November 28, 2023

Beware the Wives and Mothers


Beware the Wives and Mothers
Military exercises. Yevgeny Kel, Wikimedia Commons

The sentiments of Russian women whose loved ones were mobilized for Russia's War on Ukraine pose a risk factor that "foreign ill-wishers" may exploit to destabilize the situation within the Russian Federation.

This assessment was conveyed during a seminar dedicated to preparing Russia for the election campaign for the March 17, 2024, presidential elections, attended by vice-governors for domestic policy and representatives of regional election commissions.

Kommersant sources urged local governments to stay in contact with these women, address their problems, and provide assistance in resolving their concerns. A source from one of the regional administrations, cited by the Russian news outlet The Insider, confirmed that working with the wives of mobilized citizens is a top priority for governors, per the presidential administration. The directive is clear: prevent protests at any cost, employing persuasion, promises, and financial incentives. The goal is to avoid any public demonstrations.

Sources from Verstka corroborated this summary, adding that the presidential administration has recommended that regional officials use various payments to pacify the wives and mothers of those mobilized.

In the past two weeks, it has been reported that close relatives of combatants have requested permission to hold rallies advocating for the rotation of mobilized citizens and the return of those serving for an extended period. However, such rallies were not approved in either Moscow or Krasnoyarsk. In Moscow, however, on November 7, approximately 20 women participated in a demonstration carrying posters with messages like "It's time for the mobilized to come home" and "No indefinite mobilization." Notably, this was part of a larger traditional rally organized by the KPRF (Communist Party of the Russian Federation) commemorating the anniversary of the October Revolution.

Novosibirsk was another city where the wives and mothers of the mobilized organized. Although the authorities did not officially approve the rally, they agreed to hold a meeting at the local House of Culture. Attendance was granted to those who filled out a special form via chat, with a cautionary note: "Prepare posters with slogans about your pain, but keep in mind that the poster must be approved at the entrance."

Apart from physical gatherings, in recent months the wives and mothers of the mobilized have orchestrated massive flash mobs publicized via social networks, facing censorship from the authorities.

Mobilization was declared on September 21, 2022, with Russian authorities reporting the mobilization of 300,000 persons. Many have already lost their lives. A recent study revealed that, on average, Russian conscripts perished in Ukraine after just four and a half months of service, and every fifth conscript did not survive for more than two months. Those who endure are obligated to continue their service.

Andrey Kartapolov, chairman of the State Duma Committee on Defense, asserts that there are no provisions for the rotation of mobilized conscripts, and they are expected to return home only after the conclusion of the war.

You Might Also Like

Do Not Talk to Foreigners
  • November 19, 2023

Do Not Talk to Foreigners

The Russian Ministry of Science and Higher Education is collecting personal data of students and teachers who have been in contact with foreigners.
No More Music
  • November 08, 2023

No More Music

So far this year, Yandex.Music has eradicated more than 4000 bits of content.
Like this post? Get a weekly email digest + member-only deals

Some of Our Books

Murder and the Muse

Murder and the Muse

KGB Chief Andropov has tapped Matyushkin to solve a brazen jewel heist from Picasso’s wife at the posh Metropole Hotel. But when the case bleeds over into murder, machinations, and international intrigue, not everyone is eager to see where the clues might lead.
The Moscow Eccentric

The Moscow Eccentric

Advance reviewers are calling this new translation "a coup" and "a remarkable achievement." This rediscovered gem of a novel by one of Russia's finest writers explores some of the thorniest issues of the early twentieth century.
Moscow and Muscovites

Moscow and Muscovites

Vladimir Gilyarovsky's classic portrait of the Russian capital is one of Russians’ most beloved books. Yet it has never before been translated into English. Until now! It is a spectactular verbal pastiche: conversation, from gutter gibberish to the drawing room; oratory, from illiterates to aristocrats; prose, from boilerplate to Tolstoy; poetry, from earthy humor to Pushkin. 
22 Russian Crosswords

22 Russian Crosswords

Test your knowledge of the Russian language, Russian history and society with these 22 challenging puzzles taken from the pages of Russian Life magazine. Most all the clues are in English, but you must fill in the answers in Russian. If you get stumped, of course all the puzzles have answers printed at the back of the book.
Murder at the Dacha

Murder at the Dacha

Senior Lieutenant Pavel Matyushkin has a problem. Several, actually. Not the least of them is the fact that a powerful Soviet boss has been murdered, and Matyushkin's surly commander has given him an unreasonably short time frame to close the case.
At the Circus

At the Circus

This wonderful novella by Alexander Kuprin tells the story of the wrestler Arbuzov and his battle against a renowned American wrestler. Rich in detail and characterization, At the Circus brims with excitement and life. You can smell the sawdust in the big top, see the vivid and colorful characters, sense the tension build as Arbuzov readies to face off against the American.
Fearful Majesty

Fearful Majesty

This acclaimed biography of one of Russia’s most important and tyrannical rulers is not only a rich, readable biography, it is also surprisingly timely, revealing how many of the issues Russia faces today have their roots in Ivan’s reign.
The Little Humpbacked Horse

The Little Humpbacked Horse

A beloved Russian classic about a resourceful Russian peasant, Vanya, and his miracle-working horse, who together undergo various trials, exploits and adventures at the whim of a laughable tsar, told in rich, narrative poetry.
The Little Golden Calf

The Little Golden Calf

Our edition of The Little Golden Calf, one of the greatest Russian satires ever, is the first new translation of this classic novel in nearly fifty years. It is also the first unabridged, uncensored English translation ever, and is 100% true to the original 1931 serial publication in the Russian journal 30 Dnei. Anne O. Fisher’s translation is copiously annotated, and includes an introduction by Alexandra Ilf, the daughter of one of the book’s two co-authors.

About Us

Russian Life is a publication of a 30-year-young, award-winning publishing house that creates a bimonthly magazine, books, maps, and other products for Russophiles the world over.

Latest Posts

Our Contacts

Russian Life
73 Main Street, Suite 402
Montpelier VT 05602

802-223-4955