Vladimir Putin, the president of the aggressor country, supposedly met with the mothers of soldiers fighting against Ukraine on 25 November. An independent news outlet has identified the women who attended the meeting.
Source: Mozhem Obyasnit (We Can Explain), a Russian news outlet
Details: Mozhem Obyasnit reported that one of the women talking to Putin about the problems of the military was Olga Beltseva, a Moscow-based official, member of the United Russia party, deputy director of the state-funded Youth Centre for Leisure and Sports and a member of the Otradnoye Council of Deputies. As she herself states on her social media, her speciality is "providing social assistance to vulnerable citizens".
The Russian president also talked to Yuliya Belekhova, the head of the Moscow region executive committee of the pro-government All-Russian People's Front (APF). Belekhova also heads the Association of Chairpersons of Councils of Apartment Buildings in Moscow Oblast. In 2016, she was included on the list of United Russia candidates for the State Duma [the lower chamber of the Russian Parliament], but did not get through.
Another of the women identified is Nadezhda Uzunova, who is responsible for collecting humanitarian aid for conscripts for the Combat Brotherhood organisation in Ust-Abakan [in the Far East of Russia] . "Nadezhda Uzunova was very worried because she could not list all the representatives of the business community who responded to the disaster," local media reported.
The journalists also spotted Marina Migunova, a member of the Civic Chamber of Orekhovo-Zuyevo, Moscow Oblast, who also collects humanitarian aid for conscripts.
Irina Tas-ool, a government official from the Republic of Tyva who works as the head of the Family, Youth and Sport department in the Kaa-Khem District Administration, has also joined the meeting with President Putin to discuss the problems faced by soldiers’ mothers.
Olesya Shygina, the most creative of all mothers, a director who makes orthodox, patriotic films, was seated to Putin’s right. She made The Way, a film about two friends’ journey from Moscow to the Russky Island; on their way, the two women visit monasteries, stay with local families and ask the people they meet about what it’s like to live in Russia.
Zharadat Aguyeva sat to Putin’s left; the member of Chechen "aristocracy" was wearing a black head scarf. Her sons hold high-ranking positions in the armed forces and law enforcement: Ismail Aguyev is the commander of the West-Akhmat Battalion and Rustam Aguyev is the head of the Kurchaloy Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation. Both are fighting in Ukraine. Ramzan Kadyrov, the head of Chechnya, has called Rustam Aguyev his "brother" on numerous occasions and regularly shares Ismail Aguyev’s "heroic achievements" on his Telegram.
- Russia has lost about 86,150 soldiers, 2,899 tanks and 1,895 artillery systems in its war of aggression against Ukraine.
- According to British Defence Intelligence, the deployment of Russian conscripts to the war against Ukraine is "often characterised by confusion over eligibility for service, inadequate training and personal equipment, and commitment to highly attritional combat missions".