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DIU: Number of occupants willing to surrender increased by 70% after 'Synytsya' special operation

"There is a leap in the "I want to live" line separately and through other communication channels.”

DIU: Number of occupants willing to surrender increased by 70% after 'Synytsya' special operation
Representative of the Coordination Headquarters for the Treatment of Prisoners of War Andriy Yusov
Photo: Coordination Headquarters for the Treatment of Prisoners of War

After the successful special operation "Synytsya" by the Ukrainian special services, when Russian pilot Maxim Kuzminov drove a Russian Mi-8 helicopter to Ukraine, the number of Russian servicemen willing to surrender as part of the "I Want to Live" project has increased.

Andriy Yusov, a representative of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defence, told Radio Liberty.

"There is an increasing of appeals in the "I Want to Live" line separately and through other communication channels. After the successful operation "Synytsya" with Mi-8 and a pilot, for example, the number of Russian army servicemen who are considering a similar scenario has increased. Applying to the state project "I Want to Live" increased by about 70% per day," Yusov said.

He also commented on the information from telegram channels that the person who would transfer a MiG fighter to Ukraine would allegedly be given $2mn.

"This information is more in the nature of a legend and a people's initiative. But, of course, there will be a reward for the MiG," Yusov said.

"I Want to Live" is a state project of the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine, which aims to help Russian military personnel safely surrender to the Ukrainian Armed Forces and save their lives. The project guarantees the detention of prisoners in accordance with the Geneva Conventions.

Earlier, the GUR released a documentary film "Downed Russian Pilots", which for the first time showed a Russian pilot who had ferried an Mi-8 to Ukraine as part of the "Synytsya" special operation. According to the DIU, the pilot is Maxim Kuzminov, he served in the 319th separate helicopter regiment of the Russian Army Aviation - military unit 13984 with a permanent location in the Primorsky Krai of the Russian Federation.

The special operation became known on 23 August. Subsequently, the head of the DIU, Kyrylo Budanov, said that it had been prepared for six months.

Details of the special operation were later reported at a press conference by DIU representatives Andriy Yusov and Artem Shevchenko. Yusov said that the process lasted six months from the moment when the pilot Kuzminov contacted the Ukrainian special services and expressed a desire to fly to Ukraine. According to the law, Ukraine will pay the pilot monetary compensation, guarantee the safety of him and his family members, and give him the right to choose his future place of residence and work.

The pilot said that he persuaded the other crew members to surrender, but they got scared, started behaving aggressively, and ran toward the border after landing. They had to be eliminated.

Ukrainian intelligence is currently in dialogue with several other Russian pilots. 

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