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Russian Soldier Surrenders to Ukrainian People - Their Response Makes Him Cry
Russian Soldier breaks down when Ukrainians give him tea, keep him warm, and call his mother
Uplifting News

Russian Soldier Surrenders to Ukrainian People - Their Response Makes Him Cry

One viral video of a Russian soldier breaking into tears, surrounded by Ukrainians, reminds us all of the humanity at the centre of this conflict.

As Dumbledore once said, happiness can be found in even the darkest of times, if one remembers to turn on the light. It’s one of our all-time favourite kindness quotes. Well, this story from the center of war is a reminder of that, as it showcases what can happen when you lead with compassion and kindness.

Why Ukrainians Gave a Russian Soldier Tea and Kept Him Warm

In a viral video that recently surfaced on the heels of Russia invading Ukraine, locals can be seen helping a Russian soldier who just surrendered. In the video, people are giving him tea and keeping him warm, and at one point they even pass him a pastry and give him a phone to use.

He is alive and healthy.

Ukrainian woman

The motivational (not to mention moving) clip also shows the man breaking down in tears and blowing a kiss as he makes a video call to his mother to tell her he’s okay. The entire encounter had many people online taking part in self-reflection and finding themselves in tears.

“Everything is OK,” one woman says to the man’s mother, as per a translation by The Times. “Natasha, God be with you. We will call you later. He is alive and healthy.”

Russian Soldier Breaks Down When He Was Shown Compassion

In the background of the video, another man can be heard explaining that many Russian soldiers on the ground in Ukraine right now don’t even know why they’re there. “These young men, it’s not their fault,” he says in Ukrainian, according to a translation by the U.S. Sun.

These young men, it’s not their fault. They don’t know why they are here. They are using old maps, they are lost.

Ukrainian man

According to the article, this kind of story isn’t uncommon on the ground right now, as inexperienced soldiers are reportedly running out of food and fuel and surrendering.

“The way he is chugging down that tea and food it seems like he hasn’t eaten in days,” one person wrote on Twitter.  

“So many young Russians are so poor, they have no choice but to enlist in their military. I have a lot of empathy for many of them. Perhaps these Ukrainians more so, too, do understand,” wrote another.

How Humanity Can Bring People in Conflict Together

According to The Times, roughly 250,000 of the 900,000-person standing Russian army are drafted. A year-long military conscription for men aged 18 to 27 is mandatory, which means many of the young people in Ukraine right now are forced to be there, no matter what their beliefs.

The fact that videos like this are surfacing is a reminder that hopefully these conflicts can soon be resolved, but also that there are many sides to a story. Even in the darkest of times, compassion, kindness, and humanity can bring people together.

We could probably all use a reminder of that in the wake of this war and on the heels of the hard couple of years everyone has faced as a result of the pandemic. Remembering to look out for one another and trying to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes may help us practice more compassion and kindness in our own lives. By listening more and reacting less, here’s hoping we can all extend the same kind of humanity that these inspiring Ukrainians are during their own darkest times.

In the meantime, Canadian citizens and businesses who want to help Ukraine right now can find more information here.

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lead with compassion
"Compassion and tolerance are not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength." – Dalai Lama

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