mobilization briefs
October 14, 2023

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

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

Cases of regular conscription of IT specialists have become more common in Russia, despite a law granting employees of accredited IT companies the right to a draft deferral. Representatives of MinTsifry [the Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media of Russia] commented that these are isolated cases, but acknowledged that the persons in question were indeed entitled to a draft deferral, having submitted applications on the Gosuslugi public services portal in a timely manner. In a number of cases, a court has already overturned the conscription decision. MinTsifry has petitioned the Chief Military Prosecutor’s Office and Ministry of Defense to audit draft offices in order to avoid such incidents in the future.

In the Belgorod region, public sector employees are being pressured to join the local territorial defense forces. In a comment on the social media page of Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov, Tatiana Shapovalova wrote that her husband and his colleagues have been threatened with dismissal if they refused. Head of the District Administration Nikolay Nesterov replied that joining the territorial defense forces is a voluntary decision. No one can be dismissed for refusing, he added.

In the Kozlovsky district of Russia’s constituent republic of Chuvashia, a resident described how the head of a local administration attempted to mobilize a man by force. In a post on the VKontakte social network, he urged the authorities to investigate the actions of Farit Yarullin, Head of the Yangildino Territorial Department. Reportedly, the official assaulted a resident of the village of Semenchino, when the latter refused to sign a draft notice. The post author writes that police officers and an ambulance crew documented the resulting injuries. The prosecutor office did not provide a public comment at the time of writing.

In Krasnoyarsk, 2,000 contract soldiers will be recruited by the end of the year. During a meeting of the city budget commission, head of the finance department Roman Odintsov proposed allocating additional 200 million rubles [$2,000,000] to the budget by the end of 2023 for one-time payments to contract soldiers. It was reported that the initially allocated 80 million rubles [$800,000] have already been used up. Based on this information and the size of the one-time city payment of 100,000 rubles [$1,000], it can be inferred that the authorities have already recruited 800 people for the military and now plan to recruit another 2,000 individuals.

Mobilized Soldiers and Volunteer Fighters

Oleg Aleksushin from the Saratov region and Oleg Mokrushin from the Perm region joined the list of mobilized soldiers killed in the war.

Based on open sources, Mediazona [independent Russian media outlet] and BBC News Russian, together with volunteers, have verified the names of 34,412 Russian fighters killed in Ukraine. There are 4,029 mobilized soldiers on the list, 30 percent of whom have been killed since June 1, 2023. 508 servicemen, including 87 draftees, have been added to the list in the past week.

Based on the data from the Russian Federal State Statistics Service for 2022, Vazhnyye Istorii [IStories, independent Russian investigative media outlet] estimated that at least every second death of young Russian men due to "external factors" was a result of war-related incidents. According to IStories’ calculations, at least 18,000 Russian men were killed in the war in 2022. The maximum estimate of the number of casualties included in official data was 25,000 servicemen in 2022 and 47,000 by the summer of 2023, as reported by Meduza [international Russian-language online media outlet] and Mediazona. According to statistical data, out of 18,000 deceased men aged 20 to 29 years old, more than 13,000 died from external factors. In some regions, up to 70 percent of all deceased young men were killed in the war, making the probability of getting killed in the war higher than any other cause of death.

Family members of Russian soldiers from the 70th Motorized Rifle Regiment have recorded appeals about the fate of their loved ones. The men went missing in action during the battles for Robotyne. The women now have to find out the fate of their relatives on their own. Previously, they wrote to the Military Prosecutor's Office, the Human Rights Protection Service and the Investigative Committee.

The pro-government All-Russia People's Front movement reported on a resident of Tomsk who suffered severe injuries on the frontline. The 36-year-old man spent four months in the war with Ukraine and lost both legs. He acquired prosthetics at his own expense with the money received for participating in the war. It is worth noting that the People's Front movement raised 4.7 billion rubles [$48,100,000] in donations for the war in 2022.

The section of the Serafimovskoye cemetery in Saint Petersburg where war participants are buried has significantly expanded since the beginning of the current invasion, with rows of fresh graves appearing. Residents of the nearby residential buildings report that funerals occur almost every day, sometimes multiple times a day.

Sentences, Legal Proceedings and Incidents

The Southern District Military Court in Rostov-on-Don arrested Igor Rovinsky, a mobilized commander, who is accused under the article of exceeding official authority. According to the case materials, Rovinsky physically abused soldiers “using special means” in the basement of a military unit in Donetsk. The incident was triggered by their alcohol consumption. Under this article, he faces a prison sentence ranging from three to ten years.

Police officers detained 18-year-old Nikita T. from Komsomolsk-on-Amur. He was accused of administering several groups about the Azov Regiment on VKontakte and Telegram. In these groups, he expressed support for the Armed Forces of Ukraine, sought companions, posted calls to create graffiti featuring the regiment's symbols, collected funds and reported conspiracy rules. According to law enforcement officers, the young man himself was involved in applying graffiti with the Azov Regiment logo on a residential building entrance. A criminal case on calls for terrorism was initiated against the detainee.

A court declared the son of a war participant in Ukraine, who attempted to set fire to a draft office in Tobolsk, legally insane. The 15-year-old teenager was detained on Feb. 23 by the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) in the Tyumen region. He was accused of preparing an act of terror. According to investigators, the schoolboy was heading to the draft office with three Molotov cocktails. In April, he was placed in a psychoneurological hospital for one month, after which he was declared legally insane. The teenager was released from criminal responsibility, and he will be sent to a psychiatric hospital for treatment.

In the town of Ust-Ilimsk, the local draft office has sought to recover more than 1 million rubles [$10,235] from Ruslan Zinin, who set fire to an assembly hall and fired at a military commissar. The court rejected the claim but approved Zinin's lawyer's request for a construction and technical assessment of the damage caused to the draft office. Earlier, the wounded military commissar had filed a 3.5 million ruble [$35,823] lawsuit against Zinin.


A section for inquiries from war participants and their families on various topics has been added to the website of the Prosecutor General's Office. This section covers issues such as medical and pharmaceutical assistance, housing provision, benefit and allowance disbursement, pension calculations, the resolution of enforcement proceedings, and the functioning of draft offices. Additionally, an open house event for war participants and their families will be held in the Zabaykalsky region [Russia's federal subject], where they can seek advice on social guarantees and other forms of assistance.

In the Novosibirsk region, an event called "Soldier's Triangle—Letter to a Grandson" took place on Oct. 1 to 10, during which elderly citizens wrote letters to war participants. These letters became part of care packages containing dry showers and dehydrated soup mixes.


In Ussuriysk, students from a local educational institution met with a war veteran. Additionally, first-year students from the Kazan Institute of Culture were taken to a tank school museum as part of their "patriotic education."

In the Sovetsky town gymnasium in the Khanty-Mansi autonomous region, military instructors from the OPLOT patriotic public center organized an exhibition of army gear. This initiative received support in the form of a grant from the governor. In total, the organizers plan to "enlighten" approximately 540 students from the 7th and 8th grades.


The authorities of the Vladimir region have begun publishing a monthly newspaper called "Combat Leaflet 33," dedicated to the military invasion of Ukraine. The newspaper is intended for free distribution in regional municipalities.

Governor of the Ryazan region Pavel Malkov has proposed providing new employees of the military-industrial complex in the region with 250,000 rubles [$2,500] as the first payment for a mortgage and 75,000 rubles [$750] for the purchase of other belongings. Additionally, the authorities will compensate defense plants for the housing rent expenses of the workers relocated from other regions. These payments are deemed necessary due to the "record-low" unemployment and a shortage of specialists.


In a featured article, the Vyorstka media outlet explores the Movement of the First—a youth movement in Russia, created at the initiative of the country's leadership to educate, organize leisure activities for teenagers, and form a worldview "based on traditional Russian spiritual and moral goals." This movement has been in existence for two years already and claims to have over a million children as members, with plans to involve an additional seven million this year. School students from various regions of Russia have reported that educators force them into joining this organization.