The family of Rafik Rakhmankulov, a 19-year-old Russian, learned that he was participating in the invasion of Ukraine when his image appeared on the Facebook of a Ukrainian general. Had been taken prisoner. Her mother, Nadia, has admitted to the British BBC that “I didn’t know they were going to send him there.”
The story is repeated in the cases of Pavel Abramov and Yevgeny Rostovtsev, both 23 years old. His parents tell in the Russian newspaper ‘Novaya Gazette’directed by the Nobel Peace Prize winner Dmitry Muratov, that both wanted to leave military discipline and that the latest news they had of them confirmed that they were in Belarus, near the border. Something totally unexpected. “My son was cheated on the front”Abramov’s mother repeats.
The Union of Committees of Mothers of Soldiers, an NGO created to expose human rights violations within the Russian Army, has denounced that many of the soldiers who are fighting in Ukraine these days, they didn’t know where they were going. According to the same sources “some have not even completed their military service” and they were “forced to sign enlistment papers on pain of punishment”.
The Kremlin denies information
The relatives of all these young people denounce that they do not know about them and that the Kremlin authorities do not give them information. However, the Ukrainian government has created a communication line so that Russian mothers can find out about their children and they post videos with images of the prisoners. In one of them, an injured young man identifies himself as Leonid Paktishev. “I had no idea that he had been sent there. I don’t think he knew about it before he went,” laments his sister.