“I want to live”
So many Russians have already surrendered via the Ukraine hotline
The Ukrainian government has set up a telephone service for Russians. One call is enough and they can surrender on the battlefield. Anyone who surrenders can become part of a prisoner exchange.
Published: 1:36 p.m
Updated: 8:20 p.m
Already 6,500 Russian soldiers are said to have surrendered via hotline in the Ukraine war. Name of the project: “I want to live” (in German: “I want to live”).
“Save our souls.” With these words, Russian soldiers are said to have reported to the Ukrainian government. Namely via a hotline, over which one can surrender in the Ukraine war. At least that’s what Vitaly Matvienko, spokesman for the official department for prisoners of war, says to the British daily newspaper “Guardian”.
“When we liberated Kherson, we received calls from people whose battalion was totally destroyed, or who said they were down to ten men and stuck in the mud,” Matvienko said.
According to the Ukrainians, more than 6,500 soldiers have so far chosen the hot line called “I want to live”. Between September 15th and January 20th, 6543 calls were received. The hotline was launched when Vladimir Putin (70) announced that he would send 300,000 civilians to war.
1.6 million Russians visited the site
Government spokesman Matvienko says the soldiers are identified based on their personal information and phone number. Around ten operators would be responsible for the hotline being in operation around the clock.
The Ukrainian government also announced that around two million people visited the relevant website in December alone, 1.6 million of them Russians. However, the information cannot be verified.
Matvienko does not tell the Guardian how many capitulations were completed. However, the campaign was “absolutely successful”.
Soldiers who surrender will either become part of a prisoner swap between the Ukrainian and Russian governments. Or they remain in prison, with the option of later living in Ukraine or emigrating. According to Matvienko, the Russian government has so far released 1,646 Ukrainians through the prisoner exchange. The last exchange took place on January 8th. (twa)