Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has condemned partial mobilization in Russia for the war against his country as a “crime” and urged Moscow’s fighters to surrender. It is better to refuse to be called up for service than to die as a war criminal on foreign soil, Zelensky said in a video message in Russian published on Saturday evening. At the same time he offered that Russian soldiers could voluntarily go into captivity. There they would be treated in a civilized manner.
The head of state turned with it already for the second time this week in Russian to the neighbors
– against the “criminal mobilization”. With a view to the high penalties for deserters in Russia, which Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin put into effect on Saturday, Zelenskyj said that nobody would know under what circumstances the soldiers gave up. “If you’re afraid to return and don’t want a prisoner exchange, then we’ll find a way to ensure that, too.”
Russia’s commanders didn’t care about the lives of their soldiers, they are only concerned with filling the posts that have been orphaned by death, injury, imprisonment and flight. “Ukraine will do everything to win,” said Zelenskyy. She has the right to defend her children and her freedom against the Russian invaders. Everything will continue to be done for the liberation of all areas, including the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014, Zelensky said.