The editors of Vyorstka say that between November 28 and December 4, the most recent week for which figures are available, 66,000 Russians used Yandex to ask “how to surrender.” It is a sixfold increase from recent weeks but a decrease from the all-time high in April and May. Then 130,000 Russians did so each week.
According to this media outlet, this growth in numbers “corresponds with the arrival of large groups of those mobilized for the front and reports of significant losses among them.”
It also likely reflects their, and their families’ interests in any means possible to save their lives.
It also occurs that there have been more reports in Russian media about prisoner exchanges. For Russians, this was a sign that those who surrender are not lost and may eventually be able to return home alive. Although, it is something that may not be possible if they continue fighting.
Such a desire to surrender must concern Russian field commanders and the Kremlin, given what it says about the mental state of the Russian populace and military. Another trend, reported by Moscow’s Kommersant newspaper, is even more worrisome in the long run.
According to the paper, the number of Russians seeking to purchase property abroad has increased by 2.3 times since 2021 and 1.7 times since the pre-pandemic year of 2019. It indicates that many who have moved or are considering moving abroad because of the war may not plan or at least want to have that option available.