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Ukraine War:Zelensky makes three promises to Russian soldiers who surrender

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President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has stated that Ukraine guarantees captured Russian soldiers civilised treatment, confidentiality with regard to the circumstances of their surrender, and the opportunity not to return to Russia.

Source: Zelenskyy in his evening video address

Quote: “Ukraine guarantees every Russian soldier who surrenders three things:

  1. you will be treated in a civilised manner, in accordance with all conventions;
  2. no one will know the circumstances of your surrender, no one in Russia will know that your surrender was voluntary;
  3. if you are afraid to return to Russia and do not want an exchange, we will find a way to ensure this as well.”

Details: Zelenskyy addressed the Russian people in Russian.

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He emphasised that Russian commanders do not care about the lives of Russians – they just need to fill the empty spaces left by the dead, wounded, those who fled or those who were captured. And those spaces can be filled with “either young IT specialists who have not served [in the army] at all, or pensioners who served only in the Soviet army.

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So, now is the key moment for all of you: right now it is being decided whether your life will end or not. It is better not to take a conscription letter than to die in a foreign land as a war criminal. It is better to run away from criminal mobilisation than to be crippled and then bear responsibility in the court for participating in the war of aggression. It is better to surrender to Ukrainian captivity than to be killed by the strikes of our weapons, absolutely fair strikes, as Ukraine defends itself in this war,” the president emphasised.

He stated again that Ukraine will liberate all of its territories, emphasising that this also applies to Crimea.

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Background: 

  • On 21 September, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the partial mobilisation of Russian citizens.
  • It is officially planned that 300,000 reservists will be mobilised. Later, it became known that there is a secret paragraph in the decree on mobilisation which allows the Ministry of Defence to call up one million people for the war.
  • On 24 September, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law amending the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, introducing harsher penalties for desertion, looting and surrender.
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