NewsWives of mobilised Russians demand answers outside the defence ministry

Wives of mobilised Russians demand answers outside the defence ministry

Wives of mobilised Russians protest in front of the Ministry of Defence
Wives of mobilised Russians protest in front of the Ministry of Defence
Images source: © Getty Images, Telegram
Justyna Lasota-Krawczyk

9 July 2024 08:01

Wives and relatives of mobilised Russians gathered outside the Ministry of Defence building, reports one of the activists, Paulina Safronova, on her Telegram channel. The assembled people are demanding a meeting with the Russian Defence Minister, Andrey Belousov, to discuss the return of their loved ones from the front lines.

Many of the reports from Russian media or government officials are propaganda. Such information is part of the Russian Federation's information war.

Many women arrived with children, and some brought tents and rugs. In one of the recordings, they say if Belousov does not meet with them, they will spend the night in front of the Defence Ministry building. Residents are bringing water and food for the activists, reports Safronova.

Reaction of the authorities and threats

So far, the relatives of the mobilised have not managed to meet with Belousov, but their activities have attracted the attention of the Russian authorities. A group of women posing as relatives of participants in the invasion of Ukraine arrived on the scene and organised provocations. In addition, Safronova began to receive threats and insults in her messages from war-supporting Russians.

"You are a complete scoundrel. You bring shame to your homeland, you creature. You sold your backside for foreign money. You are using a child for personal gain. Bitch. Such a mother should have her child taken away," wrote one of the Telegram users to the activist, who immediately blocked the user, apparently wanting to avoid an aggressive response.

Another unsuccessful action?

Previously, a similar action was carried out by the wives and mothers of the mobilised at the beginning of June outside the Ministry of Defence building. At that time, the women also demanded a meeting with the head of the department. They wanted to present their demands for bringing their loved ones back from the front lines and determining the "conditions of service in the Northern Military District". At the same time, none of the participants in the picket demanded that Russia stop the war in Ukraine. Even then, the Defence Minister did not come out to the protesters.

Instead of Belousov, Colonel General Borisenko met with the women and declared that their husbands would serve until the war's end in Ukraine. He accused the protesting wives outside the building of a "deliberate provocation" and feeding the opposition.

They want to send the authorities to the front

More radical demands are being made by activists in the "Way Home" movement. "We demand that particular other men replace our loved ones. The sons and husbands of those who from the screens convince our citizens that the war is good, who, with a predatory smile, talk about the possibility of a nuclear attack, who consider it an honour to die for the bloody goals of a handful of crazy old men," they wrote on their Telegram channel.

At the end of May, the Russian Ministry of Justice declared the "Way Home" movement a "foreign agent". According to the department, the organisation was spreading "false information aimed at creating a negative image" of Russia and its armed forces, as well as materials from "foreign agents".

Additionally, the Ministry of Justice accused the wives of the mobilisation of inciting participation in illegal activities and spreading "unreliable information" about the decisions and policies of the Russian authorities.

Paulina Safronova distances herself from the "Way Home" movement.

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