Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zhelensky on Saturday called on mothers of Russian soldiers to stop sending their sons to “war” in Ukraine.
“I want to say this once again to Russian mothers, especially to forced mothers. Do not send your children to war abroad,” Mr. Zhelensky said in a new video broadcast on the Telegram.
“Look where your son is. If you have a suspicion that your son may be sent to war against Ukraine, take immediate action to prevent him from being killed or captured, he said.
“Ukraine never wants this terrible war. Ukraine does not want it, but it will defend itself to the extent necessary,” the Ukrainian president added.
On Wednesday, Russia acknowledged for the first time that there were detainees in Ukraine, and many of them were taken prisoner, with Moscow saying that until then only professional soldiers were fighting there.
The announcement came as calls from mothers without news of their sons being sent to Ukraine escalated on social networks.
For its part, Ukraine has already called for the return of the mothers of Russian soldiers captured on its border last week, and Kiev says it has taken dozens of prisoners since the start of the invasion of Moscow.
The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense later released telephone numbers and emails so that mothers could obtain information about their sons who are being held captive in Ukraine.
During the conflict between the Moscow and Chechen separatists in the 1990s and 2000s, many young Russian soldiers were sent forward and some were captured.
The soldiers’ mothers later rallied to retrieve them alive or retrieve their bodies, which did not hesitate to go there, which sparked anti-war protests in Russia.