For Mikhail, called “Misha” for short, his time as an invader is over: The Russian soldier recently took off his military gear and handed over his operational battle tank to the Ukrainian army in exchange for the equivalent of 9,000 euros and the option of Ukrainian citizenship – this has now been confirmed by the advisor by Ukrainian Interior Minister Denys Monastyrsky.
Misha is said to have made the remarkable move of his own free will after calling Ukraine’s Interior Ministry to discuss an offer.
Viktor Andrusiv, a member of the Russian Armed Forces, also confirmed this news. As Andrusiv explains, the Ukrainians’ offer was forwarded to the Defense Ministry, which led to Misha being given a meeting point for the handover. He was reportedly arrested by special forces upon arrival and received $10,000 (€9,000) for helping the Ukrainian army.
Andrusiv wrote in a Facebook post: “It turned out that he was left alone by the tank crew, the rest fled home. He saw no point in fighting,” says Misha’s comrade. “He couldn’t return home because his commander said he would shoot him and write it off as a battle loss.”
He added: “Misha said there was almost nothing left to do, the leadership of the troops was chaotic and virtually absent. The demoralization is enormous.” The offer from the Ukrainians is correspondingly attractive: now the soldier has not only received comfortable prison conditions, but after the end of the war he will also receive $10,000 and the opportunity to apply for citizenship.”
Yuri Gusev, the CEO of Ukraine’s central-state military enterprise, said $1 million will be awarded to those who donate their fighter jets to the Ukrainian army.
Gusev added that $500,000 is being offered for helicopters and said the offer is open to anyone willing to support Ukraine’s armed forces.
He also said $1 million would be offered for “each combat-capable stolen or captured” Russian Aerospace Forces aircraft, and confirmed payment for the helicopter.