Putin accuses media of ‘lies’ in meeting with soldier’s mother

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday met with the mother of a Russian soldier fighting in Ukraine on what he said were distorted media reports of Moscow’s military operations in Ukraine. accused of

“Life is more difficult and more diverse than what you see on TV screens or even the Internet. There are so many fakes, cheats and lies out there,” Putin said.

Meetings with a dozen women in the Kremlin have been held as uncertainty continues as to whether enlistment efforts will resume in the face of recent battlefield setbacks.

According to Kremlin transcripts and photos of the meeting, Putin said he sometimes speaks directly to the military by phone.

“I spoke with (the military) who surprised me with their moods, their attitudes to the issue. They didn’t expect these calls from me… gives me all the reasons to say, ”Putin said.

Relatives of some soldiers complained that they were not invited to the conference, following Putin’s leadership and the recent “partial mobilization” in which defense officials said 300,000 reservists had been called up. directly criticized the

Olga Tsukanova of the Council of Mothers and Wives, a movement formed by the relatives of mobilized soldiers, said in a video message on the Telegram message app authorities ignored inquiries and requests from her organization.

“We are here in Moscow ready to meet you. We are waiting for your reply,” she told Putin directly.

“You have the Ministry of Defense, the Military Prosecutor’s Office, strong people in the presidential office, and on the other side your mother. Will you start a dialogue or hide?” she said in a message.Some Russian news outlets. Some of the women who met with Putin on Friday were members of pro-Kremlin social movements, the ruling United Russia Party, or local officials who support Putin’s government, according to an unconfirmed report by .

Valentina Melnikova of the Union of Soldiers’ Mothers Committee, a Russian rights group, told the independent Verstka publication earlier this week that its members were also not invited to the meeting.

Since October, relatives of mobilized soldiers have organized protests in more than a dozen regions of Russia, urging authorities to release them from frontline duties and provide them with adequate food rations, shelter and facilities. I asked for confirmation.

The Associated Press, independent Russian media, and activists report that many of the mobilized reservists were inexperienced and were told to procure their own basic items, such as medical kits and anti-aircraft artillery jackets, before being deployed. Some were reported dead within days.

In Russia, concerns persist over whether the Kremlin will resume mobilization efforts as Ukrainian forces continue to counterattack in the south and east of the country. Moscow suffered a series of battlefield setbacks, losing territories in the northeastern Kharkov and southern Kherson regions.

Russian officials declared last month that “partial mobilization” was complete, but critics said it would resume after the military enlistment office was relieved of processing conscripts from Russia’s annual autumn draft. It warns that it may