Although the Ukrainian Armed Forces are staging a tenacious resistance against the Russian invasion, they are in dire need of material.
The fighting is causing considerable losses of military equipment for Ukraine, especially ships and aircraft. Although the Ukrainian military is managing to capture many Russian vehicles, it is not enough, and the Zelensky government has had to resort to a very imaginative measure to obtain more weapons: that the Russians themselves hand them over.
The Supreme Rada of Ukraine today announced on its website the approval of a "reward mechanism for the voluntary transfer of military equipment" to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, noting that "it will be an additional incentive for the occupiers to lay down their arms." This initiative, the bill No. 7229, was approved yesterday in the Ukrainian Parliament, and it sets the amounts that Ukraine is willing to pay, in US dollars, to Russian soldiers who cross sides with their vehicles.
"We understand that, on the one hand, there are many soldiers of the army of the aggressor country ready to replenish their financial status, and we do not see anything wrong with that, if they surrender not only individually, but also with their team. And this action has been going on for a long time," Oleksandr Kornienko, first deputy chairman of the Rada, said. And he added: "Given the demoralization of the occupying army, the soldiers' misunderstanding of the meaning of why they are dying, the reward tool will work."
The amounts set by the new law for the delivery of Russian military material are as follows:
The Twitter account of the Supreme Rada of Ukraine published this afternoon the following image indicating the main rewards:
According to this image, the rewards are not only offered to Russian military, but also to Ukrainian military, police and civilians. This may have an unintended effect, in that the Ukrainians take excessive risks to capture intact Russian material rather than destroy it, or even fight among the Ukrainians themselves for those rewards.
Regardless of the fact that this initiative can be effective in obtaining Russian military material, this idea also has a considerable dimension of psychological warfare, it can sow mistrust among Russian officers towards their own soldiers, increasing the degree of demoralization they already suffer. This invasion is exposing the shortcomings of the Russian troops, even in terms of combat rations. The Ukrainians know this and are taking advantage of it. Time will tell if this maneuver is successful or not.
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