Sunday, February 5, 2023

Putin’s War in Ukraine Seen Really Coming Home to Russia with Rise in Family Violence

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Feb. 4 – Russian veterans of the war in Ukraine are returning home, something that is certain to produce an increase in violence against women as these men continue to “fight” their war but now not against Ukrainians but rather against their own wives and children, Mariya Khankhunova says.

            The more soldiers who do return, the founder of the I am Freedom women’s rights group in Buryatia, says, the worse the situation is likely to become. While it may be the case that “a critical mass” has not yet been reached, there is a great danger that it soon will be and the authorities aren’t ready (

            In Buryatia, a republic which has sent a disproportionate number of men to the front and suffered a disproportionate number of combat losses as a result, she points out, there is not a single women’s shelter or even a hot line women can use to report abuse or get help. The only place many can turn to are Buddhist lamas, who do in fact offer help.

            Khankhunova organized her own group to try to provide women with a place to share their experiences and thus gain confidence that they can escape to a better future. She and the psychologists who work with her have had some success. But there may not be any more meetings at precisely the time they are needed.

            That is because, she tells People of Baikal, she has run out of money and can’t rent facilities for meetings or pay for the work of specialists.

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