Usually, Putin and the Russian authorities rarely mention the losses suffered in Ukraine. However, now the Kremlin boss is meeting more than a dozen mothers whose sons are fighting in the aggressive war. There are also expressions of condolence for coffee cups.
More than nine months after the start of the war of aggression he ordered against Ukraine, Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin has expressed his condolences to the families of the fallen soldiers. Russian state media released a short video showing Putin receiving and handing coffee cups to more than a dozen selected women at his residence in Novo-Ogaryovo, Moscow Region.
"I want you to know that we share this pain with you and that we will of course do everything we can to ensure that you do not feel forgotten," Putin said at the meeting, according to the Interfax agency. "We do everything we can to ensure that you feel a shoulder at your side." According to official information, a total of 17 women traveled from various Russian regions and from areas of eastern Ukraine illegally annexed by Moscow.
In the face of military defeats, around 300,000 reservists have been called up for the fighting in Ukraine on Putin's orders since the end of September. The partial mobilization proved to be an extremely unpopular measure and triggered a mass exodus in Russia and the largest anti-war protests in months. The demonstrations were often organized by women.
"Life is more complicated than what you see on TV or the Internet, where you can't trust anything," Putin said. "There is a lot of fake news, deception and lies." That has always been the case, but with modern technology it has become "more significant and effective".
Critics complain that the Kremlin is using poorly trained men as cannon fodder in a hopeless war. In addition, reports of completely inadequately equipped recruits have accumulated in recent weeks. According to current assessments by British secret services, a large number of the Russian reservists who have been drafted have already fallen in Ukraine.