A Russian woman is leading a campaign to bring her husband back from Ukraine, as she has heard rumors that exhausted Russian soldiers are purposefully sticking their hands out of trenches in order to get injured and rest, according to Russian outlet Govorit NeMoskva. The woman, who remains unnamed, is now joining forces with other Russian women to advocate for the return of their sons and husbands. She claims to have received messages from individuals who reveal that some soldiers want to get wounded in order to have a break. Although she did not disclose the source of these claims, she mentioned that she communicates with her husband and close friends who are on the front lines.
This is not the first time reports have emerged of Russian soldiers seeking injury to escape the fighting. In August 2022, a Russian paratrooper revealed that troops were intentionally shooting themselves in the leg to receive a $50,000 payout. Additionally, audio recordings released by Ukraine featured a Russian soldier informing his mother that his superior had shot himself to avoid combat.
Many Russian soldiers, who were mobilized to fight in Ukraine, have expressed the harsh conditions they face, including being overworked, lacking proper equipment, and being mistreated by their superiors. Families of soldiers have pleaded for their return to Russia, but doing so carries high risks, as individuals can be arrested or fined for discrediting the military.
The woman speaking to Govorit NeMoskva is a co-founder of a movement that is demanding the repatriation of Russian soldiers. Her husband, a sergeant, was called up in September 2022 with the assurance that he would return home after a maximum of six months. However, he remains in Ukraine thirteen months after his training began. During a two-week break in October, he was visibly quiet and unwilling to discuss the fighting. The woman expressed concerns that fatigue may lead to mistakes and harm among the soldiers.
The woman emphasized that her group, consisting of 8,000 members, is attempting to organize protests but is facing refusal from local Russian authorities. Notably, she did not criticize Russia’s invasion of Ukraine but believes that the soldiers mobilized in September 2022 should be allowed to stop fighting.
Overall, the campaign led by this Russian woman aims to bring attention to the alleged exhaustion and desperate measures taken by soldiers in Ukraine, urging for their return and improved treatment.