Ukrainian forces spared the life of a Russian soldier when he surrendered to a drone on the battlefield just moments before its operators were about to open fire, a Ukrainian commander has confirmed to CNN.

Drone footage from a unit of Ukraine’s 92nd mechanized brigade, published by the Wall Street Journal, shows the surrender taking place in a trench in the eastern city of Bakhmut in May.

In a statement to CNN, Yuriy Fedorenko, commander of the assault drone division “Achilles” of the 92nd Brigade, confirmed the surrender had occurred.

“When he realized that he was going to die, he threw his machine gun aside, raised his hands and said that he would not continue to fight,” Fedorenko said.

“At that time, we had a ‘copter with explosives ready to eliminate him. But since the enemy threw away his weapon and gestured that he was going to surrender, it was decided to give him an order to surrender.”

The video appears to show a Russian soldier running from Ukrainian assault drones in the trenches of the Bakhmut battlefield. The soldier then stops and attempts to communicate with the drone through hand gestures.

The video is edited with music playing. CNN has not viewed the raw video.

Following the surrender, reporters at the Wall Street Journal interviewed the Russian soldier at a detention facility in the Kharkiv region on May 19, under the supervision of a guard.

CNN cannot verify whether the soldier spoke under duress or not.

The reporters also spoke with the Ukrainian drone pilot, according to the paper, who said he decided to spare his life after watching his pleas.

“Despite that he is an enemy […] I still felt sorry for him,” he reportedly said.

The pilot dropped a note to the soldier telling him to follow the drone if he wanted to surrender, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Footage appears to show the soldier following the drone, dodging a mortar along the way.

Upon arriving at a Ukrainian position, the soldier reportedly dropped to his knees and removed his helmet and flak jacket.

As reported by CNN