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To fight the war against Ukraine, ‘Russia recruits thieves and killers’; Report

The Guardian reports that Moscow has been enlisting inmates to participate in the conflict as Ukraine is gradually regaining some of the territory that was occupied by Russian soldiers. In an effort to make up for severe personnel shortages on the Ukrainian battlefield, the government is enticing its jailed thieves and murders to enrol by guaranteeing them their release.

According to rumours, Yevgeny Prigozhin, a close associate of Vladimir Putin and the alleged leader of the Wagner group—a claim he has categorically denied—has been actively seeking out prisoners. On Russian social media last week, a leaked video of a guy who resembled Prigozhin promising to release prisoners after serving six months with his group went viral. The recruitment procedure has never before been documented on video.

‘It was precisely what Prigozhin told us as well, so I assumed he must have an extremely busy schedule when I saw that video. If we battled for six months, he assured us, we would be set free. But he issued a warning that few would return ‘,Ivan, a prisoner in Tambov’s Penal Colony No. 8 located 300 miles south of Moscow, spoke to The Guardian. According to a story by The Guardian, four convicts and three close relatives of prisoners from several Russian penal colonies provided consistent descriptions of how Prigozhin personally conducted jail recruiting.

Ivan, who refused the offer, stated that following a one-week training session, some 120 prisoners consented and are now fighting in Ukraine. But in a recent interview with The Guardian, he stated, ‘If Prigozhin calls again, I’ll come along. I still have 11 years in prison to go. It doesn’t really matter where I die—either here in this shithole or there. I will at least have the opportunity to fight for my freedom’. All of the detainees who were questioned claimed they had been offered a six-month presidential amnesty and a salary of 100,000 rubles ($1,400) each month.

Meanwhile, in the most recent development in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, world leaders gathered in New York for a United Nations summit blasted Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as Moscow-installed authorities in four seized regions of Ukraine announced intentions to conduct a vote on joining Russia soon. In an apparent concerted action, pro-Russian politicians called for referendums in the provinces of Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia, which together make up around 15% of Ukrainian territory and are about the size of Hungary.



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