mobilization briefs
October 24, 2023

Mobilization in Russia for Oct. 22-23, 2023 CIT Volunteer Summary

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

After Mamut Useinov, finalist of the Perepoy Zvezdu [Outsing a Star] Russian singing talent show, was taken against his will to a draft office after Friday prayers, along with other men, his representative told the Astra Telegram channel that the young man has already been dispatched to a military unit. He is currently at the base of the 4th Tank Division in Naro-Fominsk [town in the Moscow region] and had to surrender his phone. The representative insists that Useinov had been granted a draft deferment following a medical operation and has not been served a draft notice since then. Therefore, he is going to appeal the draft office’s decision. According to legal experts, interviewed by the Agentstvo.Novosti [Agency News] Telegram channel, there have been numerous irregularities in the way Useinov was drafted.

Vazhnyye Istorii [IStories, independent Russian investigative media outlet] found social media advertisements posted by the Redut PMC, an organization under the control of the Russian Ministry of Defense, aiming to recruit women into combat roles into its Borz Battalion. Candidates would serve on the frontline as snipers or drone operators. Contracts are concluded for a six-month period, while salaries start from 220,000 rubles [$2,323].

In Novosibirsk, advertisements on commuter trains are now invitingpeople to travel to Norilsk [city in the Krasnoyarsk region] to sign military service contracts. The offer promises reimbursement of travel expenses, free accommodation and a 495,000 rubles [$5,226] sign-up bonus. For people on military rolls in Krasnoyarsk, the sign-up bonus reaches 595,000 rubles [$6,282], thanks to an extra bonus from city authorities. For comparison, the sign-up bonus for a person enlisting in the Novosibirsk region is only 295,000 rubles [$3,115]. We covered how regions compete for volunteer fighters in a number of our previous summaries.

City buses in the city of Kazan now sport advertisements for contract-based military service, while in the city of Ufa, unknown callers invited residents to visit a draft office and sign a contract.

Large enterprises in Chuvashia [Russia's constitutional republic] will provide targeted support to their employees who signed a contract with the Ministry of Defense and were deployed to the frontline. They will be entitled to the sign-up bonus and monthly payments, as well as job retention. Enterprises that fulfill the recruitment plan have already been promised government subsidies.

Mobilized Soldiers and Volunteer Fighters

The list of mobilized soldiers killed in the war has been updated to include Dmitry Malashin, Yevgeny Krivozhikhin from the Volgograd region as well as the father of three Andrey Tagirov from the Sverdlovsk region.

The draftees from the 12th Tank Regiment, who were previously locked in the basement in the village of Zaitseve after they refused to storm Ukrainian positions, were transferred to another unit. Now they are assigned to the 16544 military unit of the 71st Motorized Rifle Regiment, but according to the order, they will be taken back to their original unit.

The brother of the mobilized soldier from the 1st Tank Regiment recorded an appeal asking to investigate the actions of the command, which sends servicemen "to slaughter." The mobilized were tricked into storming enemy positions, resulting in 42 out of 81 servicemen remaining in the ranks. It took them three days to evacuate the wounded. Upon return, they received orders to continue the assault, but refused to obey. For this, they were threatened with a basement for refuseniks in Zaitseve.

Sentences, Legal Proceedings and Incidents

The men who attacked a girl in Kamensk-Uralsky because of her hair color have been sentenced. One of the men received three years of imprisonment, while the other received three years and two months in a maximum security penal colony.

In the Belgorod region, a volunteer named Aleksandr Demidenko was abducted while helping a Ukrainian woman in crossing from Russia to Ukraine. Initially, the man was arrested for 10 days for alleged "public intoxication." However, following his arrest, a search was conducted at his residence, leading to the initiation of a criminal case for "illegal arms trafficking." Currently, he is in pre-trial detention, but his family has not been informed about his arrest yet.

The Federal Security Service (FSB) issued an "official warning" to a 40-year-old resident of Abakan. He was allegedly planning to go to the war in Ukraine, either with the regular army or a "private military company," with the intention of subsequently defecting to the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The FSB warned him against such actions, emphasizing the responsibility under the article on high treason.

In the Moscow region, unknown individuals set fire to a train carriage in the Domodedovo depot. As a result of the arson, the driver's cab and part of the carriage were completely destroyed. A criminal case has been initiated for rendering transport vehicles or communication lines inoperative. In the Vladimir region, unidentified individuals set fire to a power supply box for surveillance cameras on the railway section between Kovrov and Saryevo. The box was completely destroyed by the fire.

The court in the town of Usinsk in the Republic of Komi [Russia's constituent republic] has extended the detention of pensioner Nadezhda Kornilova until December. She is accused of throwing two bottles filled with a flammable mixture at the door of a draft office. Kornilova, a former chambermaid, has been on the list of terrorists and extremists since April.

The trial of 16-year-old Yegor Balazeykin, who is accused of attempting to set fire to two draft offices, has begun in Saint Petersburg. During the hearing, the young man's father and his teacher expressed concerns about Balazeykin's deteriorating health in pre-trial detention. They argued that he deserved leniency. Meanwhile, the military commissar of the town of Kirovsk stated that the fire could have irreparably destroyed the conscription records and personal files, of which there are no copies. Brief reports on the trial were provided by the Rotonda and Sota media outlets.

The Soviet District Court of Novosibirsk sentenced Pavel Oleynikov, a Krasnoyarsk resident, to two years and three months of compulsory labor for the attempted destruction of property by arson. In March 2023, Oleynikov broke a window at a facility where camouflage nets for mobilized soldiers were being weaved and threw a container with a burning mixture inside. The damage from the arson was estimated at 124,700 rubles [$1,316]. Oleynikov had been in a pre-trial detention center since his arrest and was recently released on recognizance.

In 2023, there was an increase in the number of cases in Russia related to “fake news” about the army, resulting in actual prison sentences for repeated "defamation." During the first six months of 2023, 21 individuals were convicted under the "fake news" article, with eight of them receiving real prison terms, and three getting suspended sentences. In the entire preceding year, 14 people were convicted under the same article, and two of them were sentenced to actual prison terms. In 2023, 15 people were convicted under the article on "defamation of the Russian Army," with two of them being sentenced to actual prison terms. At the same time, for the whole of 2022, only three people were convicted under the "defamation" article, with the harshest penalties being fines.

Astra contacted Denis Tagiyev, who started a brawl during a flight. He reported that he had already been released and "is doing well." The soldier refused to answer further questions.


Veterans of the war in Ukraine who have become disabled will be eligible to live in boarding houses in the Khanty-Mansi autonomous region–Yugra [Russia's federal subject]. They will also be exempt from waiting lists when applying for housing. In total, there are seven such facilities in the region with the capacity to accommodate 1,200 people.


Schoolchildren helped assemble kamikaze drones from Chinese spare parts in Mytishchi near Moscow. This initiative belongs to the Charge of Help movement. Volunteers also prepare dried food for soldiers and weave camouflage nets. According to one of the members of the movement, the youngest child who helped with weaving was four years old.

A Wagner Group mercenary visited a school in Veliky Novgorod for a "Lesson of Courage." According to the school report, students "hugged" the Wagnerite and “wished him peace.”

A Day of the Conscript was organized at a school in the village of Ust-Kishert in the Perm region [Russia's federal subject]. The event brought together 11th-grade students and conscripts. At the end, a military commissar handed one of the young men a draft notice for statutory military service. Later, it was clarified that the draft notice was handed to an "invited conscript," not a high school student.

Moscow authorities allotted almost 100 million rubles [$1,05 million] for the purchase of unmanned aerial vehicle training kits for schools. They are set to be delivered to 78 Moscow schools by Dec. 13.


In Russia, a new federal standard for training drone operators has been developed. The development of this standard was carried out by the Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute in Zhukovsky and the Aeronet Center NGO.

In Tomsk, memorial plaques have been placed on the houses where the families of mercenaries from the Wagner Group, who were killed in Ukraine, reside.

The Managing Director of the Ufa Engine Industrial Association, Yevgeny Semiveliсhenko, has announced a shortage of personnel. He mentioned that an additional 4800 employees need to be hired in the near future. The company aims to increase its production of helicopter engines and engines for military and civilian aviation by 60% in 2024.


Elderly people, risking their health, wellbeing, and sometimes even freedom, continue to openly oppose Russian aggression in Ukraine. A correspondent from "We can explain" Telegram channel spoke with some of those who have faced repressions, as well as their lawyers.

Vazhnyye Istorii recorded an interview with former HSE University [National Research University Higher School of Economics] vice-rector Andrey Yakovlev. In it, he detailed how HSE was handed over to the FSB department responsible for protecting the constitutional order.

Holod [independent Russian media outlet] described in its article what happens in the Rostov morgue, where the bodies of soldiers killed in the war with Ukraine are sent—they often get lost and mixed up.

A former FSB employee told Vazhnyye Istorii that the ban on dismissals during mobilization has led to increase in feigned work or even disregard of orders from the leadership by his former colleagues who wanted to quit.