mobilization briefs
October 5, 2023

Mobilization in Russia for Oct. 3-4, 2023 CIT Volunteer Summary

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

Following the publication by the Ministry of Defense of its plans to call up 130,000 people during the regular conscription campaign this fall, more regions announced their respective targets:

  • 1,500 conscripts from the Zabaykalsky region [Russia's federal subject], up from the approximately 1,300 called up last year. The first conscripts are expected to join their military units around mid-October.
  • More than 1,000 conscripts from the Penza region.
  • More than 3,000 conscripts from the Sverdlovsk region.

According to a new government resolution, the Federal Service for Supervision in Education and Science will be collecting student data from specialized secondary schools and higher education institutions. The data will be uploaded to the unified register of Russians subject to military service. Additionally, the Federal Tax Service, territorial bodies of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and private medical clinics will all contribute data to the register.

The Baza Telegram channel reports that Moscow police officers, belonging to a special-purpose regiment, received orders to visit nearby military bases and recruit conscripts finishing their military service into their ranks. In doing so, commanders hope to address the shortage of manpower in the regiment.

In the city of Kazan, a call center specializing in contract-based military service provided details on its activities during the last six months. Its operators processed 26,000 citizen inquiries and assisted 3,000 people to enlist and join the war.

Yet another raid on illegal migrants and newly naturalized citizens, who have not registered for military service, took place in the Chelyabinsk region. As a result, officials served draft notices to 17 people working at the wholesale market. The last few months saw a growing number of such raids across the country.

Mobilized Soldiers and Volunteer Fighters

The list of mobilized soldiers killed in the war has been updated to include Vitaly Muravyov from the Smolensk region, Vener Vakhitov and Vladimir Sergunin from Bashkortostan ​​[Russia's constituent republic], Sergey Teryokhin from the Amur region [Russia’s federal subject], as well as Aleksey Malikov, Oleg Kazantsev, Vladimir Yadrov, Dmitry Nikitin, Igor Bragin, Denis Chechnyov, Sergey Slepko, Vladimir Terekhov, and Aleksey Kurmakaev from the Volgograd region.

As reported by the Vyorstka media outlet, the number of prisoner exchanges between Russia and Ukraine has significantly decreased over the last seven months, with only nine exchanges compared to nearly 40 exchanges previously. These exchanges have seen the return of 587 Ukrainian citizens and at least 288 Russians (with Russian authorities disclosing the number of those exchanged in only five cases). According to Denis Pushilin, the head of the so-called DPR, approximately 500 Russian servicemen are in Ukrainian captivity, while, as he claims, "thousands of Ukrainian servicemen" are held in Russian captivity. He did not provide any details on the source of this information.

Ivan Martynov, a mobilized soldier who was sentenced to six years in prison in March 2023 for assaulting his commander, left for the war from prison in May and was killed near the town of Oleshky on July 29. He had been discussing plans to rejoin the war from prison before his sentencing.

VKontakte, Russia’s largest social media network, is deleting posts in which relatives of mobilized men call on the authorities to bring their loved ones back home. VKontakte hides posts tagged #вернёмребят, #ротация, #мобилизованнымпорадомой [#bringourladsbackhome, #rotation, #itstimedrafteescomehome], Vazhnyye Istorii [IStories, independent Russian investigative media outlet] points out. VKontakte argues it pursues the requirements of the Prosecutor General's Office prohibiting the dissemination of "unreliable information" on the war in Ukraine. Wives and mothers of mobilized reservists demand for regulations limiting the term of service for reservists to be put in place, but their posts with appeals to government officials are reportedly being taken down.

Soldier Sanal Ivanov from Kalmykia [Russia’s constituent republic], who is known to have complained about the severe conditions of service in the past, disavowed his prior statements, saying that the command had resolved all problems. Shortly after, another video was added to his social network page, clearly showing Ivanov with signs of beating. In his first appeal, Ivanov, who had joined the forces as a paramedic, complained about being coerced to participate in assault missions.

Sentences, Legal Proceedings and Incidents

The court ordered pre-trial detention till at least November 30, 2023, for Yury Ivanov, who is accused of murdering 27-year-old mobilized soldier Andrey Ogurtsov.

The jury acquitted reserve sergeant Arzylan Dospan, who was accused of causing grievous bodily harm leading to death. The prosecutors believed that Dospan had beaten a man to death, but the jury found him not guilty.

More details have emerged in the criminal case against a resident of the Zabaykalsky region, Tsyren-Dorzhi Tsyrenzhapov, who was arrested on suspicion of murder. The victim was a 22-year-old woman, whom, according to investigators, Tsyrenzhapov strangled with his hands after a quarrel in September 2023.

In the Samara region, a former policeman who returned from the war in Ukraine was arrested on suspicion of murdering his own father. According to the Kremlin-aligned news outlet Mash, he stabbed his father 13 times with a utility knife. He had been previously dismissed from the police force after taking a man hostage and threatening him with a hand grenade.

According to the Agentstvo.Novosti [Agency News] Telegram channel, at least 20 crimes resulting in the deaths of 27 people have been committed by Russian soldiers and volunteer fighters who returned from the war. Most of these crimes were attributed to former Wagner Group mercenaries.

From August to September 2023, the Vladimir Garrison Military Court sentenced a number of soldiers for going AWOL:

  • mobilized soldier Nikolay Lipatov received three years in a penal settlement for going AWOL to undergo a medical examination;
  • mobilized soldier Ivan Mosin received two and a half years imprisonment for escaping during a train stop to visit his sick mother;
  • contract soldier Sergey Lachenkov received three and a half years imprisonment for going AWOL and coming home for vacation;
  • mobilized soldier Boris Maslov received three years in a penal settlement for going home after his commander refused to grant him a leave of absence;
  • mobilized soldier Ivan Yanius received three years in a penal settlement for not returning from medical leave;
  • mobilized soldier Ilya Morkovkin was sentenced to four years in prison. In addition to going AWOL, he was convicted of the illegal acquisition of drugs in large quantities.

Also, mobilized soldier Kirill Savelyev was sentenced to three years in a penal settlement for refusing to execute an order. He did not go to the war because he had to take care of his daughter while his wife was in the hospital.

Senior contract sailor Andrey Bazhenov was fined 15,000 rubles [$150] for storing drugs in the barracks of a military unit.

The Novosibirsk Garrison Military Court sentenced a mobilized soldier, Aleksandr Shipitsin, to 5.5 years of probation for going AWOL twice. After his leave, the soldier was unable to locate his unit and decided to return to Novosibirsk, where he tried to find the unit through the draft office. In May, he surrendered to the commandant’s office and appeared before the court. The court noted that he "can be useful in the special military operation" in their verdict.

A court in the Murmansk region sentenced a contract soldier to two years in a penal settlement for refusing to execute orders. He was serving as a military doctor, and in December 2022 he refused to leave for a combat zone. According to him, he refused to execute the order because he was expecting to be transferred to another military unit.

According to the Crimean Human Rights Group, at least 468 criminal cases have been initiated in Russian-annexed Crimea for "evading" military service and transferred to Russian courts. Between April and June 2023, 26 cases were opened, and 19 of them resulted in convictions with fines ranging from 15,000 to 50,000 rubles [$150-500]. After paying the fine, the residents of the peninsula are still forced to undergo military service.

The 1st Eastern District Military Court has sentenced photographer Mikhail Babintsev from Buryatia [Russia's constituent republic], to 13 years of imprisonment on charges of committing an act of terror. According to investigators, on Oct. 17, 2022, Babintsev allegedly threw a Molotov cocktail onto the roof of the military commissariat [enlistment office] building. The Activatica portal reports that as a result of the arson, approximately two square meters of the building were damaged, but there were no injuries inside the military commissariat.

The Federal Security Service (FSB) detained a 35-year-old man in Rubtsovsk on suspicion of preparing to blow up the city's mayor's office. During a search, they allegedly seized 1.5 kg of explosives and its components from him. According to law enforcement, the man allegedly joined a "banned pro-Ukrainian terrorist organization" in 2022. A criminal case has been initiated against him for preparing an act of terror and illegal possession of explosives.

The Southern District Military Court has sentenced 23-year-old Alushta resident Albert Kruglov to eight years in a maximum security penal colony. He was accused of attempting to travel to Ukraine to join the Azov Regiment. Kruglov was found guilty of charges related to preparing to participate in the activities of a terrorist organization and for high treason.


Governor of the Primorsky region [Russia’s federal subject] Oleg Kozhemyako shared a video showcasing his visit to a workshop producing frontline essentials such as candles, camouflage nets, stretchers and evacuation straps.

Authorities in Chuvashia have supplied firewood to a local resident, whose two out of three sons are serving on the frontline. This assistance came only after a direct appeal to the republic's leadership.


Another veteran, who had returned from the war in Ukrainian, visited a school in Russia’s constituent Altai Republic. Apart from showing weapons and ammunition, he brought along a snake that had accompanied him to the frontline.


Athletes and coaches affiliated with Saint Petersburg budgetary sports institutions are now prohibited from traveling abroad without prior approval from the city's sports committee. In early September, the Ministry of Sports stated that approximately 100 athletes had changed their Russian citizenship since the onset of the war to continue their competitive careers.

A second monument related to the war with Ukraine has been erected in the Zabaykalsky region. A large stone with a plaque has been placed near the office of the Defenders of the Fatherland Fund.


The Sever.Realii [part of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty] online media outlet, has published an article about Artyom Bunyatov, a prisoner who signed a contract with the Ministry of Defense. His relatives have been unable to locate him for six months.

Valentina Chupik, a human rights advocate and founder of the Tong Jahoni [Morning of the World] organization, which provides legal assistance to migrants from Central Asia and other countries, revealed to Vyorstka that migrants are not only being registered for military service if they obtain Russian citizenship but are also coerced into signing contracts with the Ministry of Defense.