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Updated December 19th, 2023 at 21:44 IST

'Go to the frontline and die': Wives of Russian troops slam Putin as war in Ukraine continues

Families of Russian soldiers stationed in Ukraine asked the Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday to go and fight on the frontline himself.

Reported by: Bhagyasree Sengupta
Vladimir Putin President of Russia
Vladimir Putin President of Russia | Image:AP
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As the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war continues to claim the lives of thousands of troops on both the sides, families of Russian soldiers asked the Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday to go and fight on the frontline himself. The group which mostly comprised of wives and mothers of the Russian troops urged the Russian leader to bring their loved ones home, expressing their discontent with the prolongation of the devastating war. In the span of a few months, the group has garnered international headlines in recent weeks for the messages and videos of discontent they often share on Telegram. 

“Vladimir [Putin], what have you brought people to?” demanded the soldiers’ partners on The Way Home, the group's Telegram channel, as per the report by Newsweek. The group went on to urge the Russian leader to sit on the negotiation and end the Russia-Ukraine war. “We Russians have no hope left under your leadership. Finish your work and sit down at the negotiating table,” the Women’s protest channel said.  “Let us live in peace! Or go to the front line yourself and die there,” the group concluded. 

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How the group's anger can impact Putin's 2024 presidential campaign

According to the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), the public condemnation of the war from  Way Home members likely concerns the Kremlin because it could negatively impact Putin's 2024 Presidential campaign. "Putin's presidential campaign will reportedly not focus on the war in Ukraine, and the Kremlin likely considers the relatives of mobilized personnel to be a social group that may pose one of the greatest threats to his campaign," the ISW wrote in its latest analysis. 

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A video was shared along with the message in which a Russian soldier stationed in Ukraine can be seen criticizing Putin. According to the Moscow Times, the Russian soldier condemned the Russian leader for not allowing troops to take leave from the battlefield. "I watched 'Direct Line' with our president ... and there's no hope, no signs that our mobilized boys will return home in the foreseeable future," the Russian soldier was heard saying in the video. He was referencing a show called “The Dircet Line” in which the Russian President was seen conducting a Q&A session. During the session held on December 14, Putin was asked when the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war would come to an end. "The peace will come when we reach our goals," Putin said. “And coming back to the goals, they remain unchanged. I will remind you it means denazification, demilitarization of Ukraine and its neutral status,” he added.

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Published December 19th, 2023 at 21:43 IST

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