The wives of Russian men called up to fight in the war in Ukraine visited Vladimir Putin’s re-election campaign office in Moscow on Saturday to demand the return of their husbands from the front line, independent news outlet SOTA reported.
Upon arriving at the office, the women were reportedly met by members of a pro-Putin “Volunteer Squadron” and anti-extremism police.
In a heated exchange, footage of which was quickly made available by Russian Telegram channels, the women asked staffers when Putin would sign a demobilisation order that would allow their husbands to return home.
In response to their demands, one campaign staffer replied that demobilising the troops would “damage male dignity,” and that men should fight as if they were “warriors and God’s unique creations.”
The women, part of demobilisation campaign group The Way Home, were watched by around 10 police officers as they laid flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier outside the Kremlin before entering the Putin campaign’s election office nearby. One journalist covering the protest was detained but later released.
The gesture came in the wake of similar actions earlier this month, when around 15 women also laid flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and picketed government buildings around Moscow to demand the return of their husbands from the front.