An autonomous group of soldiers’ relatives urging the Kremlin to order the withdrawal of mobilized troops from Ukraine has been banned by the widely used Russian social media platform VKontakte.
The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office requested that the Council of Wives and Mothers’ page be blocked, the group said on Sunday.
After accusing the Kremlin of leaving its members out of Friday’s meeting between President Vladimir Putin and the mothers of servicemen, the organisation was banned.
The council claims to speak for the relatives of draftees from 89 Russian localities and emerged after Putin announced a “partial” mobilization of reserves in September.
The movement’s roots are connected to a fringe political movement that has criticized Covid-19 restrictions during the pandemic and calls for a return to Soviet rule, according to media reports.
The mothers’ council acknowledged affiliations with the National Union of Russia’s Revival in its final post before being blocked, but refuted claims that it rejects Russian law.
Midway through November, protesters from the Council of Wives and Mothers gathered in front of the Western Military District’s command center to call for the return of mobilized soldiers from the front lines and the beginning of peace talks with Ukraine.
According to the Siberian Taiga.info news website, which claimed to have obtained the document, the group voted a resolution expressing mistrust toward Russian authorities who “dragged our country into a horrific armed struggle” and “disintegrated the Russian army.”
Vladimir Kiriyenko, the first deputy head of staff for the presidential administration, is in charge of VKontakte.
With extensive power over domestic policy, Sergei Kiriyenko is one of the most important leaders in Russian politics.
Putin Meets With Selected Group of Soldiers Mothers
President Vladimir Putin met with the mothers of soldiers who had recently been called up to fight in Ukraine on Friday at his home outside of Moscow, ahead of Mother’s Day celebrations in Russia on Sunday.
In his opening remarks, Putin told the women, “I realize quite well that for you, as for so many other women in Russia whose sons are in the conflict zone, the attitude towards this holiday… is coupled with a feeling of fear and anxiety.
In advance of Mother’s Day celebrations in Russia on Sunday, President Vladimir Putin hosted a meeting with the mothers of soldiers who had just been called up to fight in Ukraine on Friday at his home outside of Moscow.
In his opening remarks, Putin said to the women, “I recognize fully well that the attitude toward this holiday… is paired with a feeling of fear and concern for you, as it is for so many other women in Russia whose sons are in the battle zone.
“Those calls, which, by the way, were placed through their moms, were unexpected by them from me. I have every right to call [the soldiers] heroes in light of this. This is the truth, declared Putin.
Separately, the Russian president spoke to those whose sons had lost their lives in the Ukraine conflict, adding that all of Russia’s authorities felt their anguish.
This occasion also, obviously, triggers memories of this tragedy for those of you who have lost sons here. I want you to know that the entire national leadership, including me, feels your suffering. We are aware that losing a son or child cannot be replaced,” he stated.
According to the independently run Telegram channel Mozhem Obyasnit, the majority of the women who were invited to the meeting were later revealed to have connections to the government.
A local representative from the Siberian region of Tuva, a lawmaker from the ruling United Russia party for Moscow, and director Olesya Shigina, whose movies are known for being both pro-government and religiously conservative, were among those named.
Actor Olga Tsukanova, a member of the Council of Mothers and Wives, a non-profit group that advocates for the rights of conscripts, repeated the statements made by Mozhem Obyasnit.
Tsukanova referred to the women who had been invited to the Novo-Ogaryovo meeting as “pocket mothers” in a video that was broadcast online on Friday.