mobilization briefs
September 7, 2023

Mobilization in Russia for Sept. 5-6, 2023 CIT Volunteer Summary

Authorities and Legislation

The Ministry of Defense is calling for a change to the regulation on military registration, whereby convicts serving sentences in correctional facilities will be added to the military rolls. They would be subject to "special military registration" and would not need to visit a draft office, as the Federal Penitentiary Service would simply share its data instead. Updates to an individual’s military registration would be mandated at least once a year. The current scope of this regulation explicitly excludes convicts serving sentences in correctional facilities, which is what the Ministry of Defense proposes to change. It should be noted that authorities recently allowed convicts to voluntarily enlist for contract-based military service, if mobilization or martial law has been declared, and promised to expunge their criminal record upon bestowal of a state award or discharge from service on health or age grounds.

The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs is calling for the expansion of the list of organizations, where citizens can perform a civilian alternative service. According to the proposed decree, the list would include additional organizations in the healthcare, social and agricultural sectors across a large number of regions, including Crimea. It would grow by 144 entries if the proposal is accepted.

Army Recruitment and Military Service Advertising

Citing a source close to the presidential administration, the Mozhem Ob'yasnit [We can explain] Telegram channel contends that a decision has been made to carry out a new wave of mobilization immediately after the announcement of the Sept. 8 - 10 election results. The claim is corroborated by a second source, this time in law enforcement, who said that mobilization will start in the ten days following Sept. 20. The aim of the new wave is reportedly to rotate mobilized soldiers in order to increase the effectiveness of the troops and prevent further discontent among their families. It is not possible to independently verify this information at this time.

Vacancies for "mobilization specialists" are seen to reappear on the Russian job market. At least five such job postings have been found by the Sirena Telegram channel. The functions of the role will be to liaise with the draft office and submit reports, to provide military registration related guidance to employees, to maintain military registration records, and to reserve employees to be exempted from the draft during mobilization and war time.

According to the Fontanka media outlet, in Saint Petersburg, notifications requiring a citizen to report to the draft office for military data check-up are being served with an insert claiming that the term of the conscription service is planned to be extended in the near future. The draft office backed away from comments, suggesting that the statement was related to the recent increase of the upper age limit for conscription. Later, a draft official contacted Fontanka and confirmed that no such notifications had been issued, dismissing the news as fake and pointing out that the required signatures and stamps were missing from the document in the photo.

Students and postgraduates of the Higher School of Economics are being pressured into submitting their personal details for military registration, including knowledge of foreign languages and possession of driving license, by completing an online form by Sept. 15.

Wives of mobilized residents of the Irkutsk region suggested foreigners who had recently obtained Russian citizenship should be sent to the war in Ukraine. A banner that reads "If your neighbor is a migrant, call the draft office!" was posted in Sibirsky Tyl [Siberian Home Front], a Telegram group with over 500 subscribers set up to connect families of mobilized men.

Mediazona [independent Russian media outlet] has discovered how Cuban citizens end up in the war in Ukraine. The most well-known story is that of 19-year-old friends Alex Vegas and Andorf Velasquez, who traveled to Russia in early June, claiming they were going to work in construction but upon arrival agreed to dig trenches and help rebuild Ukrainian cities destroyed by the war. Instead of their original plans, they, along with other Cuban citizens, were sent to fight. We previously reported on the Cuban authorities' response to the recruitment of their citizens into the Russian army.

The Vyorstka media outlet examined changes made to conscription legislation over the past year and a half to understand how deferments from mobilization work today, who can qualify for them, and how they differ from complete exemptions from service. In total, there are 11 reasons described in the laws for obtaining a deferment. There is also still the option to apply for alternative civilian service.

Mobilized Soldiers and Volunteer Fighters

The list of mobilized soldiers killed in the war has been updated to include Dmitry Savchenkov from the Saratov region.

The Mobilizatsiya [Mobilization] Telegram channel has published a compilation of new video appeals from the relatives of servicemen who have gone missing or have been taken prisoner.

The Social Fund of Russia has stopped publishing data from the Federal Register of Disabled Persons. As discovered by Mediazona, the register website no longer includes the Analytics section, which used to provide data on the number of registered disabled persons, including those who became disabled due to military injuries. This data allowed the outlet to estimate the number of newly disabled men who were injured in the war with Ukraine.

Sentences, Legal Proceedings and Incidents

Residents of Shabrovsky settlement in the Sverdlovsk region complain about a former Wagner Group mercenary and war veteran Aleksandr Zayakin, previously convicted for murder and theft. Reportedly, he has already vandalized a store and appeared outside with a knife. According to the source, local residents seized Zayakin and handed him over to the police. As reported by the E1.RU media outlet, a criminal investigation has been opened against him for murder threats. The man is also suspected of theft.

Former Wagner Group mercenary Asker Shortanov has been arrested on charges of weapon and drug possession. Previously, the man has already been twice convicted for robbery. In the penal colony, he was recruited for the war against Ukraine.

According to the case file, in August 2023 only, the Vladimir Garrison Military Court issued 15 guilty verdicts for going AWOL. Over the whole year 2022, there were six such verdicts in the Vladimir region, and in 2021, only two.

20-year-old Nikita Rudnev suspected of a series of railway arsons has been detained in the Belgorod region. According to investigators, on the night of Aug. 31, he set fire to a railway oil cabinet in the Starooskolsky region as assigned by a curator. The investigators also claim that Rudnev revealed his two accomplices and confessed to two other arsons committed on Aug. 20 and 27.

The Federal Security Service (FSB) has reported the detention of a Russian citizen on charges of treason. He could face up to 20 years of imprisonment. According to the agency, the man allegedly collected and transmitted information about one of the military facilities in the Krasnodar region to a representative of the Ukrainian side through a messenger.

The Rostov Regional Court sentenced Ukrainian citizen Vladislav Ponamaryov to 12 years in prison for "espionage in favor of Ukraine." According to the court, Ponamaryov allegedly transmitted data to Ukraine about the location of Russian soldiers and information about the movement of military vehicles.


According to Vazhnyye Istorii [IStories, independent Russian investigative media outlet], Russian constituent subjects have allocated at least 2.5 billion rubles [$25.6 million] for payments and benefits to the children of participants in the war in Ukraine. The data indicates that thousands of children in each region may be left without fathers. Local authorities are providing children of war participants with transportation to school, hot meals, vacations at the Black Sea, education at universities, and scholarships by Day of Knowledge on Sept. 1.

The Ministry of Education and Science has developed a draft order that will grant participants in the war in Ukraine and their children the right to free preparatory courses at universities. This, as the ministry notes, will "increase the readiness of incoming students for higher education programs."

Yury Shvytkin, Deputy Chairman of the State Duma [lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia] Defense Committee, has highlighted issues concerning compensation for injuries sustained by contract soldiers from the Krasnoyarsk region. In one case, a payout of 3 million rubles was only obtained after a request to the Military Prosecutor's Office, while in at least two cases, payments have not yet been received, nor has the status of combat veteran been granted.


In Krasnoyarsk's universities, a minimum of 136 individuals gained admission free of charge through quotas designated for war participants in Ukraine and their children. A significant portion of them scored below the passing grade. In Yaroslavl's universities, 38 individuals gained admission through a similar military quota. Furthermore, a new course on the fundamentals of military training has been introduced in Yaroslavl's universities starting this academic year. Students will be taught how to provide first aid to the wounded and the rules of conduct in various combat scenarios. At Yaroslavl State Medical University, this course will be instructed by participants of the "special military operation."

For veterans who choose to engage in teaching after returning from the war, authorities have established a specialized retraining center, as announced by Minister of Education Sergey Kravtsov. Primarily, former war participants will teach Fundamentals of Security and Defense of the Motherland.

A kindergarten in the city of Nakhodka, Primorsky region, has established a military-patriotic group and held a festive initiation ceremony for cadets. Meanwhile, Pavel Matveev, who is seeking election for a deputy seat in Irkutsk, has organized a weaponry exhibition on a children's playground during a meeting with voters. He also encouraged enrollment for children aged six and above in the Young Special Forces program.

A meeting between a mobilized soldier and schoolshildren has been arranged in the village of Efremkasy in Russia's constituent Republic of Chuvashia. Additionally, students in the city of Kazan, the capital of Russia's constituent Republic of Tatarstan, were shown the documentary titled "We Stay" about the war in Ukraine as part of their "patriotic education."

VoZnesenie [AscenZion], the first Sunday cyber school has been opened in Russia. It will teach programming, 3D modeling, working with spiritual chants in audio editors, as well as, possibly, piloting drones. The school is claimed to be intended for the parishioners' children.


Belgorod officials have commissioned a cartoon about the war titled "OUR OWN." The main characters, as stated, will be the residents of the region who "defend their land," which includes a military paramedic, a volunteer, a tank driver, an operator of radio interception of air defense forces, and a boy Alyosha, waving goodbye to military vehicles heading to the frontline.