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Putin’s Victory ‘Spit in the Face,’ Wives of Mobilized Soldiers Say

Wives of mobilized Russian soldiers. RFE/RL

The wives of mobilized Russian soldiers campaigning for their return from Ukraine said Monday that Vladimir Putin’s victory in the March 15-17 presidential election was a “spit in the face.” 

Russian election authorities announced earlier in the day that Putin had secured his fifth term in office with 87.28% of the vote, a new record in a political playing field cleared of all major opponents.

“The election results didn’t come as a surprise to us. But 87% is outright falsification, a blatant spit in our face,” the Put’ Domoi (“A Way Home”) movement wrote on the messaging app Telegram.

“These results are just a reminder that our work isn’t done yet. We must continue to move forward despite the obstacles and unite to achieve our common goal of demobilization,” it added.

The movement initially pledged loyalty to Moscow’s so-called “special military operation” in Ukraine, and later the “partial” mobilization of around 300,000 reserves in late 2022.

However, the group has become increasingly hostile toward Putin after seeing his unwillingness to return mobilized soldiers home more than a year into their service.

Pro-war bloggers with large social media followings have also gradually called on Putin to demobilize the recruits as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine enters its third year.

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