After Russian mothers started becoming vocal about the loss of their sons because of Putin's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, Pres Putin took to the airwaves...
... "We share your pain," Russian President Vladimir Putin has told a group of mothers of Russian soldiers who have been fighting - and some of whom have been killed - in Ukraine.
"Nothing can replace the loss of a son", he said in his opening remarks, before the footage on state TV was cut.
The Kremlin has not commented on reports that the mothers were carefully chosen for the meeting.
Opposition has been growing to Mr Putin's decision to invade Ukraine.
Across Russia, groups of mothers of serving soldiers have been openly complaining that their sons are being sent into battle poorly trained and without adequate weapons and clothing, especially as the winter sets in.
Some have also accused the Russian military of turning those forcefully mobilised into "cannon fodder", following a string of heavy military defeats in recent months.
In a rare admission, the Kremlin said in September that mistakes had been made in its drive to mobilise army reservists....
"I want you to know that I personally, and all the leadership of the country, we share this pain," the president said.
"We'll be doing everything so you won't be feeling forgotten," he added, urging them not to believe "fakes" and "lies" about the raging war showing on TV or the internet.
Soon after Mr Putin launched the full-scale invasion, Russian authorities brought in tough censorship laws against the media, criminalising "dissemination of false information" about its armed forces.
Media outlets face fines or even closure for calling it a war - the Kremlin describes the invasion as a "special military operation". ...