mobilization briefs
September 30, 2023

Mobilization in Russia for Sept. 28-29, 2023 CIT Volunteer Summary

Authorities and Legislation

Vladimir Putin signed a decree to start the fall regular conscription campaign as scheduled on Oct. 1. Draft offices have until Dec. 31. to conscript 130,000 people. According to past statistics, 147,000 people were conscripted last spring. For now, the age limit remains unchanged, affecting only male citizens aged 18 to 27. Those who turn 27 before or during the conscription campaign should be moved to the reserve instead. The upper age limit will be increased from next year onwards.

Vladimir Tsimlyansky, Deputy Chief of the Main Organizational and Mobilization Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, conducted a briefing regarding the fall regular conscription campaign, which will include conscripts from the occupied territories for the first time. Tsimlyansky stated that they would not serve in the "new regions" or carry out tasks of the “special military operation.” However, it should be noted that conscripts often end up in border regions, where they are regularly killed or wounded. Finally, Tsimlyansky added that the General Staff is not planning any "further mobilization activities," as there are allegedly enough contract soldiers and volunteer fighters.

Vladimir Putin met with Russian Deputy Defense Minister Yunus-Bek Yevkurov and a former commander of the Wagner Group, Andrey "Sedoy" Troshev. During the conversation, Putin instructed Troshev to organize voluntary units for the war in Ukraine.

Putin signed a decree, which authorizes visa-free entry and departure of Ukrainian citizens to and from Russia using Ukrainian domestic passports, even expired ones.

Next year’s federal budget proposal was submitted to the State Duma [lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia]. The document indicates that military expenditures will reach 10.8 trillion rubles [$112 billion], representing an increase of almost 70%. We elaborated on this in a recent summary.

The federal government adopted a resolution mandating refunds for any planned tourist trip that participants of the war and their families could not take.

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

As reported by the Kommersant newspaper, military commissariats are struggling with the influx of employers who, under the threat of fines, are trying to submit data on their employees liable for military service. Companies are rushing to submit the necessary documents before Oct. 1, when amendments to the Code of Administrative Offences come into force, introducing fines of up to 500,000 rubles [USD 5,180] for legal entities for violations related to registration with military authorities. Queues at draft offices consist mainly of representatives from various organizations. Such problems are observed in Moscow, Saint Petersburg, and Krasnodar. According to experts, queues at draft offices are also caused by citizens summoned to clarify data, those seeking draft deferrals, alternative civilian service, or release from active duty to the reserve force upon reaching the age of 27. Against this background, the military commissar of Saint Petersburg, Marat Urmanov, stated that information about queues at draft offices in the city is inaccurate.

The Bumaga [Paper] independent media outlet interviewed human rights activists and explained the probability of banning conscripts from leaving the country this fall. According to experts, it is unlikely that new restrictions will be applied to young people liable for military service en masse due to technical difficulties. However, the imposition of such restrictions cannot be completely ruled out.

Head of Russia's constituent Republic of Dagestan Sergey Melikov announced the formation of a volunteer battalion named Caspiy [short for the Caspian Sea] in the region.

The administration of Irkutsk confirmed that it is mailing personalized letters offering individuals to join the "special military operation" (more details). Head of the special support department Boris Kurchinsky stated that this is "a working practice for the region" because there is currently "a war going on in Russia's territory" and "50 NATO countries" are participating in the aggression (currently, NATO includes 31 countries).

Mobilized Soldiers and Volunteer Fighters

The list of mobilized soldiers killed in the war was updated to include Mikhail Sharavin from the Altai region [Russia’s federal subject], Maksim Ferents and Eduard Shefer from the Volgograd region.

Based on open sources, Mediazona [independent Russian media outlet] and BBC News Russian, along with volunteers, managed to verify the names of 33,236 Russian fighters killed in Ukraine, including 3,836 mobilized soldiers. Over the past week, the list has grown by 580 military personnel, including 113 mobilized men.

A 19-year-old conscripted soldier was wounded in a kamikaze drone attack in the Kursk region.

The authorities of the Krasnoyarsk region did not respond to journalists' inquiries regarding the reasons for detaining Denis Slyusarev, a father of three from Minusinsk, from his demobilization. He was killed on Sept. 14.

Forensic tests did not reveal alcohol in the blood of the mobilized soldier from the Irkutsk region who was found hanged in Ukraine (more details). Authorities claim that the serviceman took his own life, although his relatives are convinced that he died after being beaten by the military police. The relatives insisted on conducting a molecular-genetic examination of four commandant's office employees who were on duty on the day of his death.

A crowdfunding campaign has been launched to assist a seriously ill resident of Ufa whose son has been accused of desertion and is being forcibly taken to the war (more details on this case).

Sentences, Legal Proceedings and Incidents

In the city of Luhansk, Lieutenant Colonel Irek Magasumov has been detained for the murder of an 18-year-old girl. In August, Putin personally awarded Magasumov the title of Hero of Russia. Kuzbass Governor Tsyvilyov spoke in defense of Magasumov, praising his "invaluable service to the Motherland in the fight against Ukronazis."

In the Nizhny Novgorod region, an ex-convict who had returned from the war burnt his sister alive during a domestic dispute. He had multiple prior convictions. In March 2022, he was sentenced to 11 years in a maximum security penal colony for murder, but a year later, he was released, possibly after joining the Wagner Group. In the summer 2023, shortly after returning from the war, the man became a suspect in a criminal case involving theft and assault.

In the Moscow metro, cameras tracked a mobilized soldier from the Belgorod region who was wanted by federal authorities for deserting his military unit. He went to Moscow to be with his wife more than two weeks ago. A week later, he was put on a wanted list. It took four days to locate the man.

A court in Krasnodar has sentenced contract soldier Maksim Ivanidi to five years of imprisonment for going AWOL. The serviceman was allegedly absent from his unit for six months.

The Vladikavkaz Garrison Military Court sentenced contract soldier Artyom Korovin to one and a half years of probation for going AWOL. According to the verdict, he was absent from duty twice, in March and May. The court took into account Korovin's participation in the war and his intention to return to the front.

The Novocherkassk Garrison Military Court sentenced contract soldier Andrey Antipov to five years of probation for going AWOL. In court, the accused promised to go to the war, which was taken into account by the court.

The Stavropol Garrison Military Court sentenced soldier Zhorik Makhsoyan to two years of probation for refusing to participate in the war. On March 23, he refused to execute orders and to go to the frontline. In court, he explained that he was taking care of his daughter and promised to go to the frontline. 

The Saint Petersburg City Court scheduled a preliminary hearing for a sabotage case—the first of its kind in the history of the Saint Petersburg court. In March 2023, the defendant allegedly received an offer from an unidentified person to set fire to a relay cabinet for 10,000 rubles [$100]. He set fire to relay cabinets on a railway section between the Gorelovo and Krasnoe Selo stations and filmed his actions. The man is in custody and faces 10 to 15 years of imprisonment.

In the city of Kerch, part of the Russian-annexed Crimea, a local resident who, according to the Federal Security Service (FSB), has been filming the movement of Russian military vehicles on an assignment from Ukrainian intelligence, was detained on suspicion of treason.

Aleksandr Kudashyov, a resident of Samara, who joined the Russian Volunteer Corps, has a criminal case opened against him for participation in an illegal armed group, which carries a potential sentence of up to 15 years in prison. According to the Baza Telegram channel, the man already has two prior criminal records. In early September, the FSB already detained two acquaintances of Kudashyov and his girlfriend, Samara artist Irina Izmaylova. The young woman was charged with illegal manufacturing of explosives.

In Novosibirsk, searches were conducted at the homes of three young women associated with the case of Ilya Baburin, who was detained for allegedly preparing to set fire to a draft office. Two of the women were later released, while the third one, Baburin's friend, is being held at the department. Ilya Baburin has repeatedly reported being tortured.

Authorities in the Primorsky region detained two men on suspicion of an attempt to set a draft office in the town of Artyom on fire. Allegedly, the men have already confessed.

The military appeals court reduced the sentence given to Ivan Kudryashov, an activist from Tver to 4 years and 10 months behind bars. Previously, he had been sentenced to 6 years under a penal code article on terrorism for, allegedly, conspiring to set a draft office on fire.

The Supreme Court of Russia’s constituent Republic of Komi upheld the sentence of Vladislav Kraval. In June 2023, the man was sentenced to 6 years and 3 months in a penal colony for a false report of planned acts of terror and vandalism.

Two hand grenades were found on a grass lawn near a shopping center in the Maryino district in Moscow.


To mark "Reunification Day," at least 10 Saint. Petersburg schools posted photos of schoolchildren holding posters in support of annexation of Ukrainian territories.


A widow of a mobilized soldier wrote an open letter to the head of Yakutia in which she complained that despite pledges to help families of those killed in the war, she received no help with insulating her house. She had to purchase materials and pay for the labor with her own money.

Head of Chuvashia [Russia’s constituent republic] Oleg Nikolaev has reported on the dispatch of the seventeenth convoy with aid to the frontline. About 18 million rubles [$186,530] were spent on three vehicles, thirteen quadcopters, auto parts, and food. This money was donated by residents, enterprises, and agricultural organizations of the republic. In the meantime, soldiers from the Omsk region are complaining about their living conditions and requesting quadcopters and protective equipment.

Debts of Perm soldiers totaling 215 million rubles [$2,228,000] have been waived. The Regional Bailiff Service has announced the suspension of nearly 1,500 enforcement proceedings against participants in the war against Ukraine.

The relatives of deceased soldiers will be provided with benefits and social support as stipulated by the law "On Veterans." They are also entitled to monthly payments, compensation, and pensions for the loss of the breadwinner.


Military commissar of the town of Gelendzhik Sergey Kozlov has been temporarily reassigned to the lower position of the head of the first department within the military commissariat [enlistment office] for a one-month period. On Sept. 9, Kozlov went to a polling station and handed draft notices to an observer and a member of the election committee.

On Sept. 28, the Presidential Fund for Cultural Initiatives announced the winners of a special competition in the field of culture, art and creative industries, distributing 1.6 billion rubles [$16,6 million] among patriotic and military projects. The Agentstvo.Novosti [Agency News] Telegram channel studied the winning projects. Tens of millions of rubles were allocated for performances based on old works presented in the new "pro-war packaging." Bumaga studied which projects received grants in Saint Petersburg and the Leningrad region. Almost half a million rubles [$50,000] were allocated to hold a concert in support of the military invasion of Ukraine in the city of Vladimir.


Ahead of the autumn conscription, Bumaga studied the data of the Idite Lesom! [Flee through the woods/Get lost you all] Telegram channel to discover how Saint Petersburg residents evaded conscription and left Russia, as well as the situations in which residents of Saint Petersburg and the Leningrad region turned to the Telegram channel for assistance.

The Vyorstka media outlet tells the stories of five women from different regions who visited their husbands and sons in the frontline zone. Vazhnyye Istorii [IStories, independent Russian investigative media outlet] interviewed two mercenaries recruited by the Wagner Group from Russian penal colonies. Novaya Gazeta Europe [European edition of the independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta] talked to a Wagner Group mercenary who had voluntarily gone to war and even participated in Prigozhin’s armed rebellion.