The mothers and wives of Russian soldiers sent to fight in Ukraine have slammed a meeting held by President Vladimir Putin on Friday with a handpicked group of women as “shameful.”
Members of the Council of Mothers and Wives, a grassroots movement, took to Telegram to voice their anger after the Kremlin announced that Putin met with the women in a highly publicized meeting in Novo-Ogaryovo on the outskirts of Moscow.
The organization’s leaders have said no mothers from the Council of Mothers and Wives were invited to the event, and accused the Kremlin of staging the meeting with women who would not openly criticize Putin and his partial mobilization decree.
“Shameful,” one woman wrote in the group’s Telegram channel on Friday afternoon.
“The meeting was clearly orchestrated a month ago, or even earlier… the script had already been written, the roles were distributed,” another member of the council wrote.
According to local media outlets, 18 women were selected to participate in the meeting. They all sat around a large, oval table with the Russian leader.
Among the participants were Moscow official and United Russia deputy Olga Beltseva, head of the executive committee of the All-Russian People’s Front in the Moscow region Yulia Belekhova and member of the Orekhovo-Zuyevo Public Chamber Marina Migunova.
According to We Can Explain, director Olesya Shigina, who shoots Orthodox patriotic films, sat closest to Putin.
It isn’t clear whether their relatives are participating in Putin’s war in Ukraine, however. Last month, during a radio interview with Russia’s Vesti FM radio station, Shigina brushed off criticism about Putin’s mobilization efforts.
“It is clear that life is more complicated and diverse than what is shown on TV screens or even on the internet—you can’t trust anything there at all, there are a lot of all sorts of fakes, deception, lies,” Putin told the women on Friday, adding that “we share your pain.”
“This is why we have gathered with you, that’s why I proposed this meeting, because I wanted to listen to you first-hand.”
Earlier this week, Olga Tsukanova, an activist with the council and the mother of a conscript from Russia’s Samara region, released a video accusing Putin of “hiding” from the mothers and wives of Russian soldiers sent to fight in Ukraine under his partial mobilization.
“Vladimir Vladimirovich, are you a man or what?” she began, and asked Putin whether he had the courage to meet with the council “in the open” and with women who “weren’t hand-picked.”
“Do you have enough courage to look into our eyes—openly, in a meeting with women who weren’t hand-picked for you? Women who aren’t in your pocket, but real mothers who have traveled here from different cities at their own expense to meet with you?” said Tsukanova.
“We are here, in Moscow, and we are ready to meet with you. We expect an answer from you. Are you going to keep hiding from us?”
Tsukanova asked again if Putin would be willing to speak with members of the Council of Mothers and Wives.
“Or will you just stay in hiding?”
Newsweek has contacted Russia’s foreign ministry for comment.
Their sons, if they have them, dont fight in anyway in Ukraine.
This meeting was a Potemkin Village, like everything else in mafia land is a Potemkin Village. This “meeting” once again exposed the cynicism and evilness of this crime syndicate regime.
I’d guess that those “handpicked” mothers of russian soldiers probably also got some large promises of “pensions” or “stipends.”
Maybe they are even hookers off the streets, promised a handful of cheap rubles to nick when asked and shake heads when required.