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Thousands of Russian soldiers have already called a Ukrainian hotline to surrender in another humiliation for Putin’s rumpled army, officials said.
Andriy Yusov, a spokesman for Ukraine’s military intelligence, said that in just a few weeks, some 2,000 people called the “I Want To Live” hotline to give themselves up.
Calls have come from soldiers in Ukraine, who are still enlisted in Russia, and some who have not yet received a draft order seeking to oversee the proceedings, Yusov claimed.
It comes after Putin ordered 300,000 conscripted men to be sent to the front lines in Ukraine to support his failed invasion.
2,000 Russian soldiers have called a Ukrainian hotline that will allow them to surrender in weeks, Kiev military intelligence claimed
The despot tries to cling to the territory his army has occupied in more than seven months of war, but his exhausted troops struggle to hold onto the front line.
In early September, Ukrainian units broke through the Russian front line in northern Kharkov, causing a defeat that allowed them to recapture thousands of square miles of territory in just a few days.
That prompted Putin to issue the mobilization order, sending thousands of men to training camps before being deployed, but in the meantime his army has suffered further defeats.
In the past 48 hours, Ukraine has recaptured dozens of towns and villages in the northern Kherson oblast – in the south – with Putin’s forces retreating more than 10 miles in a matter of hours.
Yusov said calls to the hotline have increased significantly since the Kharkiv offensive and have continued to grow ever since.
Russia suffers heavy losses as it tries to retain territory it won in seven months of war, while Ukraine retakes territory to the north and south (pictured, a destroyed tank to the north)
The remains of a Russian column that attempted to escape from the city of Lyman despite being surrounded by Ukrainian troops, and was destroyed
Speaking to Ukraine’s Freedom TV, he said: ‘Then we didn’t just get calls from soldiers who are on the territory of Ukraine as part of the invading forces.
“Also those who have just been mobilized and are still on the territory of Russia, or their relatives, or even people who suspect that they can be mobilized, and clarify this information.
“In a few weeks we have already received more than 2,000 such requests.”
According to neighboring countries, about 370,000 Russian citizens have also fled their homeland, rather than face the possibility of being drafted.
Most have left for Kazakhstan, while the Interior Ministry said some 200,000 had arrived there in just two weeks.
Another 93,000 have gone to Georgia, Russian news channel Fontanka reported, while the EU said 66,000 went to its territory — most believed to have arrived in Finland after the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania closed their borders.
Putin has ordered 300,000 men to be enlisted in the military to support his invasion, amid reports that 370,000 have fled the country
Mongolia, which borders Russia in the far east, said 16,000 had arrived.
Putin has also stated that Ukraine’s occupied regions are now part of Russia after organizing mock referendums with people forced to vote at gunpoint.
Kherson, Donetsk, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhya will be part of Russia ‘forever’, Putin declared in a major speech last week in which he also lashed out at the West.
But his spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, has since been unable to say exactly where the ‘new’ Russian border will be drawn, and Russia has lost ground in three of those four areas in the days since Putin’s speech.