Members of the Russian army or government have been called on several times to overthrow Vladimir Putin and desert. Now Ukraine has promised protection to soldiers fighting in the country if they surrender.
Ukraine guarantees “life, security and justice to all those who immediately refuse to fight,” Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said in a Russian-language video released Friday. “You can still save Russia from tragedy and the Russian army from humiliation.”
Ukraine will ensure that the Russian commanders who “issued criminal orders” are brought before a tribunal, Reznikov said. “You have been cheated and cheated,” stressed the defense minister. It’s easier for commanders to “tell you that you died heroically while fighting imaginary NATO hordes.” Although NATO countries have provided Ukraine with weapons, it was “Ukrainian soldiers who beat you with these weapons”.
According to British military experts, the Ukrainian army now largely uses vehicles captured by the Russian invading army. More than half of the deployed Ukrainian tanks come from Moscow’s stockpiles, according to the British Defense Ministry intelligence’s daily update on the war in Ukraine on Friday. “Ukraine has probably captured at least 440 main battle tanks and about 650 armored vehicles since the invasion.”
Successful Ukrainian counter-offensive
The Ukrainian army also managed to recapture large areas from Russian troops during the weeks-long counteroffensive. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy reported Thursday evening that thousands of Russian soldiers were withdrawing after the frontline collapsed, first in the northeast and, since the beginning of the week, also in the south. In his daily video speech, he said Ukrainian troops have recaptured more than 500 square kilometers and dozens of cities in the Kherson region. This information could not be independently verified.
Meanwhile, at least 11 people have been killed in shelling on residential buildings in the city of Zaporizhzhya, according to Ukrainian sources. Another 21 residents were rescued from the rubble after Thursday’s Russian attacks, some seriously injured, Ukraine’s Civil Defense said Friday. Photos show rescuers digging through the rubble to find missing people. According to the information, two multi-storey houses were hit by the missiles. The Zaporizhia region is one of four regions officially annexed by Russia about a week ago, along with Kherson, Donetsk and Luhansk. So far, Russian forces have occupied about 70 percent of the region, but not the regional capital Zaporizhzhya itself.
Kherson: Bus with civilians shot at
The Russian news agency TASS reported that at least five people were killed when Ukrainian troops fired on a bus in the Russian-controlled part of Ukraine’s southern Kherson region. The attack took place when a bus carrying civilians drove over a bridge near the village of Darivka, the Russian-appointed regional authority said. Videos from the state news agency Zvezda shared by Russian troops showed the burnt-out wreckage of a bus and a badly damaged van behind it.