Thousands of Russian troops have reportedly turned to a hotline Kyiv set up for Moscow’s conscripts who wish to lay down arms in Ukraine.
Ukraine's Ministry of Defense said last week that Russians were calling in to check on what steps need to be taken to surrender and what to do if they are conscripted under Russian President Vladimir Putin’s "partial mobilization."
"We have already received more than two thousand applications," Vitaly Matviyenko, a spokesman for the surrender hotline, told the British news outlet Express.
"Both servicemen of the Russian army and their relatives who want their sons and husbands to stay alive are calling," he added.
Russian men flocked to airports and jammed up borders as fighting-age men attempted to flee following Putin’s call to send another 300,000 men to fight in his war in Ukraine – a figure that doubles the number of troops originally positioned on Ukraine’s borders in the lead up to the invasion.
Some 260,000 civilians reportedly fled Russia within days of the order as others took to the streets to protest the call.
Matviyenko told the British publication that Ukraine will adhere to parameters set out under the Geneva Convention.
"Among other things, we are talking about three meals a day, medical care, and the opportunity to contact relatives. The only chance to avoid death in Ukraine is to surrender," he added.
The "I Want to Live" hotline was first announced by Ukraine’s defense ministry on Sept. 19, two days before Putin announced his mobilization efforts.
A spokesperson for the ministry, Andrii Yusov, told Ukrainian news outlet Pravda the hotline had received a lot of calls from people who had not even yet been called into Russia’s ranks.