Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky on Saturday has asked mothers of Russian troops to stop their sons from being sent to war in Ukraine.
President Zelenskyy said in a video address released via Telegram, “I wanted to say this to Russian mothers once again, especially mothers of conscripts. Please do not send your children to war in a foreign country.”
During the address, he said, “Check where your son is. And if you have the tiniest suspicion that your son could be sent to war against Ukraine, act immediately” to prevent him from being killed or arrested.
President Zelenskyy added, “Ukraine never wanted this war. And Ukraine does not want it. But Ukraine will defend itself as much as necessary.”
On Wednesday, Russia acknowledged the presence of conscripts in Ukraine for the first time and announced that a number of them had been taken prisoner.
Earlier, Moscow had stated that only professional troops were fighting in Ukraine. The claims came as posts from mothers being unaware about the news of their sons being sent to Ukraine multiplied on social media.
Last week, Kyiv invited mothers of Russian troops arrested on its territory to come and take up their children.
The Ukrainian defence ministry published phone numbers & an email id via which they could have information about them.
Meanwhile, Kyiv claims to have taken dozens of prisoners since the start of the Russian invasion.
During the conflict between Moscow and Chechen separatists in the 1990s and 2000s, many young Russian conscripts were sent to the front, and some were taken prisoner.
In a movement that fuelled anti-war protests in Russia at the time, women mobilised to try and bring their sons back alive or bring their bodies back — even going to Chechnya themselves.