War in Ukraine War in Ukraine  (AFP or licensors)

Ukraine kills 'more than 100 Russians' in battle as some surrender

Ukraine claims to have killed 109 Russian troops in a one-day battle in its eastern Donetsk, risking while wounding 188 Russians, following reports that at least 11 people died in massive Russian strikes on Ukraine.

By Stefan Bos

Yet some Russian soldiers want to escape, with footage emerging Friday of troops calling the Ukrainian surrender hotline. "I am not alone; a group of soldiers wants to surrender," a soldier said, who claimed to call from the Kherson area. "But they say we can be imprisoned in Ukraine for ten years."

The female dispatcher tried to calm him down after he also asked whether they would be beaten or filmed and whether they had to go to their knees.

She could be heard telling him that he "will be registered as captured on the battlefield if he surrenders voluntarily." Eventually, he may "be able to as political asylum in Ukraine, Germany, and the Netherlands."

The apparent interest in surrendering comes ahead of more deliveries of Western battle tanks, including from Poland.

The Polish prime minister said his country would send an additional 60 tanks to Ukraine on top of the 14 German-made Leopard 2 tanks it has already pledged.

Mateusz Morawiecki noted that Warsaw had positioned itself as one of Kyiv's staunchest allies after pressing for Germany to send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine and allow other countries to do the same.

Listen to the report:

Berlin agreed to that demand Wednesday, prompting Morawiecki to say that delivering the 60 more tanks would come after his country had already "sent 250 tanks as the first country half a year ago or earlier."

But with the death toll mounting, the European Union Justice Ministers said Friday they want swift accountability for what they called "horrific" crimes in Ukraine committed mainly by Russia.

But the member states differ over the methods in a debate about how to bring prosecutions, seek evidence, or fund war damage repairs. There are also tensions about new sanctions against Russia.

Hungary's veto

The Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán said Friday that Hungary would veto any EU sanctions against Russia affecting nuclear energy.

Ukraine wants the 27-nation bloc to include Russian state nuclear energy company Rosatom in sanctions.

But EU member Hungary, which has a Russian-built nuclear plant it plans to expand with Rosatom, has blocked that.

With billions in military aid and other support flowing into the country, Ukraine is under pressure to tackle notorious corruption, seen as its other enemy.

However, on Friday, Kyiv confirmed that already 11 officials have either resigned or been sacked as the government tackles government corruption.

That seems urgently needed as some politicians in the United States are calling for aid to Ukraine to be restricted. The US is among the Western countries providing the most assistance to Ukraine.

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27 January 2023, 16:54