Cannon fodder or safe surrender?
As the resilience and bravery of Ukrainians proved to be more than Vladimir Putin anticipated, many misled Russian soldiers found themselves on the front lines far longer than expected. And as the prospect of mobilization loomed, more Russian men on the homefront and the battlefront started searching for options that didn’t involve killing Ukrainians or sacrificing their own lives.
“Ask yourself a question – what are you fighting for?” the I Want to Live Project voiceover booms in sync with the sights and sounds of the war. Created in September of 2022, the project coordinates with Russian soldiers who see past the Kremlin’s false justifications for war to arrange a safe surrender to Ukrainian forces or drones.
Available as a hotline and through popular messenger apps, the project has fielded thousands of calls from Russian soldiers and their families. “This project was created so their lives will be guaranteed if they surrender voluntarily” says Vitalii Matviyenko, who heads up the project.
Today’s #24for24 recognizes the humanity of a project designed to save the lives that generals would sacrifice. And the discernment of the people willing to fight for what is right by not fighting for who is wrong.