‘I Want to Live’ Project Reveals How Hotline Captures Russian Soldiers

A Ukrainian intelligence project has been working to identify and pick up Russian soldiers who want to surrender to avoid participation in the ongoing war in Ukraine.

The spokesman of the “I want to live” project, Vitaliy Matvienko, said so Kyiv post office in an interview published Wednesday that Russian soldiers may contact them to arrange their surrender.

“They save their lives, and fewer will be at the front,” he said.

Matvienko explained that the project has a chatbot that Russian military personnel – who have been or may be mobilized – use to fill out a questionnaire where they can declare that they do not want to fight against Ukraine. The project hotline then provides these Russians with information to prepare them for the surrender process if and when they are in Ukraine.

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“When they are sent to Ukraine, they contact our specialists again and we identify their location, and then we plan a program of safe exit from that territory,” Matvienko said. publication. “Special operations forces arrange safe exit and the person eventually reaches Ukrainian-controlled territory.”

Since the initiative was launched on September 18, more than 3,500 appeals have been received through its Telegram channel and hotline, Matvienko said. He did not say exactly how many had successfully participated in a surrender.

Ukraine organizing the surrender of Russian soldiers
Military volunteers and civilians train at a shooting range in Russia’s Rostov region on November 11. A Ukrainian intelligence project has been working to identify and pick up Russian soldiers who want to surrender to avoid participation in the ongoing war in Ukraine.
Stringer/AFP via Getty Images

The war in Ukraine has taken a heavy toll on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s troops, underscoring reports of desertions and morale problems in the Russian military. The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine said in its latest article estimation Wednesday that nearly 83,000 Russian soldiers had been eliminated since the start of the war on February 24. US General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, provided a separate estimate last week, saying the combined number of wounded and dead in Russia has exceeded 100,000. individuals

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Russia also faced widespread public backlash over its partial mobilization order in September that Putin said would call up up to 300,000 additional troops to fight in Ukraine. The draft sparked mass protests and a petition against the mobilization that gathered hundreds of thousands of signatures within a day of being announced.

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Matvienko said publication that the “I want to live” project saw a surge in requests after Putin ordered partial mobilization, forcing many Russians to face the possibility of being sent to Ukraine.

As for the Russians who end up surrendering, some express concern about how they will be treated at the hands of the Ukrainians, but they are offered “comfortable conditions,” three meals a day and medical attention when needed, Matvienko said. They are also allowed to contact legal and family representatives in Russia, he added.

Newsweek The Russian Ministry of Defense was contacted for comment.


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