Russian Parents Demand Their Sons Not Be Sent to Fight in Ukraine

The parents of Russian conscripts who survived the sinking of the cruiser Moskva are demanding that their sons not be sent to fight in Ukraine, as the war launched by Russian President Vladimir Putin approaches the four-month mark.

A letter written by the parents of 49 conscripts who survived when the Moskva missile cruiser, the flagship of Russia's Black Sea fleet, sank in April, said that their sons have been assigned to the Ladny missile frigate, Russia's independent Novaya Gazeta newspaper reported Tuesday.

The letter was reportedly addressed to Russia's presidential human rights commissioner, the military prosecutor in annexed Crimea and the Committee of Soldiers' Mothers of Russia (CSMR), headquartered in Moscow.

The sailors' parents reportedly said that their sons could be deployed to sea as early as June 30, despite promises that they would be able to stay on land, according to the news outlet.

The letter said many of those who have been deployed to the Ladny missile frigate do not want to participate in Putin's war again. The parents also said that the ship itself has been in operation for more than three decades and is in need of repair.

"Our children, who are conscripts, have already been unlawfully involved in the special military operation on the Moskva cruiser and received psychological traumas as a result of the accident," the letter said, according to Novaya Gazeta.

"We consider it unacceptable to re-enlist those who have experienced a psychologically traumatic situation to participate in combat operations," the sailors' parents wrote.

The parents of conscripts demanded not to send their sons to fight Putin's war in Ukraine again, according to the newspaper.

Moskva a flagship of Russian Black Sea
The parents of 49 Russian conscripts who survived the sinking of the Moskva have written a letter to Russian authorities demanding their sons not be sent back to Ukraine. Pictured, pro-Russian supporters wave flags as they welcome the Moskva, a flagship of Russia's Black Sea fleet, entering Sevastopol bay on September 10, 2008. VASILY BATANOV/AFP/Getty Images

On April 13, the Moskva sank shortly after Ukraine claimed to have dealt significant damage to the vessel with Neptune missiles.

The Kremlin claimed that the Soviet-era vessel was damaged after a fire on board caused ammunition to detonate.

Russian parents later took to social media demanding answers over the "missing" soldiers, after the Kremlin claimed the vessel's roughly 500 personnel were successfully evacuated to other ships before being returned to the port of Sevastopol in Crimea.

Moscow's official line after days of silence about casualties was that one serviceman died, and another 27 crew members were declared "missing." Ukraine says the incident killed as many as 250 sailors.

The British Defense Ministry said in a daily update on April 28 that Russia will not be able to replace the Moskva.

Newsweek has reached out to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for comment.