mobilization briefs
September 18, 2023

Mobilization in Russia for Sept. 15-17, 2023 CIT Volunteer Summary

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

Volunteer fighters willing to join the war with Ukraine could earn 1,595,000 rubles [$16,477] in one year if they sign a contract with the Ministry of Defense in the Khanty-Mansi autonomous region–Yugra [Russia's federal subject]. The sum includes sign-up bonuses paid by the Ministry of Defense and regional government of 195,000 rubles [$2,014] and 400,000 rubles [$4,132], respectively. Additionally, the regional government promises a bonus of 100,000 rubles [$1,033] paid at the time of discharge from service. Beyond these bonuses, people who enlist would earn a salary of 150,000 rubles [$1,550] every two months during a one-year period.

Homeowners’ associations and property management companies in the city of Krasnoyarsk began receiving letters demanding that advertisements for contract-based military service be posted in all entrances of residential buildings by Sept. 22. Meanwhile, in the Leningrad region, a billboard promises those who enlist qualification for a Class ''C'' driver’s license [for driving large lorries].

Mobilized Soldiers and Volunteer Fighters

The list of mobilized soldiers killed in the war has been updated to include Oleg Inyashev from Russia’s constituent republic of Khakassia, Oleg Tupitsyn from the Tambov region, Aleksey Borisov from the Novosibirsk region, Vyacheslav Zelikson from Crimea, Nikolay Panin from Russia's constituent republic of Bashkortostan, and Aleksandr Zhuravlyov from the Samara region.

Relatives of mobilized men from the Chelyabinsk region have posted an appeal addressed to Alexander Bastrykin, the head of the Investigative Committee of Russia. According to their account, servicemen from the 85th Brigade have been denied leave for an entire year, despite promises made by the president. Allegedly, commanders tore up the soldiers' leave requests and threatened that any complaints would result in the soldiers "returning home in body bags." The relatives also expressed concern that mobilized soldiers were essentially "fighting on their own dime" because they had to repair their own equipment, purchase their uniforms, and even buy their own food.

Relatives of servicemen from the 1307th and 1442nd Motorized Rifle Regiments, as well as the 89th Tank Regiment, who were mobilized from the Altai region [Russia’s federal subject], have addressed Vladimir Putin. They raised concerns about the harsh conditions their relatives face while serving on the frontline since April. Commanders repeatedly sent them on poorly prepared assaults, and those who refused were subjected to physical violence. The women called for holding the commanders accountable and urged the adoption of a law limiting the service period for mobilized soldiers to one year. Furthermore, they highlighted their lack of access to information about those missing in action, which compelled them to personally search for their loved ones in hospitals and morgues by reviewing photos and videos of those killed.

Sentences, Legal Proceedings and Incidents

Three servicemen died as a result of a grenade explosion in the yard of a private house in the town of Rossosh, Voronezh region, while two others were wounded in the incident. Reportedly, all the deceased individuals were part of the same unit within the Central Military District, specifically, the battalion commander and his deputies. Apparently, they had come to Rossosh to collect equipment. They had rented a house in the town where they were consuming alcohol. At some point, a dispute arose, leading three of the servicemen to move onto the veranda, after which, presumably, one of them detonated a grenade.

In the city of Korolyov, Moscow region, law enforcement discovered a stash of weapons in the basement of an apartment building. A local resident noticed two men carrying military crates into the basement and called the police. The search uncovered numerous firearms, including pistols, assault rifles and machine guns, along with 12 grenades and more than 12,000 rounds of ammunition. Two suspects, a 39-year-old machine operator and a 40-year-old welder, both local residents, have been detained. A criminal case has been opened against them on charges of illegal possession of firearms, carrying a potential sentence of up to 10 years in a penal colony.

In military town No. 32 located in the city of Yekaterinburg, Dmitriy Terzi, a serviceman who had returned from war, was robbed and beaten to death. 19-year-old Stepan N., a fellow serviceman who was supposed to go to the war soon, was detained and has confessed to the crime. He found Terzi drunk and sleeping on a bench, took his phone, and attempted to forcibly obtain the passwords. Stepan N. is now charged with intentional infliction of grievous bodily harm resulting in death.

A court in Ufa has ordered the arrest a former Wagner Group mercenary on suspicion of murder. According to the court's statement, the defendant’s fellow soldier had taken out a loan for 1.2 million rubles [$12,400] to buy a car, and the defendant murdered him in order to seize the money. Later, the mercenary turned himself in and requested house arrest during the trial. The man had a prior criminal record.

The Astrakhan Garrison Military Court found serviceman Aleksandr Laptov guilty of assaulting a police officer in the line of duty, which carries a potential punishment of up to 10 years of imprisonment. However, the court imposed a fine of 70,000 rubles [$720] on him, which is the most lenient punishment, not even specified in the second part of the respective article. The accused pleaded guilty, and his unit's command appealed to the court not to punish him severely, as he wishes to continue his service, including service in the "special military operation" zone. The court considered this a mitigating factor.

In Saint Petersburg, a man was detained outside the military commissariat with a bottle of flammable liquid and rags. The detainee was allegedly in a state of narcotic intoxication. In conversation with the police, he stated that he had quarreled with his wife and decided to enlist in the army.

In the Moscow region, unidentified individuals set fire to a military truck with a trailer on the premises of a plant where military vehicles are repaired. The vehicle was severely damaged by the fire.

Nineteen-year-old activist Ilya Podkamenny from Irkutsk faces a potential life sentence on six terrorism-related charges. His case will be heard by the First Eastern District Military Court. Podkamenny was arrested after allegedly "wrapping the rails with copper wire" and "attaching sheets from a school notebook with extremist content messages to the tracks."

In Moscow, a 36-year-old employee of a company specializing in the development and production of equipment and software for unmanned aviation and the defense industry was arrested. He allegedly posted "important information" on the internet to which he had corporate access. He is facing charges for unlawful influence on the critical information infrastructure of the Russian Federation, which carries a penalty of 3 to 8 years of imprisonment. He is currently under recognizance bond.


Participants in the "special military operation" or their children admitted to Tyumen universities under a quota will receive benefits during their studies. They can expect free meals, priority dormitory check-in, exemption from dormitory fees or discounts, as well as priority transfer to free education.

Another campaign to collect firewood for war participants was held in Kursk. The city mayor also took part in it. Previously, similar events had taken place in winter and spring. Meanwhile, employees of the administration of the Kholmogory district of the Arkhangelsk region sent a UAZ SUV, a UAZ minivan and spare parts to Russian servicemen on the frontline.


Since the beginning of the year, Russian schools have spent more than 240 million rubles [$2.5 million] on mock-ups of a Kalashnikov assault rifle and other equipment for basic military training classrooms. The Moscow Times analyzed data from the government procurement contracts portal and discovered that patriotic clubs spent another 40 million rubles [$413,000] for the same purposes. Thus, the total sum is eight times more than the cost of equipment for computer science classrooms amounting to only 32 million rubles [$330,560].

In Akademgorodok of Novosibirsk, two children aged 5–6 were involved in distributing calling cards of the Zhuravlik [the Little Crane] volunteer movement engaged in weaving camouflage nets. The children were monitored by women in camouflage suits, ''armed'' with mock-ups of assault rifles.

A participant of the war with Ukraine has given a lecture for students of the Vladimir Polytechnic College. Meanwhile, in Novy Urengoy, volunteer Ekaterina Cheremushkina has given a workshop for children with limited physical abilities at the Miloserdiye [Mercy] Social Aid Center. She taught them how to arrange a dry shower and a stretcher for fighters in the ''special military operation'' zone.

The Ural Federal University has decided to expel students who have outstanding failed exams in any semester but the last one. These expulsions will be carried out in one day, without providing the students with an opportunity to retake their exams, even though they are entitled to do so by law. These students are to be expelled before Sept. 18. It is worth noting that the fall regular conscription campaign starts on Oct. 1. Students have filed around 10 complaints to the prosecutor’s office and are planning to campaign against the university administration’s decision.


The Skyeng online school published an ad post featuring a soldier sitting with his head hanging and the tagline, ''Haven’t seen your emigre friends for over a year and miss them terribly? English + IT — a top combination that will help you get a foreign offer.'' After Member of the State Duma [lower house of Russia's Federal Assembly] Alexander Khinshtein complained about it, the company apologized for the use of an image of a serviceman and for such an ''inappropriate creative move.''

In the Zakamsk district, Perm region, an alley dedicated to the participants of the "special military operation" has been inaugurated, with the Defenders of the Fatherland Fund actively contributing to its development. Additionally, over the past 2.5 months, 46 new graves for soldiers, along with designated areas for future burials, have been established at two cemeteries in Krasnodar.

A building supply store in Belgorod has commenced the sale of the Czech hedgehogs [anti-tank obstacles], pricing the structures at 7,500 rubles [$78] each. Following the onset of the war with Ukraine, regions have already begun producing wooden shields for trenches and offering bunkers for sale.

The governor of the Omsk region has imposed a "dry law" in the town of Svetly, home to a Russian Airborne Forces (VDV) training center. The law will come into force on Sept. 25, and it restricts the sale of all alcoholic beverages, from vodka to beer, by stores and businesses in the area.


Since January 2023, Ekaterina, a resident of the Kaliningrad region [the westernmost federal subject of the Russian Federation], has been attempting to bury her father, Andrey Matvienko, who was killed in the war. However, she has been unable to retrieve his body because he departed for the frontline from the "DPR'' rather than his home region. Consequently, the Kaliningrad draft office refuses to provide assistance. In an interview with the Sever.Realii [part of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty] online media outlet, Ekaterina sheds light on the rampant extortion at the frontline and the lack of space in morgues for hundreds of killed soldiers, leaving their bodies right on the streets.