mobilization briefs
September 5, 2023

Mobilization in Russia for Sept. 3-4, 2023 CIT Volunteer Summary

Authorities and Legislation

Vladimir Putin signed a decree, which raises the upper age limit of the exemption from conscription for IT specialists from 27 to 30 years. The decree will come into effect on Jan. 1, 2024 and applies only to men working in accredited organizations. Earlier, the authorities had raised the upper age limit of conscription to 30 years.

Mikhail Matveyev, a member of the State Duma [lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia] from the Communist Party, introduced a bill to prohibit Russian citizens from buying firearms if they have not registered for military service. Further restrictions are also proposed for naturalized citizens. They would be prohibited from buying firearms and self-defense devices, such as pepper spray and traumatic guns, for ten and five years, respectively, after being granted citizenship.

Eduard Sharafiev, member of the State Council of Russia's constituent Republic of Tatarstan, announced a change in the conditions offered to convicts in exchange for fighting in the war. Reportedly, they would be granted parole upon enlisting, but would need to serve until the end of the war, rather than six months, as was the case until now.

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

In the Omsk region, residents have started receiving notifications, which mention the law "on mobilization." Signed by the district administration head, they give recipients two weeks to visit the draft office, in order to receive mobilization orders. Referring to them as summonses, the draft office acknowledged their mailing and urged people not to "be afraid." Consequently, legal experts from the Omsk Civil Association published a reminder of what to do in this situation. Earlier, residents of the Saratov region received "invitations" to the draft office for a data check-up. It is important to note that neither type of letter is actually a draft notice and, as such, has no legal force.

Perm mayor’s office explained handing out draft notices during a police raid on city’s open-air markets. Officials claimed that the data check-up notices were handed out to people who did not have their military card on them. At the same time, human rights observers point out the increased frequency and intensity of raids conducted in large Russian cities with the purpose of sweeping up migrants to send to the frontline. The Bumaga [Paper] media outlet tells how the migrants’ situation changed in Russia since the beginning of the war in Ukraine.

The Govorit NeMoskva independent media outlet analyzed the data coming out of Russian regions on contract soldier sign ups. With increased frequency, officials say that they are unable to meet the planned recruitment quotas. During a meeting with housing co-op leaders and business managers, Yevgeny Bavin, deputy head of the Vladivostok administration, stated that in case the number of volunteers who sign up as contract soldiers missed the target, the second wave of mobilization would sweep the country.

Mobilized Soldiers and Volunteer Fighters

The list of mobilized soldiers killed in the war has been updated to include Dmitry Korobkov, Sergey Malyshev, Danil Golovyrskikh, Yury Tarasov, Eduard Baybalov and Andrey Shvachka from the Sverdlovsk region, Dmitry Makarikhin from Chuvashia [Russia’s constituent republic], and Ivan Abramchuk from the Vladimir region.

The Idel.Realii online media outlet [part of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty], compiled all open source information known to date on Astrakhan region natives killed in the war in Ukraine. At least 262 Astrakhan region residents have been killed since the beginning of the invasion. Of this total, 103 were contract soldiers, 53 were mercenaries, and 33 were drafted. Half of the killed were under 35 years of age.

The Lyudi Baikala [People of Baikal] independent media outlet spoke with the authors of the video address regarding the exchange of prisoners of war, which we reported on in the previous summary. According to the women's accounts, at least some of the prisoners are servicemen from the 83rd Airborne Assault Brigade who were captured near Bakhmut on June 7. The women complain that they only receive "dismissive replies" from the authorities in response to their appeals, and there is no unified body in Russia responsible for matters related to prisoners of war. One of the women reported that conscripts are being pressured to sign contracts with the Ministry of Defense.

Soldiers from the battalion in Bashkortostan [Russia's constituent republic], where Ildar Bulatov, who recently took his own life, served, had been demanding the removal of their commander, Sergeant Kultumanov, as far back as November of last year. However, their requests were ignored. According to the soldiers, Kultumanov systematically beat them, extorted money, and deprived them of "humanitarian" aid.

A relative of one of the conscripts anonymously told the 7x7—Gorizontalnaya Rossiya [Horizontal Russia] news outlet that fighters of the Akhmat battalion refused to go to the frontlines on the border between the Belgorod region and Ukraine. Currently, these positions are being held by conscripts.

Aleksey Abramov, a mobilized individual from Krasnodar who uses crutches, despite his injuries, is still being forced to go to the war zone. The man was brought to the Investigative Committee to provide an explanation as part of a pre-investigation check regarding his refusal to go to the army. Abramov's lawyer published a photo of the explanation written by the soldier, which clearly shows that he struggles even with writing. According to the Kavkaz.Realii [Caucasus.Realities] media outlet, in addition to Abramov, about 20 servicemen from the 136th Brigade, where Abramov serves, have also expressed their refusal to go to war. Commanders forced them to write explanatory notes and are now trying to initiate criminal cases against them for refusal to execute orders.

A resident of the Zabaykalsky region keeps trying to get a discharge and return home, but he is not allowed to, despite illness and having a large family. Due to the fact that he legally became the father of a large family after the mobilization was announced, the law, according to the court and authorities, is not on his side.

Sentences, Legal Proceedings and Incidents

The Sibir.Realii [part of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty] online media outlet and the Sistema [System] investigation project have analyzed data from military courts. Since the start of the mobilization, military courts have received 2930 cases of going AWOL, failure to execute orders, desertion, and other military offenses. In 75% of the cases, the verdict rendered was "guilty." 2630 suits were initiated for going AWOL, and 200—for failure to execute orders. The list of regions with the highest number of new cases is led by the Moscow (201 case), Rostov (156 cases), and Sverdlovsk (127 cases) regions. The number of cases forwarded to military courts is constantly growing. Thus, over the past month, 10 soldiers have been convicted for going AWOL in Novosibirsk. Five of them received real prison sentences from 5 to 5.5 years, and one received a 5-year suspended sentence. There is no information available on the remaining four cases.

The governor of the Rostov region has announced the initiation of a criminal case after a former mercenary of the Wagner Group Vyacheslav K. was assaulted and shot with rubber bullets. We covered this case in our last summary.

The mother of a student of Russian Technological University who was forcefully conscripted five days after the defense of his graduation paper is seeking to return her son home through legal action. She has submitted two lawsuits, one to a military court and another to a civil court. However, both courts responded that the case was beyond their competence.

A 53-year-old native of Ukraine, Ivan N., who was arrested in September 2022 for setting fire to a military registration desk in the Moscow region, has been charged with attempting to set fire to a draft office in Mozhaisk on July 12 of the previous year. He now faces two criminal cases related to attempted acts of terror and could be sentenced to 12 to 20 years in prison.

The court has sentenced two residents of the Voronezh region, Ilya Migachyov and Sergey Kopylov, to eight and nine years in prison, respectively, under the charge of committing an act of terror. According to law enforcement authorities, on the night of Sept. 24, the men attempted to throw Molotov cocktails at a transformer box in the village of Khrenovoye. The arson attempt allegedly failed as it was thwarted by officers from the Federal Security Service (FSB) and the Ministry of Internal Affairs.


A popular artist from Russia’s constituent republic of Komi and his colleague, an ethno blogger, "at the governor's suggestion," have donated an UAZ vehicle, which they used for their performances to aid those involved in the war against Ukraine. Alongside the vehicle, they will provide thermal cameras and bulletproof vests. Furthermore, one UAZ vehicle, along with spare parts, camouflage nets, trench candles, and water has been dispatched to the frontline from the Sverdlovsk region. Additionally, another UAZ vehicle, equipped for transporting the wounded, supplies, and logistics, based on military requests, has been sent to the combat zone from Tolyatti. Meanwhile, in Cheboksary, a location for weaving camouflage nets has been arranged within a temple.


Yulia Kuporova, director of school No. 469 in Saint Petersburg, has announced that an Akhmat volunteer unit fighter will conduct educational work at the school. The fighter is currently undergoing treatment at a hospital. The specific tasks for him to carry out are to be determined.

Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Chernyshenko has reported that 8,500 war participants and their children have already been enrolled in Russia's universities. According to him, such students are present in almost all regions of the country.

In Surgut, Khanty-Mansi autonomous region–Yugra [Russia's federal subject], fourth-graders from the Perspektiva [Perspective] school, per request of their teacher, donated money to the BARS (Special Combat Army Reserve) volunteer unit instead of buying flowers and gifts for the beginning of the academic year.

On the Day of Solidarity against Terrorism, schoolchildren in Bashkortostan drew pictures with anti-war slogans, which were published on the school's official website.


The monument to the "special military operation" fighters in Chita continues to be installed, despite objections from activists who opposed the monument’s installation due to the accompanying tree cutting. Approximately 50 million rubles [$517,500] have already been spent on memorials to the "special military operation" heroes in the Zabaykalsky region.

For the first time since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began, the authorities of the Kamchatka region [Russia’s federal subject] have disclosed the number of wounded individuals: 1,128 residents of the region have received injury compensation, 771 people are receiving social assistance, and 16 soldiers have become disabled. A total of 564 million rubles [$5.8 million] has been spent on compensation for the wounded.

Vladimir Mashkov, the Artistic Director of the Oleg Tabakov Theater in Moscow, announced the preparation of a stage performance based on the real stories of "special military operation" participants at the opening of the new theatrical season.

The Mozhem Ob'yasnit [We can explain] Telegram channel interviewed Anna Korobkova, a "professional" informer against Russians with an anti-war stance. She revealed what makes her write at least two reports daily.

Early elections for the governor of the Samara region take place within the territory of the "LPR."