Russians search for lost soldiers via hotlines

Russians search for lost soldiers via hotlines


“Hello hotlines; is this the place that you can find out if a person is alive?”

” excuse me for disturbing you; i’m calling regarding my brother.”

These are excerpts from audio recordings made to a Ukrainian government-run hotline.

Mothers and fathers; wives, siblings and others’ are engaged in a desperate search for their loved ones as Russia’s war with Ukraine extends seemingly without end.

The shaky voices at the end of the line are not calling to search for Ukrainians; however; they are looking for information on Russian soldiers.


Also read: Russian soldiers captured in Ukraine, one calls mom


In recordings shared exclusively  by the Ukrainian officials operating the hotlines; the desperation as well as uncertainty in the callers’ voices sheds light on how tightly Moscow is controlling communications about the war.

The recordings indicate that many Russian soldiers seemed to not have known what their plans were; and also bolster reports of Russian soldiers being denied communication with their families.

Videos have appeared online since the invasion began on February 24; showing Ukrainian civilians and soldiers allowing Russian soldiers to call home and likewise speak with their parents.

The hotline; called “Come Back From Ukraine Alive,” was established by the Ukrainian Interior Ministry; which has acknowledged that the initiative is both a humanitarian and a propaganda tool.


Australia places more sanctions on Russia

Australia is placing further sanctions on Russia targeting senior military officers and state propagandists; for “trying to legitimatize Russia’s unprovoked; unjustified invasion with false narratives such as the ‘de-Nazification’ of Ukraine,” said the country’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs in a statement on Tuesday.

This new round of sanctions will include “targeted financial sanctions on the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation;  and targeted financial sanctions; and travel bans against an additional six senior Russian military commanders; responsible for implementing naval, ground and air attacks on Ukraine,” the statement said.

It added that Australia will also sanction ten people of “strategic interest to Russia” for their role in “encouraging hostility towards Ukraine;” and promoting pro-Kremlin propaganda to legitimize Russia’s invasion.

Addressing Russian media: The Australian government is also working with Facebook; Twitter and Google to suspend content by Russian state media in Australia; said the statement.

“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been accompanied by a widespread disinformation campaign;” the statement said; criticizing Russian President Vladimir Putin’s efforts to create “a world characterized by lies and disinformation”.

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