Surge in Russians ringing ‘I Want To Live’ line as soldiers run from ‘slaughter’3 min read
A surge in Russian soldiers forced to fight in Vladimir Putin's failing war calling a rescue hotline has been reported.
Around six months into the war, Ukraine launched a hotline called the “I Want To Live” line, where Russian soldiers not willing to do Putin's bidding would call and be rescued.
It had been reported in January of this year that 6,543 Russian personnel had surrendered in this way.
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But now, according to Ukraine's Main Directorate of Intelligence, the pace of Russian's wanting to flee the war has increased “at pace”.
Putin has lost more than 700k troops since starting his failing invasion – a whopping 79.1% of available soldiers.
But that figure doesn't include those who have fled to Ukraine.
A spokesman for Ukraine said this week: “The choice of a Russian soldier during the war is simple: either death or capture.
“However, a series of sudden, unexpected, lightning-fast events can change everything.
“Their number is constantly growing, as is the interest in the project among Russians.”
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Vitaliy Matvienko, who is part of the team behind the hotline has said that the number of soldiers surrendering has “doubled” from last month, to around 3,000.
The last official figures, reported by various news outlets, claim that by March of this year, around 10,000 Russians had contacted the hotline, but it was not clarified as to how many of those had surrendered.
In December, 2022, President Volodymyr Zelensky's press secretary Andriy Yusov claimed on a telethon that droves of Russians have turned to the helpline that was launched by the Ukrainian government.
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He revealed that 1.2 million people had contacted the support line in total and that "the lion's share of them are people who are in the territory of the so-called Russian Federation".
He said: “Currently these are not intents to surrender, but inquiries to find a way for themselves and their relatives to save their lives in this bloody unjustified war of Putin's occupiers against Ukraine.”
The hotline is contactable via a chatbot on the website or by telephone.
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