Wives of Russian soldiers rally in Moscow demanding husbands' early return

The wives of Russian soldiers have held a rally in Moscow demanding their husbands' prompt return from the battlefields in Ukraine.

Dozens of people, including women whose husbands were mobilized in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, gathered outside the Kremlin in central Moscow on Saturday. They marked the 500th day since Russia began to mobilize reservists in late September 2022.

The participants laid flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The monument honors the Soviet soldiers killed during World War Two.

A human rights group in Russia said that more than 20 people, mostly Russian and foreign journalists reporting on the rally, were temporarily detained by security authorities.

The administration of President Vladimir Putin appears to be keen to prevent any anti-war movements from spreading in the run-up to the presidential election in March.

Meanwhile, Ukraine's ground forces announced that commander Oleksandr Syrskyi visited military units of Ukrainian troops defending the Kupiansk front in the eastern region of Kharkiv.

The forces said fierce fighting was underway in all areas of the Kupiansk front. They added that troops and assets had been redeployed to resolve critical issues to sustain the defense.

Ukraine's presidential office said that President Volodymyr Zelenskyy awarded high state honors to the service members of Defence Intelligence of the Ministry of Defence who contributed to the sinking of a Russian missile boat off the coast of Crimea.