Russian mothers who believe their sons have been sent into war by Vladimir Putin as cannon fodder are lashing out at him, desperately seeking an end to the invasion. Russia’s Committee of Soldiers’ Mothers spoke to a Russian investigative news outlet saying many young boys have been pressured and even forced to sign contracts to join the Russian Military.
“Mothers are telling us that their sons have been calling them and saying they’re being forced to sign contracts…the parents who have gotten in touch have told us their sons were just taken by military officers, stamped, and that’ sit – now they’re contract soldiers” said Olga Larkina, the group’s director.
Putin has disputed the claims and addressed the mothers directly. “I’d like to address the mothers, wives, sisters, brides and girlfriends of our soldiers and officers who are in battle now,” he said in a televised address, according to a translation from Russian.
“I know how worried you are for your loved ones…you can be proud of them just as the whole country is proud and feels for them.”
“We were all deceived, all deceived,” a woman shouted at Sergey Tsivilev, governor of the Kuzbass region in Siberia, on a video translated by the Telegraph and shared to social media. “They were sent there as cannon fodder. They are young. They were unprepared.”
Fox News reports:
Putin claimed Russian troops, which he sent in last month in a stalled bid to topple the government in Kyiv, have deployed for a defensive “special military operation.”
He also claimed that “conscripted soldiers” played no role in combat operations in Ukraine and vowed not to mobilize additional reserves.
However, just days into the invasion last month reports emerged that conscripted soldiers had been forced to sign military contracts and were cut off from communications with their families.
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American Citizens Released in Prisoner Exchange with Iran Return Home
WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a significant diplomatic development, five American citizens who were detained in Iran have been successfully released and are on their way back to the United States.
The five Americans, along with two family members, arrived safely in Doha, Qatar on Monday after departing from Iran. This release comes as part of a prisoner exchange agreement between the United States and Iran, accompanied by the return of $6 billion in frozen funds to Iran.
A White House official commented on this, stating, “The president is making five families whole again.” The $6 billion in frozen funds, a substantial part of this exchange, arrived in Qatar on Sunday night, leading to Iran’s decision to release the American detainees. Qatar has played a crucial role as an intermediary for negotiations between the U.S. and Iran.
President Biden, in a statement on Monday, expressed his satisfaction with the successful exchange and revealed that two of the American citizens involved had requested that their identities remain undisclosed. He also used the opportunity to call upon the Iranian regime to provide a full account of the disappearance of Bob Levinson, a former FBI agent who went missing in Iran.
“The Levinson family deserves answers,” President Biden stated. He further announced sanctions against former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence under the Levinson Act for their involvement in wrongful detentions.
Secretary of State Tony Blinken held a press conference later on Monday to address the release and answer questions from reporters. Blinken expressed his relief at the return of the American citizens and emphasized the U.S. government’s dedication to punishing countries that unlawfully imprison U.S. citizens.
He clarified that the prisoner swap was negotiated separately from discussions regarding the Iran nuclear deal, cautioning against interpreting the exchange as an indicator of progress in the nuclear negotiations, though there are many skeptics raising concern across social media platforms.
The Biden administration has underscored that Qatar will retain control of the $6 billion that is being unfrozen and will allocate it to Iran exclusively for humanitarian purposes. However, some Iran watchdogs have voiced concerns, claiming that this move is insufficient.
According to reports from Fox News, Benham Taleblu, a senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, stated, “The Islamic Republic must be beaming now. Despite rhetoric from Washington about supporting the Iranian people, in practice with the waiver and random payment, the Biden administration is now effectively helping Tehran signal that no matter what the regime does, it will not be met with meaningful pressure.”
Furthermore President Donald J Trump took to Truth social Monday commenting on the deal current President Joe Biden made stating, “This absolutely ridiculous 6 Billion Dollar Hostage Deal with Iran has set a terrible PRECEDENT for the future. Buckel up, you are going to see some terrible things start to happen. The 3 years ago highly respected USA has become a laughingstock all over the WORLD. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN. VOTE TRUMP!!!”
The release of these American citizens and the accompanying fund transfer mark a questionable development in U.S.-Iran relations. The path forward remains complex and uncertain as both nations grapple with long-standing issues and ongoing negotiations surrounding the Iran nuclear deal.
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