A group of women with white headscarves stand out in the snow-covered Russian woods. They have a strong request for Vladimir Putin, their president: please return our soldiers from the Ukraine. CONTINUE FULL READING>>>>>
They are a part of an increasingly popular grassroots movement spearheaded by mothers and spouses of some of the 300,000 Russian men who were enlisted in September 2022, which has been developing over the last few weeks. At that point, once the Ukrainian army had taken back control of a sizable portion of the nation, the Kremlin required more troops to fight in Ukraine.
Now, more than a year later, their husbands and sons are still on the front lines, and the women are fed up with the official propaganda that justifies the war. They are taking to the streets and writing open letters to challenge Putin’s invasion of a smaller nation.
According to The Guardian,One of the leaders of the movement is Maria Andreeva, a 34-year-old woman from Moscow.
She says she is not afraid to speak up against Putin. “Why should our men who led a peaceful life have to go to Ukraine?” she asks. “If our government decided to attack a smaller country, let the army fight but leave our men alone.”
Andreeva says the movement started in September, after a senior lawmaker announced that there would be no rotation for the troops in Ukraine and that they would only come back when the mission was over.
This is not the first time that Russian women have protested against a war. In 1994, during the first Chechen war, they formed a powerful anti-war movement that helped sway public opinion and influenced the Kremlin’s decision to end the conflict.
They were organised in groups like the Committee of Soldiers’ Mothers of Russia (CSM), which had hundreds of branches across the country. Their voice was heard on Russian television, when the media was not completely controlled by the state.
It is too early to tell if the current movement of Russian women will have a similar impact on a regime that is known for suppressing dissent. But their anger shows that not everyone in Russia supports the war in Ukraine and that Putin’s image of a strong and united nation is not as solid as he claims.
Andreeva is determined to keep protesting, even if it means risking jail. “We are tired of being good girls. It has got us nowhere.” CONTINUE FULL READING>>>>>