Ukraine Will Protect Rights of Russian Deserters, Zelensky Says in Nightly Address

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urged newly mobilized Russian soldiers to desert and surrender to Ukrainian forces, in a nightly address on Saturday, September 24.

Speaking in Russian, Zelensky said Russian soldiers should surrender to Ukraine rather than risk being killed, injured, or tried as a war criminal after the conflict had ended.

He added that Ukraine would guarantee any Russian soldier who surrendered treatment in accordance with international conventions and said Ukraine would not return anyone to Russia if they were afraid of repercussions.

“It is better to surrender to Ukrainian captivity than to be killed by the strikes of our weapons,” Zelensky said.

Zelensky also called Putin’s recent mobilisation of the country’s reserves a “mobilization to graves” and accused the Russian government of “sending their citizens to death." Credit: Volodymyr Zelensky via Storyful