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‘I offer you a chance to live’: Zelensky calls on Russian troops to surrender

‘Russian forces have de-facto become a supplier of equipment for our army’, President Zelensky said

Holly Bancroft
Wednesday 16 March 2022 19:38 GMT
War in Ukraine: Zelensky urges Russians to surrender
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Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky has appealed directly to Russian soldiers to surrender in his latest video address.

In a video posted early on Tuesday morning, Mr Zelensky told the invading forces: “On behalf of the Ukrainian people, we give you a chance to live.”

He added: “If you surrender to our forces, we will treat you as humans have to be treated: with dignity. The way you have not been treated in your army. And the way your army doesn’t treat our people. Choose.”

Mr Zelensky’s comments come as further reports emerge of the faltering Russian advance on Ukraine. A top Russian official, considered to be a close ally of president Vladimir Putin, has said publicly that the invasion is not proceeding as quickly as the Kremlin wanted.

National Guard chief, Viktor Zolotov, who was once in charge of Mr Putin’s personal security, said: “I would like to say yes, not everything is going as fast as we would like”, Reuters reported.

Mr Zolotov added: “But we are going towards our goal step by step and victory will be for us.”

Volodymyr Zelensky, speaking on Tuesday morning, said that the Russians “have begun realised that they won’t achieve anything by war.”

Volodymyr Zelensky snaps a selfie with an injured man laying on a bed during a visit at a military hospital following fighting in the Kyiv region (UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SERVICE)

He continued: “Their soldiers know it. Their officers understand it. They flee from the battlefield, leaving behind their vehicles and equipment. We take the trophies and use them for defence of Ukraine.

“Russian forces have de-facto become a supplier of equipment for our army. They couldn’t imagine it in a nightmare.”

Mr Zelensky then implored Russian soldiers to consider “what are you dying for?”.

“I know you want to survive,” he said. “We hear in your intercepted calls what you really think of this war, of this shame, and of your state.

“Your conversations with each other, your calls home to your families, we hear everything. We make conclusions. We know who you are.”

UK defence sources have suggested that Russian forces may only be able to keep fighting at full strength for another two weeks.

They told The Daily Mail that the offensive may struggle to make any progress or hold ground after the next 10 to 14 days.

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