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“They were being shot at from all sides”: Wives of mobilized Russians from Vologda demand to return men from front line “hell”

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Residents of Vologda, a city in northwest Russia, have recorded a video appeal to the regional governor and “higher authorities,” demanding that their mobilized husbands and sons, who had been deployed to the front lines near Svatove in the Luhansk region without training or equipment, return home.

The video was published by Elena Kuznetsova, one of the petitioners.

According to the women, the men were drafted on October 1, and were deployed to the Luhansk region little over two weeks later – on October 16. The Vologda residents complained that “the [draftees'] training was conducted at a very low level – they went to the shooting range four times.” The men were told that they were going “to protect [occupied] territory and secure the rear.” Having reached their destination, they ended up “surviving in the trenches” while the command settled down in “warm houses.”

On November 1, the draftees were sent to the front line near Svatove. They were told to dig in “without shovels, without equipment, without everything,” say the women. The draftees only had submachine guns, and came under heavy fire.

“The guys came under the strongest and deadliest artillery fire from the AFU, were subjected to mortar shelling and drone attacks. The guys were being shot at from all sides, they were trapped, and they were killed. Both the enemy and our artillery were shooting at our guys,” the women stressed.

They did not specify how many people came under fire, where they are now, and how many were wounded or killed.

“The time has come to act, not to think and wait for everyone to be chopped up in this bloody meat grinder! Please bring our husbands and our sons back from this hell!” – the women demanded.

On November 9, over 20 relatives of those mobilized from the Voronezh, Kursk, and Belgorod regions came to a military unit in the border town of Valuyki, Belgorod, and demanded that their husbands, who came under fire in Makiivka, be transported back to Russian territory. One of the women said that about 159 survivors from four brigades were trying to get to their loved ones from Luhansk, and were carrying the wounded “on their backs.”

The soldiers’ relatives claim that if they do not get help, they will go to the front line to rescue the men themselves.

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