mobilization briefs
November 2, 2023

Mobilization in Russia for Oct. 31-Nov. 1, 2023 CIT Volunteer Summary

Authorities and Legislation

From Nov. 1 onwards, military pensioners now receive an additional monthly allowance to participate in the war, in order to compensate for the loss of their military pension, which is suspended upon enlistment or mobilization. Nov. 1 also marked the beginning of the fall regular conscription campaign for residents of the Far North.

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

The Wagner Group is set to resume its recruitment activities in the Novosibirsk region. Similarly to the earlier announcement from the Perm region, volunteers conclude contracts with Rosgvardia [National Guard of Russia]. Reportedly, the group welcomes foreigners and ex-convicts, who previously signed contracts to leave prison, but not people with criminal records or health issues. Speaking with the Ostorozhno, Novosti [Beware the news] Telegram channel, a representative handling recruitment for the mercenaries described their affiliation with Rosgvardia as “an association.”  The structure of the Wagner Group, including procedures and commanders, remains unchanged, they insisted. The mercenaries, however, are now based in the Rostov region. The monthly salaries purportedly range from 170,000 to 240,000 rubles [$1,822-2,573], depending on whether fighters participate in the war against Ukraine or head to Belarus instead.

Artyom Krasnov, a journalist from Chelyabinsk, reports that Wagner Group mercenaries can be called up for regular conscription after returning from the war against Ukraine, since their criminal records are expunged. The information came from a 22-year-old ex-convict, who was served a draft notice.

According to the deputy head of the Kazan city contract service recruitment office Rustam Safiullin, the number of citizens signing up with the Ministry of Defense to serve in Ukraine is growing steadily. Allegedly, 107-122 volunteer fighters are being deployed to the war zone every two days, whereas back in the day the number of men enrolling daily did not exceed 30-40. Other than that, there is evidence that more and more foreign citizens, e.g. from Cuba and Middle-Eastern countries, sign contracts to join the Russian Armed Forces. As we reported a few days ago, the sign-up bonus offered to new recruits in Kazan had been significantly increased recently and can amount to 905,000 rubles [$9,600]. The Cuban authorities stood against the participation of their fellow nationals in any conflicts and mercenarism, and arrested 17 individuals suspected of luring Cuban men to serve in the Russian military amid the war in Ukraine.

Two more doctors were sent to the war zone from the Vladimir region. Both Tajikistan natives, the men signed contracts with Russia’s Ministry of Defense and will serve in Ukraine as medical officers. Earlier, Governor of the Vladimir region Aleksandr Avdeyev had admitted an increasing shortage of healthcare professionals in the region, estimated at more than 900 doctors and 1,500 nurses.

The Tyumen region authorities have doubled the amount of a sign-up bonus for contract military personnel. Once the decree enters into force, conscripts and mobilized soldiers who choose to sign a contract with the Ministry of Defense will be entitled to a 200,000 ruble payout [$2,160].

In one of the secondary schools in the Kemerovo region, an advertisement for contract military service was put on display on a classroom blackboard by the school administration. The same advertisement is featured on the school website.

Mobilized Soldiers and Volunteer Fighters

The list of mobilized soldiers killed in the war has been updated to include Vladimir Golovinov from the Krasnodar region, Leonid Laliyev from Russia's constituent Republic of North Ossetia–Alania, Vadim Sazonov from the Volgograd region, Anatoly Nasunov from Russia's constituent Republic of Kalmykia and Leonid Fedotov from the Yaroslavl region.

It has also been confirmed that Elena Sadkova, a military doctor from the Rostov region, was killed in the war.

The Idel.Realii [part of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty] online media outlet has confirmed the information about the attack on the 1st Battalion of the 1251st Motorized Rifle Regiment, which occurred on Oct. 29 on the Zaporizhzhia axis. Journalists contacted several military personnel from Chuvashia [Russia’s constituent republic] mobilized in September 2022, who provided several unpublished video recordings from the scene. One video shows charred military equipment, and the commentator mentions a burned "KAMAZ truck with people," while another video shows body bags labeled with names and surnames, as well as fragments of bodies. It is also known that the commander of the Atal volunteer battalion Vladislav Matuzas (according to some data, he is the commander of the 1251st Regiment) has been killed. Volunteer chats mention a total of 120 killed and wounded, but a serviceman interviewed by the channel confirmed 47 deaths. The Syerditaya Chuvashia [Angry Chuvashia] Telegram channel has launched a petition demanding the release of a list of names of soldiers from Chuvashia killed in Ukraine. Despite growing public concern, the head of the region Oleg Nikolaev stated that reports of the mass deaths of mobilized soldiers from the republic are being spread to "undermine morale" and urged people to "trust only official sources." However, he did not provide any official information about the incident, causing a wave of dissatisfaction.

The majority of Russian "refuseniks," who were held at the Pogonovo training range near the city of Voronezh, have been convinced to return to the war. The exact number of soldiers detained there is still unknown, but according to a source from the Astra Telegram channel, on Oct. 28, another 100-150 military personnel were brought to the training range from an illegal basement in the village of Zaitseve.

Sentences, Legal Proceedings and Incidents

Artyom Zherebtsov, a 27-year-old participant in the "special military operation" with a history of multiple convictions, has been apprehended. He was wanted for several days in connection with the murder of a local resident in the town of Dubovka, Volgograd region.

The Sibir.Realii [part of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty] online media outlet has confirmed the identity of Stanislav Rau, one of the men detained on suspicion of involvement in the murder of nine people in the town of Volnovakha. Stanislav's brother has verified that the person in the photo published by the VChK-OGPU Telegram channel is indeed him. However, Stanislav's relatives only learned about the situation from acquaintances and social media, as no one from the military unit has contacted them. Stanislav Rau served in the 155th Guards Naval Infantry Brigade of the Pacific Fleet. His former wife told VChK-OGPU that he volunteered for the frontline and was mentally stable. According to the woman, he was in communication with his parents as if nothing had happened up until Oct. 30, after the reported massacre of civilians. Those close to him do not believe in Rau's guilt.

A criminal case for violently assaulting a law enforcement officer was opened against Vadim Ch., a contract soldier from the Kemerovo region. The incident occurred when a drunken soldier attacked an inspector who had detained him for brawling.

The Central District Military Court in Yekaterinburg upheld the verdict for Vladimir Rostov, a mobilized soldier from Nevyansk who was sent home for medical treatment. He was still charged with going AWOL due to receiving treatment at a private clinic instead of a state hospital where the necessary surgery could not be performed. Rostov has been sentenced to five and a half years in a penal colony.

The 2nd Eastern District Military Court sentenced private Yegor Gladkikh to five and a half years in a penal colony for going AWOL, despite the maximum punishment under this article being five years in a penal colony. It is noted that the soldier voluntarily surrendered to the military investigative department. The reason for the severity of the sentence is unknown.


In the city of Ussuriysk, Primorsky region [Russia's federal subject], schoolchildren had a class with Aleksandr Zakharov, a member of the Legislative Assembly of the Primorsky region and a participant of the war, who both attended this school in the past. Meanwhile, in Krasnodar, children's drawings of tanks and pro-war slogans appeared in street exhibitions.

Ruslan Voronov, a participant in the war with Ukraine, has returned to work at the school after recovering from a concussion. He previously worked as an English teacher in Irkutsk and went to war as a volunteer fighter. Currently, he teaches 5th to 7th graders.


The results of a Levada Center [Russian independent, non-governmental polling and sociological research organization] poll conducted in October showed that the majority of Russians are tired of the war. Seventy percent would support the president's decision to end the war with Ukraine as early as this week. However, only one-third of respondents would agree to relinquish the annexed territories to Ukraine.

The court officials in Krasnoyarsk, who initially suggested that a woman should go to the war in Ukraine as a way to pay off her debt of 800,000 rubles [$8,550], but later stated that the offer was just a recommendation, now completely deny sending the leaflet. They state that "this document has nothing to do with the court" and instead place the blame on the "illegal activities of banking organizations."

Vasily Kryuk, a member of the State Duma representing United Russia [Putin’s ruling party] from the Yamalo-Nenets autonomous region [Russia's federal subject], deleted his posts about supplying uniforms to the frontline after an investigation into his offshore companies and family’s real estate was published.

In the Perm region, a man sentenced to 20 years in prison for rape and murder received a pardon for his participation in the war with Ukraine.


Sirena published an article about the housing problems Russian veterans are facing. Almost 40,000 people, including both active-duty and retired military personnel, are now on the waitlist to receive funds for purchasing an apartment. At the same time, the housing temporarily provided to those currently working for the RuAF is often in an appalling condition.

Maria Lebedeva, the chairwoman of the board of the Union of the Committees of Soldiers' Mothers of Russia in the Sverdlovsk region, shared with journalists the issues that relatives of soldiers bring to the attention of the committees. Specifically, the relatives of soldiers missed in action complain that draft offices cannot send them for DNA testing without notification from the military unit. The military unit, in turn, does not provide this information as they do not have complete details of what happened.

The Sibir.Realii [part of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty] online media outlet explained why fathers of large families volunteer to go to war in Ukraine and often die there. Novaya Gazeta Europe [European edition of the independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta] investigated the reasons why volunteer fighters, in general, join the war. One of the main reasons is the desire to earn money. Typically, volunteer fighters are low-educated men around 40 years old from small towns. Pro-war milbloggers, friends in the Donbas, and a background in military service often influence their decision to participate in the war.