Russian President Vladimir Putin (pictured) has released an International Women’s Day (8 March) video where he says that conscripts and reservists are not being called up to fight on the frontline.
“Let me emphasize that soldiers who are doing military service do not and will not participate in hostilities…the assigned tasks are solved only by professional military men,” he said.
In contrast, Ukraine’s military effort is being heavily staffed by civilian sign-ups.
Putin’s message was aimed at allaying supposed concerns from Russian women – the “mothers, wives, sisters, brides and girlfriends of our soldiers and officers who are now in battle”.
“I understand how you worry about your loved ones,” he said.
He broadly characterized women by their “loyalty, reliability and support” throughout this speech.
“Our dear women, you make the world better and kinder thanks to your sensitivity, compassion and spiritual generosity. You combine charming tenderness and amazing inner strength.”
However, according to a report on 24 February by independent news outlet The Insider, there was evidence that some Russian conscripts had been forced to sign on before the invasion.