Russian President Vladimir Putin has established a state fund to support participants in the so-called "special military operation" [this is what the Russians call the war with Ukraine – ed.] which is called Defenders of the Fatherland, headed by his great-niece.
Source: Latvia-based Russian news outlet Meduza
Details: Putin's decree was posted on Russia’s official Internet portal for legal information.
According to the document, the fund will provide support to the so-called "combat veterans" who were discharged from military service and participated in the "special military operation", as well as to relatives of those killed participating in the invasion of Ukraine. The decree also applies to those who have fought on the side of the illegal self-proclaimed "Luhansk People’s Republic" and "Donetsk People’s Republic" since May 2014.
It is stated that the fund is financed by the federal budget, voluntary donations and "other sources".
Anna Tsivilyova, the wife of Sergey Tsivilyov who is the governor of Kemerovo Oblast of Russia, has been appointed as chair of the foundation. Sergey Kirienko, First Deputy Chief of the Russian Presidential Administration, will be appointed Chairman of the Foundation's Supervisory Board. Anton Kotyakov, Minister of Labour and Social Protection of the Russian Federation, will be the Chairman of the Board of Trustees.
Anna Tsivilyova is the head of the Council for Social Care in Kuzbass [a region in Russia which is mainly in Kemerovo Oblast – ed.] and, according to her biography, is a member of the Council of the Eurasian Women's Forum under the Federation Council of the Russian Federation.
In January 2022, the Agency news outlet posted an investigation, the authors of which claimed that Anna Tsivilyova was Vladimir Putin's great-niece.
Putin announced the creation of a fund to help participants in the invasion of Ukraine in February 2023 in an address to the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation.
Background: Vyorstka, a Russian news outlet, stated that conscripts and contract soldiers in Russia were not paid promised salaries, allowances or social benefits.
It was reported that the salaries of military personnel had been delayed or not paid at all in 52 regions of Russia and in occupied Crimea since the beginning of March 2023.