Putin Visits the Wounded at a Military Hospital in Moscow

Putin Visits the Wounded at a Military Hospital in Moscow

President Vladimir V. Putin visited wounded soldiers on Wednesday and announced a raft of new social welfare measures and military benefits — an apparent effort to show Russians that he was aware times were tough as the war in Ukraine entered its fourth month.

The Kremlin released brief clips of Mr. Putin, dressed in a white gown and flanked by Defense Minister Sergei K. Shoigu, greeting patients at a military hospital in Moscow. It was the president’s first time visiting the wounded since the start of the war, but his words were sparse: “He’ll be proud of his dad,” Mr. Putin told a patient with a 9-month-old son.

Later, Russian state television showed Mr. Putin meeting senior government officials at the Kremlin. He directed them to increase payments to service members deployed in Ukraine and to double the child care allowance for women in the military.

He said that while the military doctors he met on Wednesday had assured him that “they have all they need,” the government should “promptly, quickly and effectively respond to any needs” in the medical care of wounded soldiers.

“They are all heroes,” Mr. Putin said of Russian soldiers in Ukraine. “Each of them is exposing his life to mortal danger, doing so consciously, and they should be treated as such, as heroes.”

The Russian Defense Ministry last released casualty figures on March 25, when it said that 1,351 Russian service members had been killed in Ukraine.

Mr. Putin also promised wider social welfare measures, even as he repeated his insistence that the Russian economy was not suffering as much as some had predicted at the beginning of the war. Pensions for non-working seniors, along with the minimum wage, will be raised 10 percent in June, he said.

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