'We share your pain': Putin's meeting with soldiers' mothers criticised by advocacy groups
Guardian, 26 Nov 2022
The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, has met mothers of Russian soldiers fighting in Ukraine. Around a table laid with tea, cakes and bowls of fresh berries, he told them he shared in their suffering and the entire Russian leadership understood the pain of those who had lost their sons. 'We will be doing everything so that you don't feel forgotten,' Putin told them. The president also said he had no regrets about launching what the Kremlin has dubbed a 'special military operation' against Ukraine. Advocates of the soldiers' families and rights groups, however, said Putin snubbed them for the meeting. Valentina Melnikova, who has been an advocate for soldiers' families for more than three decades, told the Guardian that 'they didn’t invite us and we of course don’t want to go'.
Families of drafted Russian soldiers accuse Putin of snubbing them