Wives and mothers of mobilised Russian soldiers protest outside Defence Ministry — Novaya Gazeta Europe
NewsPolitics

Wives and mothers of mobilised Russian soldiers protest outside Defence Ministry

Members of The Way Home group demonstrate outside of the Defence Ministry in Moscow, 3 June 2024. Photo: The Way Home / Telegram

Members of The Way Home group demonstrate outside of the Defence Ministry in Moscow, 3 June 2024. Photo: The Way Home / Telegram

Russian advocacy group The Way Home held an unsanctioned protest outside the Ministry of Defence in Moscow on Monday to demand rapid demobilisation.

Calling on Russia’s new Defence Minister Andrey Belousov to address their concerns, the wives and mothers of conscripted Russian soldiers held up signs demanding that mobilised soldiers be allowed to return home from the front.

Police vans arrived outside the Defence Ministry shortly after the protest began, and officers warned participants that their demonstration constituted an “illegal action”. The women continued to hold up their signs, however. “We are putting the signs down because we were promised that a representative of the Defence Ministry would come out now,” Paulina, the wife of a mobilised soldier, said in a video posted to Telegram.

A Defence Ministry representative, Colonel-General Borisenko, whose first name is not stated, did eventually come out to speak with the group, apparently telling the women that a government decree would be required to demobilise conscripted soldiers.

Borisenko then accused the women of “rocking the boat”, told them that they had no right to call themselves “Russian citizens” after mounting such a protest, and urged the crowd to petition the Defence Ministry through official channels rather than protesting.

The Way Home is an informal grouping of the wives and mothers of mobilised soldiers that has become increasingly outspoken in its demands that their loved ones be allowed to return home from the front after being away for over a year in many cases. It was labelled a “foreign agent” by the Justice Ministry on Friday.

pdfshareprint
Editor in chief — Kirill Martynov. Terms of use. Privacy policy.