Russian wives accuse the country's security service of forcing their husbands to lie about war conditions, calling Putin a 'coward' and 'our rat king,' report says

  • Russian wives have accused the country's security service of making their husbands lie about the war.

  • They claimed the FSB threatened to send their husbands to their deaths if they did not oblige.

  • The women are part of the "Way Home" group, made up mostly of soldiers' families, The Times reported.

Russian wives have accused the country's security service (FSB) of making their husbands lie about the conditions they're facing in the Ukraine war, The Times reported.

They claimed that the FSB threatened to send their husbands to die if they did not comply with their orders, per The Times, which cited the Telegram channel of a group containing soldiers' family members called the "Way Home" group.

A post on the channel stated that the FSB had been questioning the husbands of activists in the group, taken their phones, and would not give them back until "information about their wives" was collected.

The FSB also demanded soldiers get their wives to "shut up," the post claims.

"Next comes threats like 'record a video saying that everything here suits you, or we will send you into an assault without a return ticket,'" the post continues, per The Times.

The group believes keeping soldiers on the front line indefinitely goes against Russian law and is advocating for them to be brought back home.

They have bombarded Russian President Vladimir Putin's annual phone-in news conference with questions about when their husbands can come home and attempted to stage protests, The Times reported.

"Why do we need a president that pretends we don't exist? Who lives only in TV completely under his control?" the post reads, per The Times. "These are obvious methods of cowards and rats. And who is our rat king?"

Despite the dangers of speaking out publicly against Putin or the Russian military, the group has shared videos of women anxiously calling for their husbands to be returned from the front, The Times reported.

The war in Ukraine has come at a heavy price for Putin's forces, with a recently declassified US intelligence report suggesting that nearly 90% of the 360,000 troops with which Russia began its invasion have been killed or injured, a source familiar with the intelligence said, per Reuters.

These losses have forced Russia to take steps to keep its war machine going, with recruitment standards altering dramatically.

"The scale of losses has forced Russia to take extraordinary measures to sustain its ability to fight. Russia declared a partial mobilization of 300,000 personnel in late 2022, and has relaxed standards to allow recruitment of convicts and older civilians," the US report said, according to Reuters' source.

Russia has also started to attempt to forcibly enlist Ukrainian civilians in occupied towns and regions, the watchdog Human Rights Watch reported.

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