in the latest blow for Vladimir Putin, Ukrainian Minister of Internal Affairs Victor Andrusiv claimed the Russian soldier saw ‘no point in further fighting’ and was terrified to return to his home country
A Russian soldier swapped sides and handed over a tank to his opponents for £7,500 and Ukrainian citizenship, it is claimed.
The soldier, named as ‘Misha’, was said by Ukraine to have signalled his surrender with a white flag and pleaded to join opposing fighters after his Russian army colleagues fled home and his military boss threatened to shoot him.
Ukrainian Minister of Internal Affairs, Victor Andrusiv, posted on Facebook to say the soldier saw “no point in further fighting” and was terrified to return to his home country.
A meeting was organised and he approached in his military vehicle before opening the door and surrendering to Ukrainian soldiers.
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Mr Andrusiv said: “A few days ago Misha called us.
“We passed the information to the military intelligence.
“They marked the place and he arrived. The drone checked that he was alone.”
Mr Andrusiv claimed Misha will receive the cash reward at the end of the war.
Meanwhile he has been given a TV, telephone, kitchen and shower, the minister added, and will be given the opportunity to apply for Ukrainian citizenship.
SPUTNIK/AFP via Getty Images)
Mr Andrusiv said Ukrainian forces regularly send text messages to Russian soldiers, offering them a way to surrender and hand over equipment, having identified the phones and Ukrainian telephone numbers they are using.
In his Facebook post, he added that: “It turned out that there was only one left from the tank crew, the rest escaped home. He didn’t see the point of war.”
He said Misha could not return home as his commaner was shooting deserters.
President Of Ukraine/ZUMA Press Wire Service/REX/Shutterstock)
“Misha said that there was almost no food left, military management is chaotic and practically absent. Demoralization is colossal,” he added.
It is the latest embarrassment to Moscow amid widespread dismay at the targeting of Ukraine civilians.
Footage of the chopper being downed in a field by a surface-to-air missile emerged amid claims Vladimir Putin has lost around 10,000 men in just 10 day
Ukrainians posted a clip online showing the chopper – believed to be an MI-24 Hind Gunship – being shot down in flames by their forces.
It crashed to the ground before exploding in a fireball. A caption on the footage said: “Glory to Ukraine.”
Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky defiantly declared his forces were killing up to 1,000 Russian soldiers a day.
The death toll is a devastating blow for Russia, which has more than 900,000 active personnel.
By comparison, the Soviet Union lost around 14,000 soldiers in Afghanistan in 10 years – and that conflict helped fuel the collapse of the communist state.
Ukraine, which at the beginning of the month is thought to have lost around 3,000 troops, also claims hundreds of Russian tanks, armoured vehicles, helicopters and fighter aircraft have been destroyed.
Sources said the Kremlin was “demoralised” by the losses and the additional 30,000 wounded.
Those killed include Major General Andrei Sukhovetsky, 47, who was shot by a sniper trained just days earlier by the SAS.