• The mother said her sons were conscripted to the Russian army last year
  • She was told her untrained sons signed military contracts but refused to believe it
  • They were, indeed, sent to war even as officials initially denied sending conscripts

A Russian mother claimed the government lied to her and sent her two sons to Ukraine to fight a war they were never meant to be a part of.

The mother, who used the pseudonym of Marina, said she was initially happy about the conscription of her two sons to the Russian military last year.

"I told them that they had to serve," Marina told BBC. "It was their duty to the motherland."

However, she started to worry when both her sons were deployed closer to the Ukrainian border. Marina's communication with her sons completely stopped on February 24, when President Vladimir Putin commanded Russian forces to invade the neighboring country.

"Time stopped for me. I couldn't eat. I couldn't sleep," Marina shared. "I exchanged messages with the mothers of other conscripts from the same unit. It turned out that many of them had lost contact with their children, too."

The worried mother reportedly went around looking for her sons and asking anyone who might have heard of where they were. She even once tried to drive into Ukraine but wasn’t allowed to pass through, according to Business Insider.

Marina said she later found out from someone in her son’s military unit that both her boys were in Ukraine, despite officials denying they sent young conscripts into war.

"I was told the terrifying news: 'Your children have signed military contracts to be professional soldiers. They're taking part in the special military operation [in Ukraine]. They will return as heroes,’” the mother told BBC.

Marina said she was absolutely sure her sons wouldn’t have signed military contracts.

"What on earth are you talking about? They had no plans to sign a contract," was her response. "They've been in the army for three months. They've only held a gun once. They've only been to a firing range once. Most of the time they've been shovelling snow."

"I wrote to the prosecutor-general's office asking to investigate. I told them there was no way my sons could have signed military contracts,” Marina told the outlet.

Putin reportedly announced on March 5 that “not a single conscript” would be part of the invasion. However, the Russian defence ministry admitted days later that conscripts were, indeed, sent.

Marina said authorities eventually admitted her sons had not signed military contracts. They were sent back to Russia.

"When I saw him he looked a total mess. The lads that came back from there were so thin, dirty and exhausted. Their clothes were torn. My son said: 'It's better that you don't know what happened there.' But all that mattered to me was that he had come back alive."

The mother is enraged over what happened.

"They lied to my face," she told the outlet. "First they lied that my sons weren't in Ukraine. Then they lied that they'd signed military contracts. Officers lied, sergeants lied.”

"My children were different people when they came back,” she added. “You can see it in their eyes. They're different. They're disillusioned. I want them to believe again in a bright future, in peace and love. They've stopped believing."

A Russian  soldier on patrol in Kherson
A Russian soldier on patrol in Kherson AFP / Olga MALTSEVA