Ukraine’s President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy has warned Russian conscripts sent to fight in Ukraine that they should surrender if they want to survive.
Russian president, Vladimir Putin has called up over 300,000 reservists to help fight in the war against Ukraine following losses on the battlefield but Zelenskyy has warned the new soldiers to run or protest in Russia rather than come fight and lose their lives.
“If you want to live, run. If you want to live, surrender. If you want to live, fight on your streets for your freedom. Everything was taken from you anyway,” he said on Telegram, addressing the soldiers in Russian.
Highlighting the differences between ordinary Russian men called up last week in President Putin’s partial mobilization, and powerful Russian oligarchs, Zelenskyy asked the conscripts;
“What are you fighting for? You have only loans, some food to eat at the end of the day, and now – mobilization. Fight for what is yours! Do not climb into our land, into our soul and into our culture.”
Zelenskyy’s warning comes after photos emerged on Wednesday, September 28 showing newly drafted reservists attend a departure ceremony in Sevastopol, Crimea. The reserves looked old and unfit.
Also, Zelenskyy has carried out a flurry of diplomatic calls to Ukraine’s Western allies, drumming up support for Kyiv following a series of sham referendums in Russian-occupied parts of the country. It’s widely expected that Putin will announce the annexation of those areas of the country (Luhansk and Donetsk in the east, and Zaporizhzhia and Kherson in the south) on Friday.
Zelenskyy said Ukraine’s main task was to “coordinate actions with the partners in response to the fake referendums organized by Russia, and related threats. This is not 2014 [when Crimea was annexed by Russia]. Everyone understands everything. And they will certainly act.”
“If someone over there, in Russia, thinks that they can ‘get away’ with everything they are doing in the occupied territory … they are wrong,” the president added.
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