The Russian government is reportedly employing various tactics to quash public dissent among wives of deployed Russian soldiers, according to a recent report by the UK Ministry of Defence. The move follows small-scale protests that took place in Moscow in November 2023.
According to the intel, research conducted by oppositional Russian media outlets, along with comments from protesting wives themselves, indicates that the authorities have likely resorted to offering increased cash payments to families, with the expectation that they refrain from participating in protests. This financial incentive is seen as an attempt to curb dissent and maintain public order.
On November 27, 2023, a prominent online group representing soldiers’ wives published a manifesto opposing ‘indefinite mobilization.’ The group faced a setback around November 31, 2023, as it was pinned with a ‘fake’ warning label. The report suggests that this labeling was likely instigated by pro-Kremlin actors, further indicating efforts to discredit and suppress opposition voices.
The Ministry of Defence underscores that the authorities appear particularly sensitive to protests related to citizens mobilized in September 2022, who have now been stationed at the front lines for over a year.