“Crazy video of a Russian soldier pleading to a Ukrainian drone not to kill him. The Ukrainian have mercy & send another drone with a written message, telling him to walk to their lines and surrender The Russian obeys, but other Russians try to shell him,” Eastern European news agency Visegrád 24 (@visegrad24) said in a post on Twitter while sharing the video clip.
The drone was reportedly operated by a unit of the Ukrainian 92nd Separate Mechanized Brigade, and in addition to the grenade, it was also carrying a note that instructed how he could give himself up. He was told to climb out of the trench and follow the drone back to the Ukrainian lines. That included crossing open ground.
A Russian Lone Survivor
Though the Ukrainian forces didn’t shoot at the lone soldier, the Russian still had to dodge fire from his own forces before he reached the Ukrainian positions to be taken prisoner.
“We accompanied him all the way to Ukrainian positions. Captivity in Ukraine gives you more chances to survive than service in the Russian army,” Yurii Fedorenko, the commander of the 92nd Mechanized Brigade’s drone company, told The Guardian on Thursday.
The soldier is now in custody, and this story has been noted by the government in Kyiv.
“The enemy noticed the drone and began to make gestures to show a desire to surrender,” said Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukrainian deputy prime minister. “Infantrymen and scouts accompanied him all the way to Ukrainian positions.”
Portent of the Situation in Bakhmut
Even as it was just a single individual who sought to live this week, the video comes as Russian forces have reportedly given up nearly a mile and a half of ground in the besieged city of Bakhmut, which has been the scene of fighting for nearly 10 months.
“We are effectively counterattacking,” Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskiy, commander of the Ukrainian Ground Forces 3rd Assault Brigade said in a post on Telegram on Wednesday. “On some sections of the front, the enemy could not withstand pressure from Ukrainian defenders and had to retreat up to 2 kilometers.”
The Russian 72nd Motorized Rifle Brigade has also suffered major losses as it was forced to retreat.
The loss of the recently taken ground has further exposed a rift between Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the pro-Russian Wagner Group mercenary force, and the Kremlin. It was Wagner forces that had fought for weeks to take the positions.
“Our army is fleeing. The 72nd Brigade [pissed away] 3-square kilometers this morning, where I had lost around 500 men,” Prigozhin said in a video he shared on social media earlier this week.
Crazy video of a Russian soldier pleading to a Ukrainian drone not to kill him.
The Ukrainian have mercy & send another drone with a written message, telling him to walk to their lines and surrender
The Russian obeys, but other Russians try to shell him pic.twitter.com/cgmizL2gMt
— Visegrád 24 (@visegrad24) May 10, 2023
Author Experience and Expertise
A Senior Editor for 19FortyFive, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,200 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, politics, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes and Clearance Jobs. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.