mobilization briefs
September 25, 2023

Mobilization in Russia for Sept. 22-24, 2023 CIT Volunteer Summary

Authorities and Legislation

Russian-appointed authorities of the "Donetsk People's Republic" have issued a decree imposing a curfew and military censorship on postal mail, telephone conversations and internet messages. Moreover, the decree mandates checkpoints and filtration posts on the border of the "republic" and prohibits certain categories of persons from leaving the country. These are unprecedented measures in the history of the Russian Federation.

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

Radiy Khabirov, Governor of Russia's constituent republic of Bashkortostan, stated that regional authorities spent 3.7 billion rubles [$38.4 million] on payments to volunteer fighters since the invasion began. On top of payments from federal authorities, each volunteer fighter receives a sign-up bonus of 200,000 rubles [$2,078] and a daily allowance of 2,000 rubles [$21], he explained.

Governor of the Pskov region Mikhail Vedernikov posted a video of him attending a medical first-aid training. Meanwhile, representatives of the Rostov-based Oplot [stronghold] movement of combat veterans asserted their right to organize the formation of a "people’s militia."

Mobilized Soldiers and Volunteer Fighters

The list of mobilized soldiers killed in the war has been updated to include Artyom Mamin from the Moscow region, Nikolay Kuznetsov from the Oryol region and Aleksandr Ostrivnoy from the Kaluga region.

The seventh prisoner of war captured by the Russian Volunteer Corps in the Belgorod region in June was identified by relatives. This is Sergey Abdurazukov from the Stavropol region. He signed a contract on Feb. 28, 2023, calling himself a "forced volunteer." According to his fellow servicemen, the man went missing in April in the area of Bilohorivka village in the Luhansk region. It is unknown how he could have been taken prisoner in the Belgorod region.

The Ministry of Defense has not been able to provide information about the fate of a contract soldier from Oryol since July 2023, when DNA samples were collected from relatives. Officially, the soldier is listed as missing since June, when most of his platoon was killed in action.

Sentences, Legal Proceedings and Incidents

A criminal case has been opened against a Wagner Group mercenary on charges of intentional infliction of grievous bodily harm and rape. The man was recruited to the war from prison.

In Buryatia [Russia’s constituent republic], a contract soldier was fined 100,000 rubles for selling more than 200 kg of canned stewed meat and 20 liters of vegetable oil from the stock he was accountable for. When imposing the punishment, the court took into account the defendant's participation in the "special military operation."

The Ulan-Ude Garrison Military Court sentenced contract soldier Sergey Makhkamov to five and a half years in a penal colony for going AWOL. On May 5, 2022, the serviceman did not report to his unit, but in June 2023, he voluntarily appeared to the draft office.

In Blagoveshchensk, the police apprehended a man and a woman who had their photo taken with a Molotov cocktail in front of the draft office, which had been targeted for arson twice in the past week (more details here). According to the man, the arson was ordered by a certain coordinator on Telegram, who promised to pay 50,000 rubles [$520] for it but demanded proof. As the draft office is under round-the-clock surveillance due to previous arson attempts, the offenders were promptly detained and are being investigated for their involvement in the previous incidents.

As calculated by the Zona Solidarnosti [Solidarity zone] Telegram channel, Russia has witnessed 310 partisan actions over the 19 months since the start of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine. The mobilization announced on Sept. 21, 2022, triggered a surge of resistance, with residents from various regions engaging in arson, explosions, and acts of sabotage. The most frequent incidents included draft office arson (128 cases) and railway sabotage (111 cases). Approximately 400 individuals were detained, with 108 of them facing terrorism charges, 73 facing sabotage charges, and the charges for 113 detainees remaining unknown. In at least 37 cases, no one was apprehended.

Ilya Ch., a resident of Kaliningrad who was detained for allegedly setting fire to a Z-shaped installation piece in Belgorod, reported being tortured. According to the young man, unidentified people took him to the forest where he endured five hours of beatings, stun gun shocks, and threats of having his legs chopped off with an ax. He is charged with vandalism motivated by political hatred and possession of explosives. On Sept. 25, the court will determine a restrictive measure for him.


The Defenders of the Fatherland Fund has received a grant of 5 billion rubles [$52.46 million]. In June 2023, the fund already received 1.3 billion rubles [$13.64 million], with over a billion [$10.5 million] allocated to employee salaries, and only 3% going to the needs of war veterans.

Nina Ostanina, a State Duma [lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia] member from the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, has raised concerns about the assistance provided to disabled individuals. According to her, about 200 residents of Novosibirsk who returned from the war disabled not only receive no assistance but also lack combat veteran certificates. In Ostanina’s opinion, many regional branches of the Defenders of the Fatherland Fund are nothing more than reference bureaus without a clear functional purpose.

Veterans of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation (GRU) in Chelyabinsk have established a workshop for manufacturing FPV drones. The production of UAVs was organized using funds raised by volunteers.


In the Tambov region, a frame for weaving camouflage nets has been installed on the grounds of a kindergarten. The nets will be woven by teachers and parents, with children later joining in the effort. Meanwhile, students in the Kostroma region, who previously mastered the art of crafting camouflage nets, are now preparing dry borscht [a sour soup typical of Ukrainian and Russian cuisine] for Russian military personnel during their technology classes.

First-year students at the Higher School of Economics are being asked, as part of their history knowledge test, to identify the name of the "famous tank that won an unequal battle against Ukrainian armored vehicles in the special military operation zone."

A recently passed law by the State Duma on involving students in work unrelated to their studies now extends to university students as well. They can be engaged in various types of work not only during class hours but also in their free time.

A group of public figures from the North Caucasus region has strongly protested against a new school textbook on the history of Russia. The textbook asserts that the basis for Stalin's deportations of ethnic groups was purportedly "evidence of collaboration" by Chechens with the occupying forces of Hitler's Germany. In Chechnya [Russia's constituent republic], the entire print run of the new history textbook was removed from schools. One of the authors of the textbook and presidential aide, Vladimir Medinsky, explained the scandal as an error from another textbook, from which the chapter was supposedly copied, and promised to rewrite it. It turned out that Medinsky himself was the editor of the textbook from which the controversial chapter was borrowed.


Almost 80% of enterprises in Novosibirsk report problems with hiring personnel. According to the Siberian Main Department of the Bank of Russia, this is primarily linked to the qualification level and "excessive salary expectations" of potential candidates. Experts attribute the labor market imbalance to the expansion of import-substituting industries and an increase in government orders. Due to this increase, enterprises have had to switch to working in three shifts.

A memorial honoring participants of the war in Ukraine has been erected on the territory of a military unit in the Leningrad region. Additionally, an alley of memory featuring the names of 21 fallen soldiers has been opened in Peace Square in the Otradnensky district of the Krasnodar region. In the Zabaykalsky region, the unveiling of a monument was delayed due to transportation issues. In a village in the Primorsky region, an alley of memory dedicated to soldiers fallen in the war against Ukraine was vandalized. On the morning of the scheduled opening on Sept. 24, local residents discovered that unidentified individuals had damaged photographs of the soldiers, leaving behind the inscription "For the children of Ukraine."

In Kazan, the capital of Russia's constituent Republic of Tatarstan, the Za Nami Strana [The Country Is Behind Us] patriotic project has been launched. Next week, the site promises visitors master classes on assembling assault rifles. In the Zabaykalsky region, a "Hero's desk" was brought to the brand festival, and trench candles made of cans were displayed.

Since the beginning of Russia's full-scale war against Ukraine, 3,500 Russian conscription-age men have applied for asylum in Germany, but only 90 of them have been granted refugee status.

Mikhail Razvozhayev, the Kremlin-appointed governor of Sevastopol, has issued an order to inspect bomb shelters in the city following complaints from residents that some of them were flooded, cluttered, or even locked. Besides that, he suggested that local residents "should not wait" and take initiative to arrange shelters on their own.


The Govorit NeMoskva [NonMoscow Is Speaking] media outlet studied the cost of prosthetics in 55 regions of Russia and found a significant difference in their prices, sometimes varying by more than 10 times. For example, in Chukotka autonomous region [Russia’s constituent subject], a prosthesis costs more than 600,000 rubles [$6,230], while in Tuva [Russia’s constituent republic], it costs 47,000 rubles [$488]. [No to Violence], a Russian non-profit organization which assists victims of domestic violence, reports an increasing number of requests from women who are being stalked by their ex-partners, some of whom have returned from the war. is launching a support group for stalking victims, while Meduza [international Russian-language online media outlet] is providing guidance on how to protect oneself from stalking.

The Novaya Vkladka [New Tab] media outlet published an article about coal miners in Kuzbass [Kemerovo region] who quit their jobs and leave the region to avoid being drafted to the war. 

Meduza also published a report on the methods of putting pressure on migrant workers from Central Asia, forcing them into military service.