“Do I just kneel down?”; Russian soldiers can surrender with ease via a hotline operated by Ukraine’s military.

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A Ukrainian military hotline, in the midst of the war, is used to surrender and reduce war casualties. The hotline operator behind this program carried instructions meant to improve the odds of everyone staying alive. These instructions included “[waving] a white cloth, [removing] magazines from their guns, [pointing] the barrels to the ground, and [eschewing] body armor and helmets.” Part of these protocols assured the soldiers that in the event they were to be sent home in a prisoner swap, their paperwork would indicate that they were captured rather than surrendered. In this program to attempt to win the war, Ukrainian officials hope the Russian soldiers also recognize the suicidal role they are expected to play, which leads to a desperate sense of self-preservation. 

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