Mothers Rally In Sorrow Against Putin

Since September, when the Kremlin stated that several hundred thousand well-trained and well-equipped soldiers would be recruited and dispatched to the battlefield to reinforce Moscow’s failing effort in Ukraine, anger and fear have grown throughout Russia.

Even so, numerous reports of exempted individuals — the elderly or infirm — being sent to the front or soldiers dying after having almost little training forced the Kremlin to admit “errors.”

Putin’s Propaganda is Getting Worse

Putin is due to visit a group of military moms and spouses on Friday for the first time after ordering Russian soldiers into Ukraine nine months ago, a hint that he takes the increasing melancholy seriously.

However, some relatives have already regarded the gathering as carefully orchestrated and unsuitable for a candid conversation.

A mother activist, Olga Tsukanova, stated that the president would speak with moms who will ask the “appropriate” questions and express gratitude. As usual.

Her 20-year-old son is presently serving in the military, and she wants to prevent him from being transferred to Ukraine.

Tsukanova traveled along the Volga from the city of Samara to the Kremlin, hoping to be noticed.

Demanding Answers for the Dead

“I’m not the only one. Invite us, Vladimir Vladimirovich, reply to our questions!” Tsukanova said, using the president’s phonetic pronunciation to refer to him.

According to observers, the Kremlin is in a precarious situation due to indignation over the fate of mobilized men, which risks escalating into genuine unrest.

In spite of the extraordinary repression of political dissent as troops battle in Ukraine, in Russia, the word of mothers is precious.

Putting them in jail is not an option.

The sight of Putin’s enraged family may evoke painful memories from the beginning of his tenure more than 20 years ago.

In August of 2000, the Russian leader was criticized for reacting too late to the sinking of the Kursk submarine, which claimed the lives of 118 crew members.

Two wars in Chechnya contributed to the emergence of the mothers’ movement in Russia, which became a thorn in the side of the Kremlin.

This time, though, the situation has changed, with no independent press left in the nation and a de facto ban on criticizing Putin’s attack in public.

This indicates that there has been minimal public scrutiny of the Ukraine operation. In Russia, though, some have questioned the conditions under which kin are sent to fight.

Time To Hold Authority Accountable

The position of mothers and spouses as relatives of mobilized men defending the nation affords them a measure of security, as opposed to being viewed as regular opponents.

Sociologist Alexei Levinson of the autonomous Levada Centre stated, “There is a subliminal sense that women have the right to hold authority accountable.”

He cautioned that this is not a woman’s movement for peace.

They want the state to fulfill its role as the “collective father” of the mobilized.

Currently, the soldiers’ mothers’ movement is disorganized and fragmented, consisting primarily of concerned family members sharing videos on social media, where informal organizations have developed.

This is how Tsukanova, who has ties to the infamous opposition figure Svetlana Peunova, who is suspected of propagating political conspiracy theories in Russia, became engaged with the moms’ movement.

In an atmosphere of distrust not seen since the Soviet period, many women worry that speaking to the foreign press about the attack may result in difficulty and thus avoid doing so.

One woman told AFP in complete anonymity that they have submitted letters to authorities.

She stated that they are aware that journalists would not be the ones to rescue their boys from the trenches and do not wish to do them any pain.

This article appeared in NewsHouse and has been published here with permission.