Across the country, 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 bitterly cold winter sets in.
Around 100,000 Russian and 100,000 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed or injured since the war began on 24 February, according to the most senior US general, Mark Milley.
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.
Mr Putin said he wanted to meet the mothers face-to-face to hear from them first-hand about the situation on the ground.
And he revealed that from time to time he was speaking directly to Russian soldiers on the battlefield, describing them as "heroes".
The women were from different parts of Russia, it said, with at least one from the self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic in eastern Ukraine, which Moscow declared annexed earlier this year.
In recent weeks mothers and wives of Russians drafted into the army have been posting collective video messages complaining about how their sons and husbands have been sent off to war untrained and ill-equipped.
Some women have been appealing directly to President Putin, the commander-in-chief, to sort things out.
The "Putin meets mothers" event seems to be an attempt by the Kremlin to convince Russians that their president cares about the soldiers he's sending into battle, as well as their families.
On Friday, President Putin declared that "life is more complicated than what they show on TV or even on the internet".
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