Pro-Russia Militiamen Fire Leaflets Over Ukraine Urging Troops to Surrender

Militiamen reportedly loaded pro-Russia propaganda leaflets into projectiles and blasted them over Ukrainian-held territory.

The leaflets call for Ukrainian troops to give up their weapons and surrender to enemy forces.

Zenger News obtained the video from the People's Militia of the Luhansk People's Republic (LPR) on Tuesday.

The pro-Russia separatist forces said (in Russian): "The People's Militia strives to save the lives of Ukrainian soldiers and calls for them to lay down their arms."

Pro-Russian leaflets urge Ukrainian surrender
Pro-Russian Luhansk People's Republic forces called on Ukrainian soldiers to surrender with the help of propaganda shells in May 2022. People's Militia of the LPR/Zenger

Zvezda, a Russian state-owned nationwide TV network run by the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD), said the footage was filmed near the city of Zolote, which is currently under the control of the LPR.

It said the shells were fused to explode mid-air so that the leaflets would scatter over a large area in Ukrainian-held territory.

The leaflets, according to Zvezda, contain detailed information on the procedure for giving up weapons and voluntarily surrendering safely to pro-Russia forces.

The shells containing the leaflets are seen being blasted in the footage by 2S1 Gvozdika Soviet self-propelled howitzers.

Shells contain Russian propaganda
The shells containing the leaflets were blasted over Ukraine by 2S1 Gvozdika Soviet self-propelled howitzers. People's Militia of the LPR/Zenger

The 2S1 Gvozdika entered service in 1972 and is currently operated by the respective militaries of several countries, including both Russia and Ukraine.

An LRP People's Militia artilleryman named Vadim was quoted as saying: "We give the last warning to the Ukrainian Nazis to surrender. Or we will replace the shells with live ones, and then they will not have time to write farewell letters home."

When Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin called it a "special military operation" to "demilitarize and denazify" Ukraine.

The Kremlin is still calling the invasion a "special military operation" but now says the goal is to "protect Donbass."

Even though Moscow's stated aim has changed, the Russian military still frequently refers to Ukrainian troops as "Nazis" or "nationalists."

2S1 Gvozdika Soviet self-propelled howitzer
The shells containing the leaflets were blasted over Ukraine by 2S1 Gvozdika Soviet self-propelled howitzers. People's Militia of the LPR/Zenger

In its latest briefing on May 25, the Russian MoD said (in English): "In total, 178 Ukrainian airplanes and 126 helicopters, 1,006 unmanned aerial vehicles, 322 anti-aircraft missile systems, 3,258 tanks and other armored combat vehicles, 430 multiple launch rocket systems, 1,671 field artillery and mortars, as well as 3,155 units of special military vehicles were destroyed during the operation."

Meanwhile, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said Russia had lost about 29,450 soldiers and officers, "1,305 tanks, 3,213 armored fighting vehicles, 606 artillery systems, 201 MLR systems, 93 air defense systems, 206 warplanes, 170 helicopters, 491 operational and tactical level UAVs, 112 cruise missiles, 13 warships/cutters, 2,217 other vehicles and tanker trucks, and 44 pieces of special equipment" over the same period.

May 26 marks the 92nd day of the invasion.

This story was provided to Newsweek by Zenger News.