[Representational image] TOPSHOT - Ukrainian Military Forces servicemen of the 92nd mechanized brigade use tanks, self-propelled guns and other armored vehicles to conduct live-fire exercises near the town of Chuguev, in Kharkiv region, on February 10, 2022. - Russia's deployment for a military exercise in Belarus and on the borders of Ukraine marks a "dangerous moment" for European security, NATO's chief said on February 10, 2022. SERGEY BOBOK/AFP via Getty Images

Stricter sanctions await Russian soldiers who voluntarily surrender to Ukraine as Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree that would punish them with 10 years of imprisonment.

Russians of compulsory military or reservist age also face up to 10 years of imprisonment if they ever refuse to be drafted into the war.

But on the other side of enemy lines, Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky is offering a way out for Russian soldiers who will surrender, vowing to give them civilized treatment, privacy on their decision to surrender and possible protection from returning to their homeland.

In his nightly message, Zelensky once again called upon Russian soldiers to surrender to Ukraine saying that it is far better to do so “than to be killed by strikes” of their weapons.

“What is Russia fighting for? Every citizen of Russia knows - even if many do not admit it, they know for sure - that it is Russia that brings evil,” Zelensky said.

“Ukraine will do everything for its victory. And every citizen of Russia should understand: no tricks will help the occupier. I promise you that," he said.

Zelensky called Putin’s “partial mobilization” a “criminal mobilization," contrasting it with what he called Ukraine’s fight to defend lives, children and their liberty.

Putin has ramped up recruitment and other tactics to regroup Russian troops after losses in the battlefield at the hands of Ukraine. Among these offensivece include the launching of a "partial mobilization" in Russia and the veiled threat of using nuclear weapons, which he said is "not a bluff."

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