'They Don't Want to Die Pointless Death': Why Ukrainian Troops Increasingly Surrender
19:15 GMT 12.09.2023 (Updated: 19:20 GMT 12.09.2023)
Ukrainian soldiers have been increasingly surrendering during the Kiev regime's three-month long botched counteroffensive. What's behind the phenomenon?
The number of Ukrainians laying down their arms is growing as the Kiev regime's forces have been sustaining dramatic losses, former senior Pentagon adviser Col. Douglas Macgregor stressed on an independent US media podcast on September 10.
"The numbers of Ukrainian units and soldiers that are giving up is increasing daily, most of it happens at the lowest level because these people have had no effective training. They're not prepared for this and they're being sent to their deaths," the retired US Army colonel and government official tweeted on Sunday.
US veterans have zero illusions with regard to the unfolding conflict. Per them, the Kiev regime and its Western backers are sending tens of thousands of Ukrainian soldiers on a suicide mission, even though the hostilities could have been ceased in March 2022, after Russian and Ukrainian representatives inked a preliminary peace agreement in Istanbul.
"I'm sure the men are 'Why are we doing this again? And how did this all start? What is this for?' And then you've got ultra-nationalist, neo-Nazi types embedded across the military too, pushing this to the end. They are destroying their country. The military people, the lower level commanders realize that and they know they're going to be killed," Earl Rasmussen, retired lieutenant colonel with over 20 years in the US Army, told Sputnik.
"They are walking into a suicide mission. [...] I think they've got problems within their military and morale and command structure. That's why you're seeing more and more of this happen, because lower level commanders have taken or taken actions in their own hands," the US veteran continued.
Ukrainian Soldiers Laying Down Arms
Instances of Ukrainian soldiers ceasing resistance
have been recorded by regional officials and the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) since the beginning of Ukraine's counteroffensive attempt, which kicked off in June. During the largely botched advance, the Ukrainian Armed Forces have lost around 71,000 troops
"I can say that recently – for around a month – the enemy has started to surrender. There are no longer one or two defectors at a time, as it used to be in the spring: we have observed entire units and platoons surrendering," acting Governor of the Zaporozhye region Yevgeny Balitsky told a Russian broadcaster on July 24.
Here is a list of a few of these cases:
June 18: On the Vremevsky ledge, located on the border of the Zaporozhye region and the Donetsk People's Republic, personnel of the Ukrainian Armed Forces Marine Corps surrendered to Russian Marines from the 60th Primorsky Brigade.
June 21: In the Krasny Liman direction, Russian troops destroyed up to 135 Ukrainian servicemen per day and stopped the activities of three enemy sabotage and reconnaissance groups, eight soldiers of the Ukrainian Armed Forces surrendered, per the Russian Ministry of Defense.
July 18: A group of Ukrainian soldiers voluntarily surrendered to units of the Russian Armed Forces in the Zaporozhye direction, a commander of the Russian unit told Sputnik.
"Servicemen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine contacted our unit via the so-called 'humanitarian' frequency – which was listed in the leaflets that we dropped over enemy positions – and expressed the desire to voluntarily lay down their arms. We discussed the details. We ensured their safety when crossing the [front] line," the Russian serviceman said.
: Having made 13 failed attempts to gain positions in the Svatovo and Krasny Liman directions, the Ukrainian military suffered significant losses
, with over 40 troops choosing to surrender.
"In the Svatovo and Krasny Liman directions, the enemy made 13 attempts to regain lost positions," Russian Armed Forces spokesman Alexander Savchuk told Sputnik. "As a result of the coordinated actions of the advanced units of the Russian Battlegroup Tsentr, supported by artillery fire and air strikes, the assault groups of the 25th Airborne Brigade, as well as the 21st and 67th and Mechanized Brigades of the Ukrainian Armed Forces to suffer significant losses in personnel."
August 8: Three Ukrainian servicemen crossed the Dnepr River and surrendered to the Russian military on the left bank of the Kherson region.
"On August 8, at about 11 pm (GMT+3), in the area between the settlements of Velikaya Lepetikha and Zavodovka, three servicemen of the Ukrainian Armed Forces crossed the river to our side. They had three AK-74 assault rifles, 360 rounds of 5.45 mm caliber ammunition for them, a hand-held anti-tank grenade launcher and three shots for it," a military source familiar with the matter told Sputnik on August 10.
One of the Ukrainian POWs later told Sputnik that he and his two comrades decided to surrender because of the bad attitude of the Ukrainian commanders to their subordinates, lack of combat training, and hunger.
September 1: Eight soldiers of the 30th Brigade of the Ukrainian Armed Forces surrendered to Russian forces of the 200th Brigade of the Southern Military District, after an unsuccessful attack near Artemovsk (also known as Bakhmut) in the Donetsk region.
September 4: Three Ukrainian reconnaissance officers voluntarily surrendered in the Zaporozhye region, as per the acting governor of the region, Yevgeny Balitsky. Prior to that, the Ukrainian military lost 140 troops, six tanks, one pickup truck, and four drones in 24 hours.
September 10: Four Russian paratroopers captured 11 Ukrainian soldiers in the Zaporozhye region, as per the press service of the 76th Guards Air Assault Division from Pskov.
"According to intelligence data, soldiers from the Ukrainian territorial defense and other mobilized Ukrainians do not want to face certain death," gcting Governor of the Kherson region Vladimir Saldo wrote on his Telegram account on August 10, adding that those Ukrainians who refuse to fight are subjected to repressions by their commanders and neo-Nazi battalions. "Today, a barrage detachment of local Nazis and foreign mercenaries executed a [Ukrainian] unit which refused to sail on boats to the left bank [the Dnepr River]."
Why Don't Ukrainians Fear Giving Up?
Earlier, the Russian Ministry of Defense shed light on cases when the Ukrainian military has shelled and killed their own compatriots who decided to lay down their arms.
Thus, on April 5, 14 personnel from Ukraine's 53rd Mechanized Brigade surrendered to the Russian military near Avdeevka. To allow Ukrainian fighters to leave safely, the Russian military suspended hostilities and then placed the Ukrainian POWs in a secure dugout. However, at night, Ukrainian artillery fired a whopping 300 high-caliber shells at the location where prisoners were hiding, killing all of them.
In contrast with Ukraine's military, which has repeatedly abused, tortured, and mutilated Russian POWs, Ukrainian prisoners feel safe receiving medical aid, food, and other assistance from the Russian side.
Ukrainian soldier Vitaly Ivaskevich told the Russian media on July 27 that he and his fellow troops surrendered in battle. A Russian assault brigade suspended fire and brought Vitaly and his wounded comrade to a safe place. The Ukrainian soldier recalled that the Russian servicemen gave them water and cigarettes, and that their attitude towards the prisoners was "ideal" and "humane."
On September 12, captured Ukrainian serviceman Yevgeny Zinovik told Sputnik that he had been abandoned on the battlefield by the Ukrainian military and laid on the ground suffering from wounds for four days, until Russian reconnaissance officers found him.
"They found a stretcher and took me away from the battlefield. They gave me food and brought me water," Yevgeny said.
Zinovik's wound was serious and he confessed that he was glad to be captured. He is currently undergoing treatment in a Donetsk hospital. He said that the doctors were treating him well, and that the wound has completely healed.
'They No Longer Wish to Die'
The reality on the ground and firsthand evidence of what's going on differs from what the Western mainstream media is trying to promote.
Anyone watching this conflict and utilizing facts from the beginning can see that both resources and Western faith in the Ukrainian effort has largely evaporated, according to Karen Kwiatkowski, a retired US Air Force lieutenant colonel and former Pentagon analyst.
"The Ukraine that is left is weak in terms of numbers of people, numbers of potential soldiers, impoverished except for those connected to Western aid and the oligarchy, and they are ready to just be people and rebuild what is left," Kwiatkowski told Sputnik. "Most Ukrainians are over the long war against the Donbass, as they have already been over Crimea as Russian. This US-funded effort to use Ukraine to batter Russia for a decade is over, for everyone but the Ukrainian super-nationalists, and the Ukrainian Nazis, but there are not enough of them left to even control the country at this point. These are the macro reasons. [Ukrainian] troops surrender on a battlefield because they no longer wish to die, starve, and never see home again."