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Zelensky calls on Russian troops to lay down their weapons

Published September 25,2022
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has condemned the Russia's partial mobilization for war against his country as a "crime" and called on Russian troops to lay down their weapons.

It is better to refuse to be called up for military service than to die on foreign soil as a war criminal, Zelensky said in a video message in Russian.

It is the second time this week that the head of state has addressed citizens of Ukraine's neighbour in Russian.

Referring to Russia's harsher penalties for deserters, which President Vladimir Putin put into effect on Saturday, Zelensky said no one would know under what circumstances soldiers who submit to Ukrainian captivity had given up.

"If you are afraid to return and do not want a prisoner exchange, then we will find a way to ensure that as well," he said.