Russian President Vladimir Putin is facing mounting criticism in Russia from the friends and family of those killed in the war. His latest speech seemingly attempts to appease the increasing discontent in the country.
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Russians increasingly voicing their discontent online
Russians are taking to a social media platform similar to Facebook called VKontakte (VK) to denounce the deaths of Russian soldiers and condemn the war in Ukraine, despite the country’s strict stance on dissent.
The posts are written in Russian and seemingly come from the accounts of real Russian citizens on VK. One woman wrote alongside a photo of her and her late partner:
This f****** war took another person dear to me... Well, for what!!??
Another woman wrote:
Now you will be an eternally young twenty-two-year-old boy with sparkling blue eyes and a bright smile [but] this damn war has wiped your face off the earth.
One user demanded the war come to an end, labelling it a 'meat grinder' in what seems to be a reference to the huge number of lives lost. Another wrote:
These men died a terrible death.
These posts were made on pages memorialising the men killed, however SkyNews also found similar posts on community pages. For example, one post reported that six men were killed from the city of Vologda in northwest Russia. A comment below the post exclaims:
Stop the war!!!!!
Why shouldn't the Armed Forces of Ukraine defend their house when it was attacked?
Vladimir Putin seemingly attempts to appease criticism
And it seems like Putin is taking notice. In the Russian President's state-of-the-nation speech today Tuesday 21 February, he seemingly responded to the increasing backlash in his country. He claimed to understand the difficulties experienced by relatives of Russian soldiers who have lost their lives and vowed to provide them with 'targeted support' through a new special fund.
We all understand, I understand how unbearably hard it is now for the wives, sons, daughters of fallen soldiers, their parents, who raised worthy defenders of the Fatherland.
SkyNews: 'Criticism of Ukraine war spreads on Russian social media as loved ones die'
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