously reported as the military commandant’s office) on the evening of Nov. 11, fell victim to fraud. Shortly before the arson, scammers persuaded the woman to transfer 800,000 rubles [$8749] to them, after which they suggested her participation in an operation to capture the thieves. A hooliganism case has been opened against the pensioner. She has been detained.

FSB in the Arkhangelsk region reported the detention of Ruslan G., a 26-year-old local resident, suspected of posting messages in October 2023 calling for the arson of draft offices in one of the messengers. A criminal case was initiated against the detainee for publicly inciting activities aimed against the security of the Russian Federation, with a potential sentence of up to six years in prison.

The Central District Military Court in Yekaterinburg began hearing the case of Viktor Rastorguev, a janitor from Nizhny Tagil and a native of the city of Mariupol, accused of attempting to assemble a rocket for the "destruction" of the central regional draft office in Yekaterinburg. FSB reported Rastorguev's arrest in May 2023. According to the accused, he was only preparing a festive firework for his granddaughter, who "survived the combat activities in Mariupol."

Mediazona [independent Russian media outlet] uncovered a new case of treason. The Lefortovo District Court in Moscow sent Prutchenkov M.A., a new suspect, to a pre-trial detention center. The hearing is taking place behind closed doors.

FSB reported the detention of a resident of Divnogorsk in the Krasnoyarsk region, suspected of treason. According to law enforcement officers, the man provided the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) with photos and coordinates of a local hydroelectric power station and an air defense unit. In a video published by FSB, he claims to have entered into "collaboration" due to "sympathy for those dying in Ukraine." The court remanded the man to a pre-trial detention center.

The prosecution requested six years in prison for the former leader of the Russky [Russian] military-patriotic club in Tambov, Oleg Borisenko. Oleg openly discouraged his students from joining the war. He is charged with discrediting the Armed Forces and possessing illegal ammunition. The first charge will likely carry a fine, while the second one could result in a real prison sentence. Borisenko was arrested several times over the spring of 2023, and on June 7 he was sent to a pre-trial detention center, and then moved under house arrest.

Assistance reports that families of the mobilized soldiers from the Zabaykalsky region [Russia's federal subject], who are entitled to 4,000 rubles for the purchase of firewood, are facing challenges when trying to claim it. In particular, the money is intended only for families whose relatives are still fighting in the war, not for those whose relatives have already died.

Seventh-graders in Udmurtia [Russia's constituent republic] began knitting stockings for soldiers who lost arms or legs in Ukraine. The Stockings for Stumps project involves schoolchildren who, with the help of their parents, plan to make 35 stockings and send them to military hospitals.

Vladimir State University sent camouflage nets, dry shower kits, first aid kits, and thermal underwear to Russian soldiers participating in the war with Ukraine.


Residents of the Kursk region are complaining about the resettlement process from border areas. According to their claims, only "officials and those close to them" have been included in the resettlement program, and locals simply do not understand how to register for the program. Many elderly people are among those left out.


Perm journalists have collected stories of soldiers who lost their limbs in the war, detailing who provides them with prosthetics and shedding light on the challenges of obtaining functional prostheses.

A program on hybrid warfare has been developed in Moscow State University's Faculty of Political Science "for the purposes of the special military operation." Former security service agents promise to teach students neuro-linguistic programming, special propaganda techniques, work on occupied territories, and the theory of private military companies. The article by Vazhnyye Istorii [IStories, independent Russian investigative media outlet] explores what this program entails, who devised it, and why it became a failure. [media outlet for women and about women] tells the story of Maksim Ivanidi, a Krasnodar region resident who dreamed of becoming a soldier since his childhood. Currently, he is serving a five-year sentence for going AWOL. From the beginning of the invasion, Ivanidi did not want to participate and, according to his mother, felt much better in prison than in his military unit.