A group of Russian wives and mothers have called on President Vladimir Putin to stop sending their husbands and sons “to the slaughter” by forcing them to join assault groups without adequate training or supplies.
In a video shared by the independent Russian Telegram channel SOTA, the women said their loved ones had been “forced to join assault groups” at the beginning of March despite having just four days training since their mobilization in September.
The video shows the women holding a sign in Russian that reads, “580 Separate Howitzer Artillery Division,” dated March 11, 2023.
“My husband… is located on the line of contact with the enemy,” says one woman in the recording.
“Our mobilized [men] are being sent like lambs to the slaughter to storm fortified areas – five at a time, against 100 heavily armed enemy men,” she continued.
“They are prepared to serve their homeland but according to the specialization they’ve trained for, not as stormtroopers. We ask that you pull back our guys from the line of contact and provide the artillerymen with artillery and ammunition.”
Russia’s move to send hundreds of thousands to fight on the battlefields of Ukraine has generated dissent and protest and prompted many Russians – young men in particular – to flee the country.
“We ran away from Russia because we want to live,” one man, who asked not to be identified to protect loved ones left behind, previously told us. “We are afraid that we can be sent to Ukraine.”
Families of drafted Russian men have criticized the mobilization, saying it is beset by problems such as discipline issues and lack of leadership from mid-ranking officers, non-existent training as well as logistical difficulties like insufficient uniforms, poor food and a lack of medical supplies.