Russian men drafted to war by President Vladimir Putin’s recent mobilization announcement are using a Ukrainian hotline to ask how they can give themselves up, according to Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense.
Andrii Yusov, a spokesperson for the department, said during a televised briefing on Monday that there had been a strong response to the “I Want to Live” hotline, according to the Ukrainian newspaper Ukrainska Pravda.
The hotline was announced by Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense on September 19, two days before Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the mobilization of reservists to the battlefield.
Yusov said the hotline has received “a lot of calls” from recently drafted Russians, and even some who haven’t yet been mobilized, per the newspaper.
Yusov added, per the paper: “They’re calling and asking ‘What should I do if I get called up? What do I have to do, what’s the right way to surrender?'”
But Putin’s announcement sparked protests nationwide and has prompted some Russians to take desperate measures to be called up.
Putin had earlier promised that he would not take this step, which brings the reality of the war to Russians accustomed to civilian life.
This is reported by the Coordination Headquarters for the Treatment of Prisoners of War.
“As part of the work of the Coordination Headquarters, a Unified Center and a 24-hour hotline for receiving appeals from Russian military personnel and their families have been launched. This is a continuation of the state project, designed to inform the Russian military about the possibilities of laying down arms and preserving one’s health and life,” the message reads.
The “I want to live” project is designed to help Russian servicemen safely surrender to the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Russians are guaranteed maintenance in accordance with the norms of the Geneva Conventions. Instead, Ukraine needs to replenish the exchange fund in order to return its defenders home.
For information on how to surrender to a prisoner of war, Russian servicemen or their relatives should call the 24-hour numbers: +38 066 580 34 98 and +38 093 119 29 84.
Information about the surrender is available in Russian on the “I want to live” Telegram channel.
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