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UK intel: Russian soldiers’ wives stage first public protest in Moscow for frontline rotation

For the first time, Russian soldiers’ wives publicly rallied in Moscow, demanding a policy change for the rotation of troops from Ukraine’s prolonged frontline deployment, as per British intelligence.
Some 30 wives of mobilized Russian servicemen picketed for the first time since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion demanding that their husbands return home. Moscow, 7 November 2023. Source.
UK intel: Russian soldiers’ wives stage first public protest in Moscow for frontline rotation

On 7 November, Russian soldiers’ wives held their first public protest in Moscow since the Ukraine invasion’s outset, calling for the rotation of troops from prolonged frontline service, the British Defense Ministry highlighted in its intelligence update published on 20 November.

The ministry tweeted:

  • On 7 November 2023, wives of deployed Russian soldiers conducted what was probably the first public street protest in Moscow since the invasion of Ukraine. The protestors gathered in the central Teatralnya Square and unfurled banners demanding the rotation of their partners away from the frontline.
  • Since February 2022, social media has provided daily examples of Russian wives and mothers making online appeals protesting against the conditions of their loved ones’ service. However, Russia’s draconian legislation has so far prevented troops’ relatives from coalescing into an influential lobbying force, as soldiers’ mothers did during the Afghan-Soviet War of the 1980s.
  • Police broke up the Teatralnya Square protest within minutes. However, the protestors’ immediate demand is notable. The apparently indefinitely extended combat deployments of personnel without rotation is increasingly seen as unsustainable by both the troops themselves and by their relatives.

According to the Russian Telegram channel Vazhnye Istorii, some 30 relatives of mobilized soldiers protested for about 5 minutes during a communist rally commemorating the 106th anniversary of the October Communist revolution.

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