A Russian mother has successfully had her sons deported from Ukraine by the Russian authorities.
Her two sons were conscripts but never intended to serve in the Ukrainian war, the mother told the BBC.
She won her case with the military prosecutor and said she “lied to my face”.
A Russian mother who was initially enthusiastic about conscripting her two sons into the Russian army last year forced Putin’s government to send her sons home after discovering they had been wrongly sent to fight in Ukraine, according to the BBC.
Marina, a pseudonym used by the BBC for fear of reprisals, told the outlet that in 2021 she told her two sons ‘it was their duty to the fatherland’ and that they were conscripted for a year in the country’s army.
But months into 2022, Marina worried for her boys as Russian troops built on the Ukrainian border. When Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a military invasion in the neighboring country on February 24, Marina stopped hearing from her sons.
“Time stood still for me. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t sleep,” she told the BBC. “I exchanged messages with the mothers of other conscripts in the same unit. It turned out that many of them had also lost contact with their children.”
In early March, after weeks of denying sending young conscripts to war, Igor Konashenkov, spokesman for the Russian Ministry of Defense admitted that Russia had sent conscripts to Ukraine – and that they were among the victims.
Marina told the BBC that after weeks and an attempt to travel to Ukraine herself, she heard from colleagues in her son’s unit that her sons had signed military contracts to fight in Ukraine.
“I have written to the Attorney General’s office asking to investigate,” Marina told the BBC. “I told them that it was impossible that my sons had signed military contracts. I was sure of it. Other mothers wrote too. They all knew their children.”
On March 9, the military prosecutor’s office investigated Marina’s complaint and sent her sons back to Russia soon after, given that they had never signed military contracts to fight in Ukraine.
“The guys who came back were so skinny, dirty and exhausted,” Marina told the BBC. “Their clothes were torn. My son said, ‘You better not know what happened there.’ But all I cared about was that he came back alive.”
She added that throughout the war, military officers “lied to my face”.
“First they lied saying my sons weren’t in Ukraine. Then they lied saying they had signed military contracts. The officers lied, the sergeants lied,” he said. she told the BBC. “Later someone told me they weren’t allowed to tell me the truth. Unbelievable. They were allowed to break the law and send my sons [to Ukraine]but they had no right to tell a mother where her children are.”
She added that other families still live with the nightmare of not knowing where their children are and if they are serving in the war.
“So many sons have not returned and never will. So many mothers are still looking for their children,” Marina said. “My children were different people when they came back. It shows in their eyes. They are different. They are disenchanted. I want them to believe again in a bright future, in peace and love. They have stopped believing.
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