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Ukraine. What is a soldier from Russia to do when he wants to surrender? The Ukrainian side explains the procedure and provides contact information

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Ukrainian services have prepared a surrender procedure for Russian soldiers. Vitaly Matviyenko, spokesman for the “I want to live” project, which is being piloted by military intelligence in Kiev, explained that the Ukrainian side can organize “safe evacuation” from the front to people who have previously reported such an intention via the Internet. “For those who decide to lay down their arms and surrender to us, we guarantee compliance with the conventions regarding prisoners of war, food and treatment, and above all, saving their lives,” he stressed.

16,000 Russian soldiers, but also other men who fear mobilization on war in Ukraine, declared its willingness to surrender to the Ukrainian army as part of the “I want to live” project run by the Main Intelligence Directorate (HUR) in Kiev. – The Russians understand perfectly well that a counterattack is inevitable. That is why we urge their soldiers: Surrender or die. You will die fighting with the Armed Forces Ukraine or you will be killed by your own barrage troops that will not allow you to escape from the line of fire, project spokesman Vitaly Matviyenko said in an interview with PAP.

36 million visits to the website

“I want to live” is a program that was launched in September last year. It operates under the auspices of the Main Intelligence Directorate (HUR) of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine. The website with instructions and contacts for those willing to lay down their arms has recorded 36 million visits since September, including 32 million from the territory of the Russian Federation.

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“For those who decide to lay down their arms and surrender to us, we guarantee compliance with the conventions regarding prisoners of war, food and treatment, and above all, saving their lives,” Matveyenko said.

What is a Russian soldier to do when he wants to surrender?

A Russian soldier who wants to surrender should contact the “I want to live” project via a chatbot on Telegram. The coordinators ensure that the information they leave there is stored on perfectly secured servers. Not only soldiers can apply, but also those people who are afraid of mobilization.

– Contacting the chatbot and completing the survey shows us that such a person does not want to fight against Ukraine and this will be taken into account when he goes to the front, surrenders and is safely transferred to our side, and then to a POW camp – emphasized the spokesman.

Matviyenko pointed out that many Russian conscripts and soldiers are afraid to apply for the Ukrainian project, assuming that the Federal Security Service is behind it Russia.

– They called and asked if it wasn’t an FSB project as a way to detect traitors. After all, we know perfectly well how Russia treats its citizens. The Russians threaten Ukrainian captivity, talk about torture, cutting off genitals and argue that it is better to die than to surrender. We answer that we are not interested in their body parts. We are only interested in the living.

After hitting the front “safe evacuation”

After registering in the system, it’s time to contact the Ukrainian side. It happens when a Russian soldier is at the front. – It is important that he has a mobile phone with him, preferably an old model that has a long battery life and can be disassembled to better hide it from the commanders – explained Matviyenko.

– When the Russian military is already at the front and assesses that he can separate from his unit and escape, he contacts our operators. They notify our special group, ensuring safe evacuation. This group works out the details of the operation, indicates the takeover point and explains how to behave at the time of the meeting – he said.

Compliance with the procedures when surrendering the Ukrainian army is very important for the safety of the surrendering Russian and the evacuation group. There were cases that the Russians reported to the Ukrainians that they wanted to surrender to them, and it turned out that it was a trap.

– A soldier who surrenders with a gun should remove the magazine from the gun, place the gun on the left shoulder and point the barrel down. He is to be without a helmet and a bulletproof vest, i.e. to show with his whole appearance that he is not in combat gear. He can also say the slogan “I want to live” as proof that he participates in the project. He should kneel down, and then our people approach him, who take him to a safe place, and then send him to a POW camp – this is the procedure step by step, according to the project spokesman.

Entire units surrender. There is one difference

Similar rules apply to entire groups of enemy soldiers. Matviyenko said that it happened that entire units surrendered together with the equipment they had at their disposal.

– With groups, the only difference is that the commander, officer or the most senior should come to us first. If they give up with the gear, then we need to see signs that it’s not combat ready. A tank, for example, should have its barrel down and turned backwards. You can get a cash reward for a tank or armored personnel carrier, but we don’t pay it. This is done by private sponsors, he said.

They are given a choice – to sign on the list of prisoners of war, stay in the camp, apply for asylum

Not only Russians apply for the “I want to live” project. Citizens also contact him Belaruswho are afraid of drawing their country into a war with Ukraine. – Belarusians report fearing that they will be mobilized. These are mostly young people who are afraid that they may also start (mobilization) – said Matwiyenko.

After crossing over to the Ukrainian side, the Russian soldiers are transferred to a POW camp. Their further fate depends on their own choice. They can sign up on the lists of prisoners of war for exchange, that is, return to their country, they can also stay in Ukraine. In this case, they will spend the time until the end of the war in the camp. – They can also apply for asylum in European countries such as Germany or the Netherlands, which give them such an opportunity. The basic condition, however, is to prove that they did not commit war crimes during their stay at the front, stressed the spokesman. “Most of them want to go back to Russia, which is completely incomprehensible to us,” he added.

Food, medical care and a library in the POW camp

In the POW camp, Russian soldiers have the opportunity to contact representatives of international organizations, including the Red Cross. They are allowed legal consultations and allowed to receive food parcels.

– We guarantee them compliance with all the provisions of the Geneva Convention that apply to prisoners of war. They receive meals three times a day, they can call relatives and write letters. They have a library, an Orthodox church and a playground. They are provided with medical and dental care. In the POW camp, where I myself was, I saw that the conditions were comfortable, he argued.

He recalled the very poor condition of Ukrainian prisoners of war who are imprisoned in Russia. – When we look at our soldiers who return from Russia exhausted and emaciated, and on the other hand at the Russians who are with us, the difference is cardinal – he said.

When asked whether Russian soldiers in Ukrainian captivity know about the crimes committed by their state in Ukraine, Matviyenko replied that “mostly conscious people who surrender are aware of what is going on.”

– Most Russians, however, are extremely intimidated, they do not have the gene of freedom that we do. Our hotline is sometimes called by Russians asking for forgiveness. They are asking for life. They just want to live, said Vitaly Matviyenko.

Main photo source: mil.ru

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