Videos have emerged online showing several Russian soldiers surrendering without a fight, desperate to end the war in Ukraine and return home to their families.
One shaken trooper is shown being comforted by a group of Ukrainians with one woman offering him food and a hot drink as well as her phone for him to call his mum.
The young trooper appears frightened and deflated as he blows kisses to his mum on Facetime before bursting into tears while eating his pastry.
In the emotional clip being shared on Twitter, a voice in the background can be heard saying "these young men, it's not their fault. They don't know why they are here," The Sun reports.
"Russian soldiers, surrender, Ukrainian people will feed you, just surrender," the caption on Twitter reads.
Seven days into its invasion, Russia has now claimed it has taken control of the southern city of Kherson.
"The Russian divisions of the armed forces have taken the regional centre of Kherson under full control," defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said in televised remarks.
New York Times journalist Michael Schwirtz, who's currently in Ukraine, also confirmed this morning that "Kherson has fallen to the Russian military, becoming the first major Ukrainian city to come under Russian control since the invasion last week".
Meanwhile, Russia pounded Kharkiv, Ukraine's second-largest city with about 1.5 million people, with another round of aerial attacks that shattered buildings and lit up the skyline with balls of fire.
'This is not our war. We want to go home'
According to reports, another group of captured Russian soldiers claim they had no idea what to expect in Ukraine and say they were "thrown into war" by President Vladimir Putin.
More footage has emerged of young Russian men handcuffed and crying as they insist they don't want to fight.
In a video shared by Ukrainian security services on Twitter, five Russians, barely in their 20s, are seen handcuffed and begging to go home, News.com.au reports.
"This is not our war. Mothers and wives, collect your husbands. There is no need to be here," one injured soldier reportedly said.
"We were told we were going for training. Eventually, after we were sent to the front line, everyone was demoralised and nobody wanted to fight," another told the camera.
"We were thrown in as cannon fodder. People in our unit at least don’t want this war. They want to go home and want peace."
Other young Russian soldiers wept as they revealed the true extent of the war they'd witnessed with one reportedly telling his mother "they sent us to our death", The Times reports.
Reports suggest many tired and demoralised Russian soldiers are either abandoning their military vehicles or surrendering to Ukraine.
Soldiers desperate to avoid combat have even “deliberately punched holes” in their vehicles’ petrol tanks, a US official told The New York Times.
It's also believed Russian forces are starting to run out of food and fuel.
Ukraine calls on Russian mothers to pick up their sons
On Wednesday, Ukraine's defence ministry posted a flyer on Facebook asking mothers of captured Russian troops to come pick up their sons.
"Mama! Your [prisoner of war] son is waiting for you! Ukraine has made the decision to return POW to their mothers if they come to Ukraine," it said.
In the post, the defence ministry detailed how Russian mums can find out if their sons are dead or captured and how best to retrieve them from Ukraine if they'd been captured.
"We, Ukrainian people, in contrast to Putin's fascists do not make war with mothers and their captured sons," the defence ministry said. "We are waiting for you in Kyiv!"
Ukrainian Citizens are reporting that Russian Forces at a Depot in the Sumy Region abandoned the Outpost and fled into the woods during the night leaving behind, BMPs, BTR-80s, MT-LBs and Infantry Transport Vehicles there is no indication as to why they fled. pic.twitter.com/negbbmbQef
— OSINTdefender (@sentdefender) February 28, 2022
Do you have a story tip? Email: email@example.com.