KEY POINTS

  • Valya and others in Russia blamed the Kremlin for the death of their sons in the war
  • The woman also rebuked Russia's claims that it is winning the war in Ukraine
  • She said she was unaware her son had died until his friend sent her a message on social media

The mother of a dead Russian soldier has said that she sympathizes with Ukrainians amid the war, adding that she and other mothers in Russia “hate” President Vladimir Putin for invading Ukraine and causing the deaths of their sons, according to a report.

Valya, who used a pseudonym to conceal her identity for fear of repercussions during an interview with BBC, said she and other mothers whose sons were sent to the war in Ukraine are blaming the Kremlin for the deaths of their loved ones.

"They [Russian mothers] hate the government, they hate Putin. They all want this war to end," Valya said in the interview, adding that she believes the mothers of dead Russian soldiers will "rise up against Putin" over his invasion of Ukraine.

Valya also rebuked the Kremlin’s claims that it is winning the war and noted that she sympathizes with the mothers of Ukrainian soldiers.

"On TV they say that everything's fine, we're winning. But our lads are being killed," she said. “I realize now that Ukrainian mothers are the same as us. Their sons are being killed, they're searching for their children."

Valya’s son is one of the 37,870 Russian soldiers who have died in the war since it began in February, according to estimates from the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.

In the interview, Valya said her son called her on Feb. 20 to tell her that his unit was sent near the Ukrainian border to do “firing practice.” It was the last time she spoke with her son. Russia announced the start of its “special military operation” in Ukraine four days later.

"No-one has given me the basic information: where, when and how my son disappeared. All I've been told is that he was taking part in the 'special military operation' and that he is missing,” Valya said.

The woman said she was unaware her son had died in the war until March when a man claiming to be his son’s friend messaged her on social media to share the grim news. A Russian sergeant, who Valya has been communicating with since the start of the war and had been assuring her that her son was alive, later admitted that the soldier had been missing since Feb. 23, according to the BBC interview.

BBC noted that Valya only received confirmation that her son was killed in Ukraine after the interview. It was not immediately clear where and when her son died.

Many of the Ukrainians who have swelled the ranks of the army following the invasion have received training in a forest previously occupied by Russian soldiers
Many of the Ukrainians who have swelled the ranks of the army following the invasion have received training in a forest previously occupied by Russian soldiers AFP / Sergei SUPINSKY
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