mobilization briefs
September 21, 2023

Mobilization in Russia for Sept. 19-20, 2023 CIT Volunteer Summary

Authorities and Legislation

Andrey Kartapolov, Chairman of the Defense Committee of the State Duma [lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia], announced that the conversion to a digital military registration system is two thirds complete, adding that the regular conscription campaign could follow new rules by next spring already. Just yesterday however, Oleg Kachanov, Deputy Minister of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media, stated that the unified register of Russians subject to military service will become fully operational only in 2025.

Kartapolov also argued against a transition to a purely professional army. On several occasions in the past, authorities mentioned long term plans to staff the army with contract soldiers only. Now, however, Kartapolov insists that a mobilization reserve is needed: "We are currently aiming to reduce the number of conscripts, which has fallen in every regular conscription campaign for several years now" (authorities called up the most conscripts in six years in spring 2023—CIT). Fully switching to a contract-based system is not advisable, because the state must have access to a mobilization reserve in case of "threatening situations," maintains Kartapolov.

Sources of the Baza Telegram channel indicate that the Security Council of the Russian Federation decided in September to prohibit members of both houses of the Federal Assembly from visiting the "new regions." Any parliamentarian currently there should leave as soon as possible. According to preliminary information, such visits would only be permitted in the future if they "contribute to saving people’s lives."

Russia's Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu has approved a list of ministry representatives authorized to detain individuals who have gained entry to the territory of defense and mobilization facilities. In addition to unit commanders, the list includes military commandants at railway stations, ports and airports. Therefore, detentions may be imposed at airports, ports and railway stations.

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

In the city of Volzhsky in the Volgograd region, a mobile recruitment center for the Russian Armed Forces has been installed in one of the city buses.

Mobilized Soldiers and Volunteer Fighters

The list of mobilized soldiers killed in the war has been updated to include Pavel Konakov from the Russian constituent Republic of Mari El and Yevgeny Kuznetsov from the Orenburg region.

A conscript soldier from the 80th Motorized Rifle Brigade sustained a gunshot wound in the Kursk region. The exact cause of the injury is unknown, but the preliminary version involves "improper handling of weapons." Additionally, over the last three days, three border guards and two military personnel were wounded as a result of the attacks on the Kursk and Belgorod regions.

The sister of a mobilized soldier from the Khanty-Mansi autonomous region–Yugra [Russia's federal subject] recorded a video address, in which she asks for help in finding her brother, 31-year-old Viktor Bashmurov. The man ended up near the village of Klishchiivka as part of the 1307th Regiment. On Aug. 20, he suffered a shrapnel wound and has not been heard from ever since. According to his sister, Bashmurov "has been lying on the battlefield for a month," and his military unit "is not aware" whether he is missing or killed, although his fellow soldiers handed over all the necessary documents to the commander.

A father of many children from the Samara region was returned home from the war after his third child was born. During her pregnancy, his wife had appealed to the regional human-rights ombudswoman Olga Galtsova, who helped to achieve her husband’s discharge from service.

Sentences, Legal Proceedings and Incidents

The Federal Security Service (FSB) department in the Altai region [Russia's federal subject] reported the detention of a Barnaul resident, who allegedly poisoned the drinking water intended for mobilized soldiers. The FSB claims that the man recorded the poisoning and sent the footage to Ukrainians, responsible for "recruiting Russians for carrying out acts of terror." The detained Barnaul resident is charged with attempted terrorism, as well as attempted high treason. The agency clarified that the soldiers did not drink the poisoned water.

The Voyennye Advokaty [Military Lawyers] Telegram channel reported a case in which a resident of Samara was not held accountable under the article on going AWOL. In August 2022, he signed a six-month contract, despite having an outstanding conviction, and in May 2023, he left the unit due to a "significant decrease in financial compensation." In August, the man voluntarily appeared at the military investigative department. As a result, the investigator refused to initiate a criminal case, as, in their opinion, the man is not a subject of military crimes since he could not enlist for military service due to his outstanding conviction.

Mediazona [independent Russian media outlet] uncovered details of the criminal case against a 60-year-old resident of Balashikha, who was arrested for setting fire to a relay cabinet in early September. According to investigators, he committed the arson using a stick found nearby, having previously prepared a burning mixture following the instructions of an "unidentified person." He received 350 dollars in cryptocurrency as compensation.


Chairman of the Public Chamber of the "LPR" Aleksey Karyakin spoke about the opening of a rehabilitation center for demobilized students in Luhansk, who were sent to the war in February 2022. It is worth noting that relatives of unlawfully mobilized students from the "DPR" and "LPR" have repeatedly complained that many students have not been returned from the front.

Governor of the Vladimir region Aleksandr Avdeyev reported on social benefits for participants in the invasion of Ukraine and their families. According to him, assistance was provided to 6,000 people. Among the most demanded regional support measures were free two-meal hot school lunches, exemption from parental fees for childcare and free additional education.

Head of Buryatia [Russia’s constituent republic] Alexey Tsydenov published a report on the transfer of technical equipment to soldiers from the republic. It included thermal imaging monoculars, thermal optical sights, radios and quadcopters.


In the building of the Ural Federal University in Yekaterinburg, a propagandistic exhibition titled "Ordinary Nazism," dedicated to Ukraine, has been installed. Previously, surveys on attitudes toward the "special military operation" and same-sex marriages were conducted there.

Meanwhile, in the Khabarovsk region, educators at a kindergarten have organized a "Museum of the special military operation." For the exhibits, they have collected personal belongings of those parents who are now participating in the war. The kindergarten's director refers to such activities as "in-depth work on patriotic education of children."


The Gosuslugi public services portal has sent letters to Russians urging them to download the Radar app, in which they can report drones or other emergency situations related to the war in Ukraine. Additionally, residents of Yekaterinburg have noticed advertisements for the app.

In Tyumen, war participants and their relatives have been receiving calls requesting clarification of their personal information. The callers claim to be draft office personnel and state that the information is needed for Tyumen residents to receive "moral and financial compensation from the president." However, Tyumen authorities assert that these calls are from scammers.

Members of the Samara Regional Duma [representative assembly] adopted amendments to the local law on maintaining silence in order to carry out repair work on one of the buildings of a military hospital, including night works. The hospital is located in a residential area, so the relaxation of the law will immediately affect local residents.


Meduza [international Russian-language online media outlet] has prepared instructions for those planning to return to Russia for one reason or another. The threat associated with the return should not be exaggerated, as it primarily concerns people who publicly demonstrate disagreement with the actions of Russian authorities. But one should not underestimate the risks since in a small percentage of cases, a completely ordinary person may turn out to be the object of close attention at the border.

In anticipation of the anniversary of mobilization, Vazhnyye Istorii [IStories, independent Russian investigative media outlet] published stories of Russians who left the country in order to avoid joining the army. These men share their experiences of emigration, their eventual return to Russia and the challenges they face in dealing with pro-government discourse.

Meanwhile, the Vyorstka media outlet interviewed men who spent several days in a traffic jam in Verkhny Lars a year ago, and are currently living in Russia. Some of them could not find work or start a business in Georgia, others hoped that they could disown participation in the war without leaving the country.