Russian ‘Soldiers Mothers Committees’ — a US Covert Op?

by | Aug 30, 2014


A major component in the latest western government and media claims of a Russian invasion of Ukraine is protests of the various Russian “Soldiers’ Mothers Committes” over the supposed disappearance of their soldier sons in Ukraine. Absent compelling visual evidence of a Russian invasion of Ukraine, these NGOs are said to provide the evidence that, as NATO claims, 1,000 young Russians have been forced to go fight in Ukraine.

The US mainstream media has reported extensively over the past several days that these “Soldiers’ Mothers Committes” are a smoking gun indicating the Russian government’s military intervention in Ukraine.

From the Washington Post on 29 August:

Valentina Melnikova, who leads the Soldiers’ Mothers Committee, told the Daily Beast she was “personally humiliated as a citizen of the Russian Federation by our commander-in-chief’s pure, direct crime.” She said Russian President Vladimir Putin is “violating not only international laws, not only the Geneva Convention, [he] also is breaking Russian Federation law about defense. And as for the [Russian airborne commander], we should be too disgusted to even mention his name. He forces his servicemen to fight in a foreign state, Ukraine, illegally, while mothers receive coffins with their sons, anonymously.”

Here is the Daily Kos:

Here are some “known knowns” about Russians and Ukraine. Russian troops are in Ukraine. Russian troops have died in Ukraine. Russian mothers can’t get answers about where their sons are. Add to that common knowledge a new, unsettling “known” that Russian soldiers, most just boys, are being buried in secret graveyards far from families who can only guess their fate.

But are these committees really just innocent NGOs that seek to defend young Russian soldiers being sent off to fight in foreign lands? Or are they well-financed and trained arms of US propaganda used to bolster Washington’s line that Russia has invaded Ukraine?

The US government has in the past been generous in funding the Russian Soldiers’ Mothers Committes. In a 2011 report of the US government-funded National Endowment for Democracy, we learn that the US government granted the Committees more than $150,000. In 2010 they received approximately the same amount from the US government, and in 2009 they received nearly $200,000.

We cannot tell how much the US government has funded these organization in more recent years because the NED, which demands transparency in others, refuses to publish a list of its grantees any longer.

It is certainly possible that these Committees, which were initially formed to help Russians avoid conscription, have not been co-opted into serving as a propaganda tool for the US government. However the fact that they have long accepted US government money and are now a key component of Washington’s propaganda strategy may suggest otherwise. The Soldiers’ Mothers Committees were required last year under Russian law to register as foreign agents due to US government funding of their operations.


  • Daniel McAdams

    Executive Director of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity and co-Producer/co-Host, Ron Paul Liberty Report. Daniel served as the foreign affairs, civil liberties, and defense/intel policy advisor to U.S. Congressman Ron Paul, MD (R-Texas) from 2001 until Dr. Paul’s retirement at the end of 2012. From 1993-1999 he worked as a journalist based in Budapest, Hungary, and traveled through the former communist bloc as a human rights monitor and election observer.

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