mobilization briefs
December 1, 2023

Mobilization in Russia for Nov. 29-30, 2023 CIT Volunteer Summary

Authorities and Legislation

The State Duma [lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia] approved in the third reading amendments to the Law On Employment of the Population. From now on, participants of the war against Ukraine and their families will receive preferential treatment in job search and retraining.

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

Two human rights projects, Idite Lesom! [Flee through the woods/Get lost you all] and the Movement of Conscientious Objectors, noted the record number of roundups which occurred in Moscow on Nov. 30. They warn that police officers are detaining men of conscription age on their way to work, in clinics and at the entrance to the metro. In many cases, medical boards have already completed their examinations and the detainees are being transferred to a military collection point. Additionally, the authorities are trying to conscript young men who report to a draft office for a data check-up. In total, they have detained at least nine people on that day. Meanwhile, the MSU [Moscow State University] Protest Telegram channel wrote that the manager on duty in the House of the Graduate and Intern Student was going around the dormitory and serving draft notices.

Also on Nov. 30, Aleksey Ritter, an activist and candidate in the municipal by-elections in the Tula region, reported that a group of unidentified masked men took his son from the family’s home and delivered him to a draft office, confiscating his phone in the process. Officials convened a medical evaluation board, ignoring the young man’s health contraindications for military service. They were still holding him in the draft office that evening and would not let his father into the building.

Authorities and Relatives of Mobilized Soldiers

The Telegram channel of the wives of mobilized soldiers called Put Domoy [Way Home] was labeled as fake, and a message was added to the channel's description: "Attention: many complained that this account presents itself as official." Pro-government lawyer and informant Ilya Remeslo, who had previously accused the channel of "ties with foreign entities," including Alexei Navalny's Anti-Corruption Foundation, claimed that the label appeared due to his complaint about allegedly stealing someone else's name. The authors of the Put Domoy channel referred to the label as a "quality mark" and said that they would contact the messenger's support service. Additionally, according to the women, they began receiving threats, and activists from the pro-government Katyusha movement recorded a video address suggesting they unite and help the military within the law but warned against actions against the Russian authorities.

Moreover, the Put Domoy movement has announced the submission of a notification for organizing a mass cultural event—a New Year's concert. Activists plan to hold it on Dec. 30 on Moscow’s Theatre Square. The declared attendance is up to 300 people.

Residents of Bashkortostan [Russia’s constituent republic] have joined the action of the wives of mobilized soldiers, posting videos urging the return of their men home. The Mobilizovannym Pora Domoy [Time for Mobilized to Go Home] movement has released a statement reminding about the plans of the Ministry of Defense, announced by Russia’s Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu last December, to increase the number of contract soldiers to 521,000 and replace mobilized men with them.

Anthropologist Aleksandra Arkhipova measured the index of regional interest in the topic of returning mobilized soldiers using the WordStat service. She found that the search "mobilized soldiers home" on Yandex is most often requested by city residents in the annexed Crimea, southern Russia, as well as Siberia and the Urals.

Governor of Bashkortostan Radiy Khabirov held a nearly four-hour "Direct Line" on Nov. 29. According to the authorities, among the 2000 incoming appeals, there were no questions from relatives of mobilized soldiers, even though the day before the event, women literally bombarded the head of the republic with appeals on social media.

In Russia’s constituent Republic of Tatarstan, more than 10,000 social portraits of families with mobilized soldiers have been compiled. This was announced by participants of the regional interdepartmental commission on issues of support for participants of the "special military operation" and their family members. Based on the stated numbers, it can be concluded that no less than 10,000 people were mobilized from the republic. Meanwhile, according to previously announced information, 3,000 men were mobilized from Tatarstan.

Mobilized soldiers, volunteer fighters and contract soldiers

The list of mobilized soldiers killed in the war has been updated to include Pavel Yakimov from the Chelyabinsk region, Aleksey Karachev from the Sverdlovsk region, and Grigory Sats from the Tyumen region.

Anatoly Lokot, the mayor of Novosibirsk, decided to allocate 1,200 square meters of land in the city cemetery for the burial of military personnel.

Sentences, Legal Proceedings and Incidents

In the Rostov region, 12 Russian soldiers were killed as a result of an explosion at the Kuzminka training ground. According to the 161.RU media outlet, on Nov. 3, about 20 marines lit a fire near the ammunition during a break. The explosion occurred when a round from an RPG-7 hit the fire. All 12 persons were contract soldiers from Vladivostok. Additionally, as reported by the DonDay media outlet, 10 people were killed in the incident, and 12 others were injured.

In the Orenburg region, ex-convict Yury Gavrilov, pardoned for participation in the war, sexually abused an 11-year-old girl who had come to his home at her mother's request to pick up a music speaker.

A court in Ulan-Ude sentenced soldier Leontiy Voloshin to 10 years in a maximum security penal colony under the article of causing grievous bodily harm leading to the death of a person.

The Garrison Military Court in Khakassia [Russia’s constituent republic] found two mobilized soldiers from Tuva [Russia’s constituent republic] guilty of assaulting civilians. Mobilized soldier Alash Bolat-ool attacked his acquaintance with a knife. The court sentenced him to 10 months of restricted service under the article on causing minor health damage with a weapon. Contract soldier Chayan Khunazhik was sentenced to three and a half years of probation for causing grievous bodily harm with a weapon.

A court in Samara sentenced a mobilized soldier to five years of probation for going AWOL. In January 2023, Aleksandr K. left his unit for medical treatment and to help his wife care for their child. He was detained by police in April.

An elderly woman from Yelets, Lipetsk region, who attempted to set fire to the local draft office on the night of Nov. 10, has been placed under house arrest. The 60-year-old woman fell victim to scammers. She has already confessed to the crime and is cooperating with the investigators.

Intelligence services reported the arrest of a suspect in the sabotage of the Ryazan railway at Vnukovo Airport. The incident resulted in 19 freight train cars derailing. According to the Kremlin-aligned news outlet Mash, the arrest took place on Nov. 28. The detained 35-year-old resident of Ryazan, Ruslan S., is allegedly a member of the "Freedom of Russia Legion" and has already confessed to the crime.


The authorities of the Chelyabinsk region have introduced new benefits for war veterans which now include a free land plot and an exemption from paying taxes on vehicles with an engine power less than 200 hp. The Legislative Assembly of the Perm region [Russia's federal subject] has also decided to grant free land plots to war veterans and their relatives.


Moscow residents are being recruited for labor positions to repair houses and roads in the Russian-occupied part of the Donbas. They are promised draft deferments, shift work and a salary of 130,000-350,000 rubles [$1460-3920] a month. The recruiters claim to be cooperating with the Russian Ministry of Defense.

Before the beginning of the annual Golden Gramophone music awards ceremony in Moscow, Russian soldiers were presented with an award for allegedly destroying a German-made Leopard 1 tank. The awardees were dressed in camouflage uniforms with masks covering their faces, and their names were not announced.

The Russian Orthodox Church has advocated for the regulation of the legal status of priests who go to the combat zone.

The village of Svyatikovo in the Vladimir region will erect an iron cross monument to honor the participants in the invasion of Ukraine. The cross is reportedly made of compressed NATO military vehicles.


Vazhnye Istorii [IStories, an independent Russian investigative media outlet] has released a study on the appeals sent to the president of Russia. According to the outlet, there have been more than 180,000 such appeals since the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine. Most of them are dedicated to payments to contract soldiers, mobilization, contract-based military service, and early discharge from it. Also high on the list of appeals are requests for assistance in locating Russian soldiers who are missing in action and POWs.

Govorit NeMoskva [an independent media outlet] has released a report on the so-called "charitable foundations" of dubious origin that have been urging Russian public sector employees to donate money for the "special military operation." Some of these employees are not responding to such solicitations and have even filed complaints about the allocation of part of their salaries to these funds.

A recent article published by Dovod [an independent Russian media outlet] reports that local authorities at the municipal and regional levels have been lying to the public about the killed and captured residents of the Vladimir region.