Yesterday, Atlas News reported on the nearly 264 Ukrainian service members who surrendered to Russian forces since the Ukrainian General Staff ordered the military commanders there to “save the lives of personnel” two days ago.
As of 1100 EST, the Russian Ministry of Defense has confirmed that 694 Ukrainian soldiers, 24 of them being critically wounded have since surrendered to Russian Forces. However, increasingly aggressive rhetoric from Russian, Donetsk Peoples Republic Militia and Chechen forces paints a grim picture for the surrendered soldiers. Chechen service members have taken to social media, posting a flurry of videos and pictures documenting the state of Ukrainian soldiers, blaming President Zelensky for not allowing them to surrender sooner, in an obvious propaganda attempt.
But it is the rhetoric concerning trials that is the most troubling. Self-Declared Donetsk Peoples Republic Leader Pushilin has declared that “the courts” will decide the fate of the Ukrainian soldiers. While Chechen Leader Kadyrov, the TikTok Queen, has declared that Ukrainian prisoners will be exchanged, but “ideological Bandeovites” must stand trial for their crimes against the people of the Donbas. This rhetoric is extremely troubling considering yesterday’s post which outlines the Russian Investigate Committees’ vow to interrogate soldiers in order to identify and imprison “nationalists of the Azov Battalion.”
The hundreds of non-injured Ukrainian troops have been transported to Bezimmene where they will withstand these interrogations, exchanges, or possible imprisonment. As for the commanders of the three Ukrainian units still in the Azovstal plant, including the Azov Battalion, those men and their remaining forces have not surrendered. Russian Presidential Spokesperson Peskov announced that the fate of those men will be “decided by the Ministry of Defense”.