mobilization briefs
October 3, 2023

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

Authorities and Legislation

Vadim Artyomov, Deputy Governor of the Rostov region, said regional authorities contacted the Ministry of Defense to inquire about leaves of absence for participants of the war with Ukraine. Reportedly, the Security Council of the Russian Federation issued a recommendation for their organization.

Governor of the Oryol region Andrey Klychkov published a resolution, which calls on local employers to continue paying salaries to people who left to fight in Ukraine, referring to these payments as "material assistance." The resolution also urges the use of quotas to hire war participants.

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

On the first business day after the beginning of the fall regular conscription campaign, a queue of men liable for military duty, and women was once again observed in front of the draft office in Saint Petersburg. Reports of such queues surfaced last week across a number of Russian cities. At the time, the military commissar for Saint Petersburg had contested the validity of these reports. Meanwhile, Igor Yegorov, Military Commissar for the Rostov region, announced the extension of working hours for draft office employees who process military registrations, in order to avoid queues.

Governor of the Tyumen region Aleksandr Moor signed a decree regarding the regular conscription campaign for local residents. The decree directs the draft office to take measures to prevent draft evasion in collaboration with the police. It should also organize the medical evaluation of conscripts.

In the city of Irkutsk, a portion of the fence surrounding a building under renovation was removed to install a banner advertising military service.

The Ministry of Defense has reported that approximately 100 servicemen who signed their initial contracts to enter military service, as well as volunteer fighters who entered contracts with the Ministry of Defense, have taken their oaths.

According to the Syerditaya Chuvashia [Angry Chuvashia] Telegram channel, the official responsible for failing to meet the recruitment target for contract soldiers for the war has been dismissed. Andrey Petrov, the head of the administration office of the city of Cheboksary, submitted a statement of resignation "of his own volition."

Mobilized Soldiers and Volunteer Fighters 

The list of mobilized soldiers killed in the war has been updated to include Renat Shumbalov from the Saratov region, as well as Nikolay Serkov and Dmitry Bulany from the Volgograd region.

In Rzhev, the Oct. 2 funeral of 43-year-old Mikhail Smirnov, who was killed in the war in Ukraine, was canceled the night before: reportedly, upon opening the coffin, relatives discovered the body of a strange man. Law enforcement opened an investigation into the matter.

A participant in the war in Ukraine demanded that the Ministry of Social Development pay him 500,000 rubles [$5,000] for his wounds but his request was denied since the documentation on his wounds did not comply with the Ministry’s requirements as it had been issued in the "DPR" under the "DPR"-standards. In order to be able to finally collect the payment, the man had to file a suit.

Sentences, Legal Proceedings and Incidents

In the Valuysky district of the Belgorod region, a car carrying two construction workers involved in building defensive fortifications at the border with Ukraine hit a landmine. As a result, both men were killed. Reportedly, one of them was an Armenian national.

Adam Isupov, whose long criminal record included convictions of theft, fraud and battery, escaped from a temporary detention center in the Krasnodar region. In 2022, he was sentenced to eight years in a penal colony for dealing drugs. As he was serving time, he signed up to serve in the Wagner Group to participate in the war in Ukraine. He was later pardoned and returned to Russia where he ended up detained for 10 days under a civil charge for disorderly conduct and disobedience to police. Isupov broke free as he was taking a walk in the prison yard while being accompanied, allegedly, by two policemen with nine years of experience. How exactly the man was able to escape right in front of his guards is unknown since the detention center’s yard lacks video surveillance.

A 31-year-old Wagner Group mercenary from Lipetsk, who had returned home on leave, is suspected of assaulting his wife and killing her four-year-old daughter from a previous marriage. While under the influence of alcohol, the mercenary engaged in a conflict with his wife and inflicted several blows on her daughter's head. The man was detained and charged with the murder of a minor. According to the detainee's mother, interviewed by the Astra Telegram channel, the man underwent significant changes after his service in the Wagner Group. The Mozhem Ob’yasnit [We can explain] Telegram channel has compiled a list of various criminal incidents involving servicemen and mercenaries who returned from the frontline.

In the Yaroslavl region, a mobilized soldier from the 138th Motorized Rifle Brigade, who had returned home on leave, was found dead a few days after his arrival. It was discovered that a conflict had broken out during a gathering among friends, resulting in a fatal blow to the soldier's neck with an ax. Local authorities have confirmed the soldier's death.

In a recent verdict delivered by the Saint Petersburg Garrison Military Court, a contract soldier has been sentenced to five years of probation for going AWOL. The soldier had signed a short-term contract in October 2022 but failed to return to his unit after a leave of absence in March. He remained absent from duty for 1.5 months until being detained by commandant's officers in May 2023. The soldier admitted his guilt but explained that his extended leave was granted due to the death of his brother. He had chosen to stay home during this period to spend more time with his grieving family. During the sentencing, the court took mitigating factors surrounding the case into consideration, leading to the decision to impose a probationary sentence.

The 2nd Eastern District Military Court has sentenced Sergeant Namzyray Bolat to six years in a penal colony for going AWOL. According to the court, Bolat was absent from his unit for almost a year.

The Abakan Garrison Military Court has sentenced mobilized soldier Vyacheslav Butakov to two years of probation for going AWOL. According to investigators, Butakov left his unit in Abakan on April 20, 2023, before showing up at the enlistment office in the Krasnoyarsk region on May 10.

The Sever.Realii [part of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty] online media outlet has published the story of Lev N, a 52-year-old native of Veliky Novgorod who has suffered from a mental illness for many years. Recently, he was sentenced to three years in a penal colony for going AWOL. He had volunteered to fight in Ukraine, but, upon reaching the frontline and witnessing numerous casualties, he fled home. His defense has already filed an appeal, as the man should not have been allowed to become a soldier. Previously, Vazhnyye Istorii [IStories, independent Russian investigative media outlet] shared a slightly different version of this story.


In Chelyabinsk, a rehabilitation support center for participants in the war with Ukraine has been opened. It will provide assistance to mobilized soldiers, contract soldiers, volunteer fighters and the families of the deceased. Meanwhile, Governor of the Perm region Dmitry Makhonin proposed a draft law, according to which land plots will be allocated to participants in the war in Ukraine and their relatives. Those eligible for a free plot include military personnel who have been awarded the title of the Hero of the Russian Federation or orders during the "special military operation." Similar initiatives have been introduced in several other regions of Russia.

A package of toys (teddy bears and Cheburashkas [a character in the Soviet children's literature]) was sent to the frontline from the city of Glazov in Udmurtia [Russia's constituent republic].

Governor of the Belgorod region Vyacheslav Gladkov spoke about regional officials who falsely claimed to have met with the families of mobilized soldiers. Previously, he ordered a visit to all families of mobilized men to assess the assistance they require.


In the village of Morki, Mari El [Russia’s constituent republic], a memorial dedicated to "the veterans and participants in local armed conflicts" was opened. It lists the names of all residents of the district who were killed in action, with 24 out of 33 people being participants in the war in Ukraine.

In the Samara region, amendments to the local noise ordinance have been approved. These amendments introduce a new provision that permits noise during lunchtime and nighttime hours, but solely for the purpose of supporting the country's defense capabilities and fulfilling state defense orders. This change was necessitated by the construction of a 100-bed medical facility extension at a nearby hospital.


Vazhnyye Istorii examined Russia's budget proposal for the upcoming year, revealing that authorities plan to allocate over 40% of the budget, which amounts to 14.7 trillion rubles [$14.7 million], for military expenditures. The primary objective of the budget is to create an impression of significant progress for President Putin. However, the budget's projected figures are unlikely to align, and citizens are expected to bear the consequences of increased military spending.

The Vyorstka media outlet analyzed the biographies of 224 officials and appointees from the four annexed territories. Approximately half of them turned out to be originally from Russia, with many of them fleeing criminal prosecution in the occupied territories. At the local level, most of these individuals were previously associated with the Ukrainian government and were enticed by the prospect of rapid career growth.

The Sibir.Realii [part of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty] online media outlet published an article about mobilized soldiers who are compelled to organize fundraisers for children's medical treatment, despite numerous statements by officials promising assistance to the relatives of war veterans.