Russian Soldier Surrenders Equipment In Exchange For $10k Reward


A Russian soldier has turned himself and his tank over to Ukrainian authorities amid fighting in the war that Russia’s Vladimir Putin recently launched with his invasion of Ukraine. The soldier — identified as Misha — is going to receive a reward of $10,000 and the opportunity to apply for Ukrainian citizenship once the war eventually draws to a close. Apparently, the surrender was the result of “a targeted text with the Ukrainian government’s offer that guaranteed safety, a financial reward, as well as potential Ukrainian citizenship once the war is over,” according to Ukrinform, a Ukrainian government information outlet. According to Viktor Andrusiv, an adviser to the Ukrainian Minister of Internal Affairs, “messages are constantly sent to [Russian soldiers’] numbers with instructions on how to surrender and hand over their armored equipment,” as Ukrinform summarized his revelations.

Andrusiv added as follows regarding the soldier and tank coming under Ukrainian control, in revelations circulated last week:

‘”Misha” called us a few days ago. We passed information about him to the GUR military intelligence. A meeting point was designated. As he approached, a drone monitored the area to make sure this is not an ambush set-up. After that, our spec-ops forces detained him. It turned out that his tank crew mates had fled home, leaving him behind. He saw no point in continuing to fight… “Misha” also told us that they were practically out of food stocks, while the management of their unit was chaotic and almost non-existent. Demoralization levels are enormous.’

According to Andrusiv, Misha also indicated that he “could not return home as his commander threatened to shoot him and write him off as combat loss,” Ukrinform summarizes. Across the current conflict, Ukraine’s defenders have apparently substantially added to the number of tanks under their control because of capturing Russian equipment. Overall, hundreds and hundreds of Russian tanks have reportedly been wiped off the battlefield, with some of these tanks — including the one associated with Misha’s surrender — operational when Ukrainian personnel have taken control of them. According to Oryx, a website collecting open-source information about losses in the war, Ukraine has lost at least 74 tanks since the conflict began — but the country’s defenders have captured at least 118 tanks from Russian invaders. That’s a net gain. (That reporting circulated last week.) Russia’s other losses in Ukraine apparently include thousands of soldiers, including well over a dozen commanders and multiple generals. A U.S. Defense Department official also recently said Russian personnel lost full control of the Ukrainian city of Kherson, which Russia’s side captured earlier in the war, although Ukrainian sources disputed this assessment.

In a widely publicized speech delivered in Poland this weekend, President Joe Biden characterized the war in Ukraine as having already turned into a strategic failure for the Russians’ side, although he acknowledged that these tactical developments wouldn’t bring back the dead. Recently, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken formally stated the Biden administration believed Russian personnel to be guilty of war crimes in Ukraine, where civilian targets have been struck throughout the country as the devastating war has proceeded. Thousands of Ukrainian civilians — including some 300 in a single Russian strike on a Mariupol theater in use as a shelter — have died during the war.