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14 Apr, 2024 11:04

WATCH Ukrainian soldiers surrender in Donbass

The servicemen complain of atrocious treatment in the army, the Russian Defense Ministry has said
WATCH Ukrainian soldiers surrender in Donbass

The Defense Ministry in Moscow reported on Saturday that nine servicemen from Ukraine’s elite 25th Airborne Brigade surrendered to the Russian Army.

Footage from the ministry shows the moment several soldiers laid down their arms near the settlement of Vodyanoye in Russia’s Donetsk People’s Republic.

According to the ministry, the servicemen reported atrocious treatment within the Ukrainian Army. In the video, they complain about poor planning of combat operations.

“Our superiors don’t care about us, they don’t want to go to frontline positions to assess the situation… It seemed better to surrender than to die without understanding why and what for,” one of them was filmed as saying.

“The commanders send us to die, like waste material, while they themselves are somewhere on the sidelines… When we were captured, our own people fired at us. I guess it means that no one really needs us there,” another said.

According to the Defense Ministry, the Russian military has set up a separate communication channel for Ukrainian soldiers who want to surrender.

The number of those laying down their arms has been steadily growing recently, Igor Kimakovsky, an adviser to the head of the Donetsk People’s Republic, Denis Pushilin, told RIA Novosti on Sunday. He noted that the Ukrainian Army punishes soldiers who try to surrender.

Ukraine has been increasingly reliant on forced conscription to bolster its frontline units, amid a shortage of volunteers and a high number of battlefield casualties. In early February, several Ukrainian commanders told the Washington Post that their units were staffed at around 35% or less.

Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu earlier estimated Ukraine’s casualties at more than 444,000 soldiers since the conflict began in February 2022. The government in Kiev insists that only 31,000 Ukrainian servicemen have been killed in the conflict so far.