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Monday, March 20, 2023

Nearly 10,000 Russians have contacted surrender hotline in 6 months

by The Kyiv IndependentMarch 3, 2023 6:01 pm

Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly said that nearly 10,000 Russian soldiers had surrendered themselves via the hotline, while in fact it was reported that nearly 10,000 Russians had contacted the hotline, exploring the possibility of surrender. It's not known how many of these contacts resulted in actual surrender.

Nearly 10,000 Russians have contacted the Ukrainian hotline set up for the Russian soldiers looking to surrender themselves to Ukrainian forces, Ukraine's Coordination Headquarters for the Treatment of Prisoners of War reported. Among those contacting the hotline were Russian soldiers and members of their families. 

Launched in September 2022 by Ukraine's Main Directorate of Intelligence, the 24-hour "I Want to Live" hotline helps Russians to willingly surrender themselves or their units to the Ukrainian army. Russians are promised that after surrender, they will be held in compliance with the Geneva Conventions.

In addition to the hotline, there is also a chatbot and a website in Russian run by Ukraine's Defense Ministry with information about the program.

According to the report, 14 million people have visited the website since it was launched. Eighty-four percent of the site visits came from the territory of Russia, according to the report.

In December 2022, the Defense Ministry’s Intelligence Directorate’s representative Andriy Yusov said that the surrender hotline and its associated chat bot are contacted by over 100 people per day. 

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