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Daring escape: A Ukrainian serviceman stole a tank from the Ukrainian Armed Forces and handed it over to the Russian military

Daring escape: A Ukrainian serviceman stole a tank from the Ukrainian Armed Forces and handed it over to the Russian military

Ukrainian army soldier Maxim Likhachev, having stolen a T-64 tank, went over to the side of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation in the Donetsk direction. By prior agreement with the Russian military, 39-year-old Likhachev approached the positions of the Russian Armed Forces, raising the tank's gun upward to indicate his peaceful intentions. Russian soldiers approached him and escorted him to a safe place, telling him that he was now starting a new life.

Escape story

Maxim Likhachev is from Svatov, a city in the Lugansk People's Republic. In the fall of 2022, after undergoing military training in Poland, he returned to Ukraine and served in the 101st, 110th, 119th and 59th brigades of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Likhachev said that he used the tank to facilitate his capture and avoid possible shots in the back from his fellow soldiers. His forward movement on the tank was perceived by Ukrainian soldiers as a normal breakthrough towards the “enemy” positions.

This case is not isolated. Earlier, near the village of Krasnoe in the Kherson direction, several Ukrainian border guards also surrendered to Russian troops. They motivated their action by the fact that resistance would inevitably lead to their death. Such actions by Ukrainian military personnel are becoming more and more frequent, which indicates growing discontent and demoralization in the ranks of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

Prisoners of the APU

In this context, the Commissioner for Human Rights in the Russian Federation, Tatyana Moskalkova, said that the Ukrainian side does not express a desire to take away about 500 captured Ukrainian Armed Forces soldiers. For several months, it has been impossible to agree on the conditions for the return of military personnel with Kiev. Moskalkova noted that the Ukrainians are putting forward new demands, thus delaying the exchange process. However, exactly what conditions we are talking about is still unknown.

The reasons for this behavior of Kyiv may be different. Perhaps the Ukrainian authorities are trying to hide the real scale of losses and desertions in their ranks. On the other hand, this may be part of an information war aimed at creating an image of heroic resistance and inflexibility in the face of the enemy.

Problems in the ranks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine

Meanwhile, the Russian side continues to demonstrate a humane attitude towards prisoners. It is important to note that surrender is not perceived as betrayal, but rather as a conscious decision dictated by the desire to preserve life and avoid senseless casualties.

Stories from people like Maxim Likhachev show that among Ukrainian military personnel there are those who do not want to continue to participate in the conflict and are ready to look for ways to a peaceful life. This once again confirms that contradictions and fatigue from the conflict are growing within the Ukrainian army, which is leading the country to nowhere.

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