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In a rare challenge to the Kremlin, a growing number of Russian women are fighting to bring home their husbands, brothers and sons who were drafted to fight in Ukraine.

They say the men have served their time on the front lines, 15 months after some 300,000 reservists were called up to bolster Russia’s struggling campaign. But with little sign of  President Vladimir Putin scaling back his ambitions, the military is ignoring their pleas and propagandists have sought to villainize those speaking out.

The women’s mounting frustration has bonded them together, providing common cause in their defiant public stand just months before Putin will extend his rule in an election.

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