War in Ukraine

Putin tells mothers of soldiers killed in Ukraine he ‘shares this pain’

President Vladimir Putin has told mothers of killed Russian soldiers that he empathised with them, saying he shared in their suffering and loss of their sons.

In a meeting today with the bereaved mothers of Russian military killed on the frontline of his war, Putin said that he shared their pain and told them not to believe the ‘fake news’ about his invasion.

Hundreds of thousands of Russian soldiers have been sent to fight in Ukraine – including some of the more than 300,000 reservists who were called up as part of a mobilisation announced by Putin in September.

Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with mothers of military personnel deployed to the front-line of his war, pictured today, November 25

Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with mothers of military personnel deployed to the front-line of his war, pictured today, November 25

The war in Ukraine has killed or wounded tens of thousands of soldiers on both sides, according to the United States’ estimations. The Russian invasion has also triggered the biggest confrontation between Moscow and the West since the 1962 Cuban Missile crisis.

Putin sat with the 17 women in his palatial residence in Novo-Ogaryovo, west of Moscow, surrounded by a table filled with tea, cakes and bowls of fresh berries, claiming that felt their loss.

Putin said he understood the anxiety and concern of soldiers’ mothers – and the pain of those who had lost sons in Ukraine. 

‘I would like you to know that, that I personally, and the whole leadership of the country – we share your pain,’ Putin said.

‘We understand that nothing can replace the loss of a son – especially for a mother,’ he said, breathing heavily, and frequently clearing his throat. ‘We share this pain.’

Footage showed the mothers listening to Putin’s remarks, but their own comments to the Russian president were not shown in the recorded television clip.

Putin told them he has no regrets about launching his war – or what he claims is Russia’s ‘special military operation’ against Ukraine.

He also told the bereaved mothers not to trust what they were reading on the internet about his calamitous war.

‘You can’t trust anything there at all, there are all sorts of fakes, deception, lies,’ Putin said.

Putin told the mothers he has no regrets about launching what he calls Russia's

Putin told the mothers he has no regrets about launching what he calls Russia’s ‘special military operation’ against Ukraine

Putin told the Russian mothers: 'I would like you to know that, that I personally, and the whole leadership of the country - we share your pain'

Putin told the Russian mothers: ‘I would like you to know that, that I personally, and the whole leadership of the country – we share your pain’

Putin also told them he has no regrets about launching his war - or what he claims is Russia's 'special military operation' against Ukraine

Putin also told them he has no regrets about launching his war – or what he claims is Russia’s ‘special military operation’ against Ukraine

Putin said he sometimes called Russian soldiers on the frontline and said that their words had made them heroes in his eyes.

But the meeting came as Putin faces increased opposition from other mothers of soldiers used by the Russian leader for his war. They accused him of snubbing a meeting with them.

In a Telegram message sent out before Putin’s scheduled meeting, activist and head of the Council of Mothers and Wives, Olga Tsukanova, said: ‘The mothers will ask the ‘correct’ questions that were agreed beforehand.’

Tsukanova wrote: ‘Vladimir Vladimirovich – are you a man or who are you? Do you have the courage to meet us face to face, openly, not with pre-agreed women and mothers who are in your pocket, but with real women who have travelled from different cities here to meet with you? We await your answer.’

The Russian leader continues to spin propaganda, claiming the war as a watershed moment when Russia can finally stand up to an arrogant Western hegemony after decades of humiliation in the years since the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union.

Ukraine and the West say Putin has no justification for what they cast as an imperial-style war of occupation. Ukraine says it will fight until the last Russian soldier is ejected from its territory. 

Russia last publicly disclosed its losses on September 21, when Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said 5,937 Russian soldiers had been killed. But that number is far below most international estimates.

The United States’ top general estimated that, as of November 9, Russia and Ukraine had each seen more than 100,000 of their soldiers killed or wounded.

Putin will ‘mobilise another 2 million including 300,000 women’

Speculation is swirling in Russia that Vladimir Putin will soon demand a massive new mobilisation drive in a desperate effort to halt calamitous defeats to Ukraine.

This comes despite Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warning Moscow that it must withdraw from all occupied territories if there is to be any lasting resolution to the war.

It’s also been predicted that such a move could be a diversion tactic for Putin to step down and hand over power, with the leader reportedly suffering ill health in recent months.

Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov today denied the Kremlin warmonger would make an imminent announcement.

‘Media information about Putin’s address, which allegedly will announce the ‘mobilisation of the country’ is not true,’ said Dmitry Peskov.

Yet such denials are only fuelling speculation that a move to go beyond the 300,000-plus already conscripted is not far away.

This is in part because Putin has failed to sign the necessary decree to end the first wave of mobilisation.

One version is that he could draft up to two million – including 300,000 women – in an attempt to turn the war into a national crusade.

The move is likely to be coupled with martial law in key cities, including Moscow, say Russian sources.

Such a scenario might act as political cover enabling him to hand over power in the event of worsening health, say some observers convinced he is terminally ill – despite regular recent appearances, including foreign travel to Armenia.

Putin-watcher Valery Solovey, former professor at Moscow’s prestigious Institute of International Relations, said: ‘The intention [is] to mobilise not 300,000, 400,000, or 500,000 but, with luck, up to two million people, including 300,000 women after the New Year celebrations.

‘Moreover, it is planned to conduct mobilisation at the same time as introducing martial law.’

Solovey is also convinced Putin will go within the next 13 months due to his spreading cancer. 


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