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Putin 'met with the mothers of soldiers' at his personal residence, Kremlin says

Source: Meduza
Alexander Shcherbak / TASS

Russian President Vladimir Putin “met with the mothers of soldiers” participating in the war in Ukraine, the Kremlin’s press service reported on November 25. The meeting took place at the official presidential residence in Novo-Ogaryovo.

At the start of the event, Putin said that he “decided to talk with soldiers’ mothers” so he could hear their assessments, opinions, ideas, and suggestions “firsthand.” He pledged to do his best to ensure that everything they talked about is “taken into account and used in real life.”

The president mentioned at the meeting that he spoke earlier to participants of the war in Ukraine (something not previously reported). He claimed that he contacted the soldiers by phone through their mothers.

Sometimes I talk to them — I spoke by phone directly with some of the guys. In any case, I spoke to some whose mood, whose attitude towards this business, actually surprised me. They didn’t expect to get calls from me — these calls were also through their moms, by the way. It gives me every reason to say they’re heroes. That’s the truth.

Judging from the video released by the president’s press service, 18 women took part in the meeting. The Telegram channel Mozhem Obyasnit claimed to have identified several of the participants, including Moscow official and United Russia deputy Olga Beltseva, All-Russia People's Front regional head Yulia Belekhova, and Orekhovo-Zuyevo Russian Civic Chamber member Marina Migunova. According to Mozhem Obyasnit, the person sitting closest to Putin was director Olesya Shigina, who makes patriotic films.

It’s unclear whether all of the women actually have children fighting in Ukraine. Suna Nabiyeva, a meeting participant from Dagestan, told Putin that her son Enver graduated from the Kazan Higher Tank Command School, served in Buryatia, and has been fighting in Ukraine since the first day of the full-scale war. Another woman said that her son Konstantin Pshenichkin “joined the militia” in 2014 and later died in the war.

Putin’s plan to meet with the “soldiers’ mothers” was made public just a few days before the event, on November 22. Members of the organization Council of Wives and Mothers criticized the Putin administration for not inviting any of them to the meeting. Council organizer Olga Tsukanova suggested that only “puppet mothers” would be invited.

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