300 Russians Surrender Via Ukraine’s ‘I Want to Live’ Hotline

More than 300 Russian soldiers have surrendered to Ukraine through Kyiv’s “I Want to Live” initiative since 2022.

Defence Intelligence of Ukraine public relations head Andriy Yusov shared the news in a live telecast highlighting the impact of the government-led hotline.

Yusov also took note of the uptick of mostly active-duty Russian troops volunteering to support Ukraine’s defense force.

“The number of people willing to surrender has increased. Some of them immediately expressed their desire not to be exchanged or even to join the security and defence forces,” he said.

I Want to Live is a joint program launched with the Coordination Headquarters for the Treatment of Prisoners of War to ensure the safe surrender of Moscow’s servicemen to the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

Help in Defecting

Ukraine has offered rewards to soldiers willing to defect from Russia in an effort to counter the country’s advances in the ongoing war.

Last year, a Russian soldier piloting an Mi-8 helicopter was rewarded $500,000 after changing sides and handing over a helicopter loaded with spare parts for Russian fighter jets.

Yusov describes the reward as a move to encourage those who do not want to become war criminals to “defend [their] own honor and conscience.”

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