Russian Soldiers Begin Surrendering…to Ukrainian DRONES

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The Russian military has found itself in the unenviable position of failing miserably on the world’s stage, and this week brought yet another humiliating turn of events.

The invasion of Ukraine has been a complete and utter mess for Russia, plagued by equipment failures, low troop morale, and a complete lack of success.  As these issues multiply, so do the number of Russian soldiers deciding to forego the war and face whatever consequences come with surrender.

Even if that mean waving a white flag in front of a drone.

Tens of thousands of drones have been employed across Ukraine to kill the enemy, spy on its formations and guide bombs to their targets. But this month the Ukrainian military began a program to use drones in a more unusual role: to guide Russian soldiers who want to surrender.

The program had its genesis in late November, when the Ukrainian military released footage of a Russian soldier throwing his weapon to the ground, raising his hands and nervously following a path set out by a drone overhead, leading him to soldiers from the Ukrainian army’s 54th Mechanized Brigade.

A few weeks later, the Ukrainian General Staff released an instructional video explaining how Russian soldiers can surrender to a Ukrainian drone, and it is now part of a wide-ranging effort by Ukraine to persuade Russian soldiers to give up. The program, called “I want to live,” includes a phone hotline, a website and a Telegram channel all dedicated to communicating to Russian soldiers and their families.

The video was a rather popular one.

Andriy Yusov, who represents the intelligence department in Ukraine’s ministry of defense, said Ukraine had received 1.2 million inquiries about the program since it was set up on Sept. 18. Most of the queries are coming from Russia, he said, and the vast majority involved appeals from “people who are studying for themselves or their relatives the possibility of saving life in the bloody and unjust war.”

While we may come to later recognize this as the beginning of a new style of warfare altogether, for now it’s just another way in which we can watch Putin’s unjust war crumble before his very eyes.