Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Saturday offered guaranteed protection to Russian soldiers surrendering amid the conflict between the two countries after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced he had called up 300,000 reservists to replenish Russian forces.
Direct appeal to the Russians During TabukZelensky said Ukraine could guarantee three conditions to Russian soldiers in return for their surrender. He said that these Russians will be treated in a civilized manner, the conditions for their surrender will remain undeclared and Ukraine will find a way to ensure that those who do not want to return to Russia are not exchanged.
Putin announced the recall on Wednesday as Ukraine pushes Russian forces to retreat from lands captured during the war. Ukraine launched a major counterattack this month in which it reclaimed thousands of square kilometers of territory.
Putin’s announcement It sparked nationwide protests In Russia it led to the arrest of more than 1,000 people. Flights outside the country run out Or their prices rose after Russia called up another round of soldiers, the first such mobilization since World War II.
Zelensky said that the Russian authorities are aware that they are sending citizens to their deaths but that they have no other choice at this point in the war.
The US Department of Defense said last month that Russia had witnessed 70,000 to 80,000 victims Since the war in Ukraine began in February.
Russian leaders do not care about the lives of Russians. “They just need to replenish the empty spaces left by the dead, the wounded, those who fled or the captured Russian soldiers,” Zelensky said.
He said that every Russian citizen knows that it is Russia that brings “evil” even if they do not admit it. He told the Russians that it was better to surrender to Ukrainian captivity than to be killed in war.
“Then it’s time for you: at the moment it is decided whether or not your life will end,” said Zelensky.
Putin reportedly signed laws on Saturday Tougher punishment for Russian soldiers who surrender voluntarily for up to 10 years in prison. Those who refuse to participate in the fighting will also face 10 years in prison.
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