mobilization briefs
November 22, 2023

Mobilization in Russia for Nov. 20-21, 2023 CIT Volunteer Summary

Authorities and Legislation

The federal government has finally reviewed a bill, introduced in the State Duma [lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia] on Feb. 2 which would allow military commanders to arrest their subordinates without a warrant as a disciplinary measure during mobilization or martial law. In its review, the government writes that the bill needs to be revised before the second reading, because, according to the Constitution, only courts can order an arrest or pre-trial detention and furthermore, the bill also needs to be harmonized with several federal laws.

Authorities and Relatives of Mobilized Soldiers

The Astra Telegram channel notes the spread of a staged video clip on pro-government channels, which mocks the wives of mobilized soldiers, who are pleading for their husbands’ return from the war. The clip shows a young woman holding a “Bring Our Husbands Home” sign admitting to passersby that she is not married and is simply doing her job.

As planned, the relatives of mobilized soldiers appealed to Moscow's Tverskoy District Court to challenge the city authorities’ ban on a rally in Theater Square under the pretext of the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions.

The relatives of soldiers mobilized from Novosibirsk, who had earlier declined to speak to independent media outlets, have now disabled comments in their Telegram community and even deleted some of the posts mentioning the names of the mobilized. Citing “security concerns” to justify the decision, the community administrators are presumably trying to prevent the rally participants from talking to journalists.

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

Authorities in the city of Berdsk, located in the Novosibirsk region, have reported the expedited issuance of a Russian passport to a citizen of Kazakhstan who has signed a contract with the Ministry of Defense. His wife was also granted citizenship. The city administration claims that this is the first case in the region of citizenship being obtained in exchange for participation in the war.

Saratov residents who had signed contracts with the Ministry of Defense will receive a one-time payment of 50,000 rubles [$567] this year.

Ilya Yashin reported that the prison in the Smolensk region, where he was transferred to serve his sentence (the politician was sentenced to 8.5 years in prison for "spreading fakes about the Russian Armed Forces"), received a visit from Defense Ministry recruiters. Military personnel sequentially summoned the convicts, offering them the opportunity to go to war. Yashin himself was invited, which he assumed was "just out of curiosity."

In one of the residential complexes in Moscow, draft notices were allegedly pasted on the entrance door of the building, demanding that men report to the draft office for military registration. It is noteworthy that the draft notice specifies the address of the conscription point in the military commissariat, although the enlistment is carried out in another building.

Mobilized Soldiers and Volunteer Fighters

The list of mobilized soldiers killed in the war has been updated to include Artyom Ryzhov from the Astrakhan region and Vladimir Baynzurov from Buryatia [Russia's constituent republic].

The wife of Russian contract soldier Ilya Andreyev, serving in the 12th Tank Regiment, after learning that her husband was being held in a pit, went to the occupied territory of Ukraine to find him. According to the woman, her husband signed a contract with the Ministry of Defense on the condition that he serve in Moscow, but he was almost immediately sent to the war. Then Andreyev submitted a leave request to restore documents—he changed his last name when he got married. The command verbally agreed but soon placed him in a pit. Later, Andreyev was released, but when he and his wife crossed the Rovenky checkpoint, he was detained again and promised to be thrown into a basement jail in the village of Zaitseve.

The mother of a mobilized individual from the Perm region [Russia’s federal subject] has not been able to retrieve her son's body for over three months. The command does not respond and forbids fellow soldiers to communicate with her. According to fellow soldiers, the mobilized man was killed but his body was allegedly "never seen," and he last contacted them on Aug. 5. Appeals to the authorities have been unsuccessful. A similar case was reported in the previous summary.

Sentences, Legal Proceedings and Incidents

A 23-year-old resident of Moscow shot himself to avoid being drafted into the army. Before his suicide, he wrote to friends that he had received a draft notice requiring him to report to the draft office on Nov. 21.

In Yaroslavl, 33-year-old Satanist gang member Nikolay Ogolobyak, sentenced in 2010 to 20 years in a penal colony for the ritual murders of four teenagers, returned home. He was supposed to serve time until 2030 but was pardoned after participating in the war in Ukraine. Six months ago, the man joined the Storm-Z unit. After being wounded, he was given disability status and later pardoned. The Mozhem Ob'yasnit [We Can Explain] Telegram channel recalls previously released rapists and murderers: Artyom Buchin from Perm, Yevgeny Tatarintsev and Vladislav Korobenkov from Kaluga.

The Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk Garrison Military Court has sentenced a conscript to two years and ten months in prison for failing to execute orders. According to investigators, on the morning of July 25, 2023, the conscript refused to deploy to Ukraine, allegedly fearing for his life. The refusal was repeated on July 28 as well. An aggravating factor, according to the court, was that the accused’s actions allegedly contributed to “the commission of similar offenses by other servicemen who had not previously engaged in such conduct.”

Courts of the Southern Military District continue to hear criminal cases against servicemen accused of going AWOL:

  • A mobilized man from Russia's constituent republic of North Ossetia–Alania was sentenced to five and a half years in a penal colony for fleeing his military unit due to his wife’s illness; three months later he voluntarily turned himself into the Military Investigation Department;
  • A mobilized soldier, Viktor Lavrushkin, was also sentenced to five years in a penal colony for deserting his military unit;
  • A contract soldier, Sergey Sapronov, was sentenced to two years in a penal colony for going AWOL twice: for his grandmother’s funeral and for medical treatment, which the court did not deem as a mitigating factor;
  • A contract soldier, Maksim Perepelitsa, was sentenced to five years in a penal colony for failing to show up at the training range because of a hangover;
  • A serviceman, Albert Guchakov, was sentenced to six years in a penal colony for first going AWOL for six months, and then again for another month;
  • A contract soldier, Igor Antonov, was sentenced to two and a half years in a penal settlement for going home immediately after signing the contract and returning to the unit a month later;
  • A contract soldier, Biysoltan Sharipov, was sentenced to two and a half years in a maximum security penal colony for not returning from leave because he chose to stay and care for his sick mother.

In the Tula region, the court sentenced local resident Pyotr Zhukovsky to two years’ probation after he was accused of inciting the arson of draft offices and administrative buildings. He was found guilty under the article on public incitement to extremist activities. Zhukovsky was charged based on several messages in a Telegram chat that he administered.

The VChK-OGPU Telegram channel, citing a source, reported yet another (the fifth incident) of attempted arson at the draft office in Podolsk. Police detained 67-year-old Nadezhda B. with two five-liter plastic bottles of flammable liquid opposite the draft office while she was talking on the phone with her "handler."


In the Leningrad region, a school director is forcing teachers to "voluntarily" transfer part of their salaries to support the war in Ukraine to the Leningradsky Rubezh [Leningrad Frontline] Fund, created by order of Aleksandr Drozdenko, Governor of the Leningrad region. Those who consider donations inappropriate are promised problems if they refuse.


The Russian authorities have allocated over 340 million rubles [$3.85 million] for "youth policy" in the occupied territories of Ukraine. The political departments of the presidential administration, led by Sergey Kirienko [First Deputy Chief of Staff of the Russian Presidential Administration], are overseeing the process. Money is distributed among activists, some of whom were former "patriots" of Ukraine but changed not only their views but also their names with Russia's arrival. Most of the money is spent on forums.

The Saint Petersburg Committee on Education has sent letters requesting the creation of "Hero's desks" and museums in honor of deceased war participants. Another such "Hero's desk" was opened in the settlement of Novokubansky in the Krasnodar region.

In Samara, the "military-patriotic" Sokol SGAU suggested that students turn in electronic cigarettes to utilize their components for the war. Reportedly, 224 devices have already been collected as part of the initiative.

Seventh-graders from the city of Shchyolkovo in the Moscow region have been involved in making signs for the frontline that read "Mines! Danger to life!"

The Ministry of Education of the Vladimir region recommended that schools in the region visit a chapel where prayers are held in honor of the military invasion of Ukraine.


In the town of Komsomolske in the DPR [Donetsk People's Republic], the authorities have erected a monument in memory of the mobilized soldiers from Tatarstan of the 1231st Motorized Rifle Regiment. According to the poster, at least 82 servicemen of the regiment died.

72.RU [Tyumen city online media outlet] has published an interview with a previously convicted former mercenary of the Wagner Group, who lost his legs in the war in Ukraine. He enlisted in the war a month before he was to be released from prison and now has to crawl to reach the apartment, he bought with payments for participating in the war.


Holod [independent Russian media outlet] published an interview with a woman whose husband and brother were mobilized. She spoke about the command’s negligent attitude to the lives and training of the mobilized soldiers. After learning that there were no plans for rotation, the woman became an activist in the movement for the return of the mobilized home, joining the Put Domoy [Way Home] Telegram channel. BBC News Russian also published an article based on interviews with relatives of mobilized individuals.

In early November, Andrey Lazhiev, a conscript soldier from Russia’s constituent republic of Karelia, died in a Sevastopol hospital. Lazhiev had been deployed to Crimea after taking the military oath. Later, he arrived at the hospital in a fatigue state with visible signs of beatings. Lazhiev’s parents were not allowed to see him, and following his death from cerebral edema, they were not given his body. The cause of death was attributed to “Ulysses Syndrome.” The conscript’s story was detailed by Govorit NeMoskva [independent media outlet].