A Russian soldier
Representation. A Russian soldier stands guard at the Luhansk power plant in the town of Shchastya. ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP via Getty Images


  • A Russian soldier expressed his desire to surrender to an Ukrainian military drone
  • The Russian soldier followed the drone and fled the frontlines while being shot at by his colleagues
  • Nearly 10,000 Russians have contacted Ukraine's surrender hotline since September 2022

A Russian soldier who was seen in a video surrendering to a Ukrainian drone in the embattled Ukrainian city of Bakhmut was shot at by his fellow Russian troops, according to a report.

The dramatic footage, taken by the Code 9.2 unit of Ukraine's 92nd Mechanized Brigade near Bakhmut and shared on Twitter by Euromaidan Press, showed a Russian soldier making various signals to the drone indicating he doesn't want to fight.

At one point, the unidentified Russian soldier made a pleading motion and offered to tear the insignia from his shoulder.

The Ukrainian drone eventually dropped a package containing a note telling the Russian soldier to surrender and follow it.

But the fleeing soldier indicated to the drone he would be killed if he fled by pointing to himself, shaking his hand, and making a slicing motion across his neck.

Despite fears of being killed by his fellow Russian soldiers, the man decided to follow the drone and ran through explosions, trenches and dead bodies on the war-torn ground.

"At that time, his comrades-in-arms began to fire at him from the Russian positions, but he was not hit," Vitaliy Matvienko, the spokesperson for Ukraine's "I Want to Live" surrender hotline, told Business Insider.

The fleeing Russian soldier eventually approached a dugout, removed his helmet, and raised his hands to indicate his surrender. He was met by a Ukrainian soldier.

Matvienko said the soldier, who hails from the Pskov region in western Russia, is safe and being held by Ukraine as a prisoner of war.

The I Want To Live spokesperson said the encounter is a clear example of how Ukraine finds "such creative ways to defeat Russians on the battlefield."

Nearly 10,000 people from Russia and temporarily occupied territories in Ukraine have contacted the surrender hotline between September 2022 and March, the Ukrainian Coordination Headquarters for the Treatment of Prisoners of War said.

Despite attempts by the Russian media censorship body Roskomnadzor to block Ukraine's surrender project, 84% of the 14 million people who visited the website came from Russia.

The project was launched in September 2022 by Ukraine's Main Directorate of Intelligence to help Russians who willingly surrender themselves to the Ukrainian forces, Kyiv Independent reported.

But other Russian soldiers face death on the Ukrainian battlefield, including 750 Russian military personnel who were eliminated in the past 24 hours, according to the latest casualty report by the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine more than a year ago, the Ukrainian military said 197,670 Russian soldiers have been wounded or killed in action, inching closer to the grim 200,000 mark.

Russia's other combat losses reportedly include 3,745 tanks, 7,295 armored personnel vehicles (APVs), 3,068 artillery systems, and 2,636 operational-tactical level unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

Russian soldiers patrol a street in Mariupol on April 12, 2022, as Moscow intensifies a campaign to take the strategic Ukrainian port city
Russian soldiers patrol a street in Mariupol on April 12, 2022, as Moscow intensifies a campaign to take the strategic Ukrainian port city AFP / Alexander NEMENOV