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Putin hails women soldiers fighting in Ukraine

Putin accepts invite to visit Vietnam: Hanoi
Image: Video Screenshot

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday hailed women soldiers fighting in Ukraine and those supporting his country’s armed forces, in a video message celebrating International Women’s Day.

The Russian leader also issued a decree freeing 52 women prisoners, including those who had relatives in the military.

In an address to mark the holiday, Putin said he was paying special tribute to “the women who are in the zone of the special military operation, performing combat tasks.”

Russia calls its full-scale offensive against Ukraine a “special military operation.”

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said Friday that more than 300,000 women “serve and work in the armed forces.”

Last year he said around 1,100 were “fighting” in Ukraine, suggesting the vast majority are in support roles, such as doctors, nurses and cooks.

In a separate video message, Shoigu thanked the mothers of soldiers fighting in Ukraine.

“You have raised true patriots and valiant defenders of the Fatherland,” he said.

Since sending troops into Ukraine in February 2022, Russia has hailed its troops at “heroes” and sought to elevate and protect the military’s reputation.

Hundreds have been prosecuted for “discrediting” the armed forces or spreading “false information” about the military campaign under strict censorship laws.

In recent weeks, a handful of wives of mobilised soldiers have staged rare protests outside the Kremlin calling for their husbands to be rotated out from the frontlines and brought home.


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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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