Copyright © 2021 Euromaidanpress.com

The work of Euromaidan Press is supported by the International Renaissance Foundation

When referencing our materials, please include an active hyperlink to the Euromaidan Press material and a maximum 500-character extract of the story. To reprint anything longer, written permission must be acquired from [email protected].

Privacy and Cookie Policies.

Russian prisoner numbers fall by a record 23,000 amid Wagner PMC recruitment campaign

The number of male convicts in Russian jails has fallen by a record 23,000, the Russian independent media Mediazona reports, citing Russian official prison data. This is the largest such jump since 2010: even the largest amnesties had not led to such decreases in the numbers of prisoners. At the same time, the number of female prisoners or prisoners awaiting trial had not changed.

This fall in Russian prisoner numbers happens amid an ongoing recruitment campaign by the Wagner private military company, which is playing a crucial role in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The first reports on the recruitment of prisoners to the Wagner PMC appeared in July 2022. By September, videos of Wagner founder and financier Yevgeny Prigozhin personally speaking in the prison colonies began to appear on social media.

According to a video released in September, Prigozhin not only promises pardon and payment the war participants, but also warns of execution in case of desertion.

Recently, Russia had allowed to mobilize those convicted of heavy crimes.

Prigozhin, a businessman informally known as “Putin’s chef,” promises convicts that they will be pardoned after six months of fighting against Ukraine. A pardon for a prisoner requires a decree from the Russian president, yet no such decree was seen yet.

In October, Russian lawmakers Andrei Klishas and Olga Kovitidi drafted a bill on pardons for prisoners who take part in hostilities; this document has not yet been adopted, Mediazona writes.

It is unclear how the participation of prisoners in the Wagner PMC is legally formalized. Presumably, those who have agreed, according to the papers, are transferred to the colonies in the Rostov Oblast; it is not clear how the Federal Penitentiary Service explains their continued absence from the place of detention. Relatives of the recruits are told that their location is secret information. It is also unknown how those who died in the war are processed,” Mediazona notes.

Recently, a Wagner mercenary and ex-convict was executed with a sledgehammer by his own for surrendering to Ukraine.

Analysts from the ISW have noted that Prigozhin is becoming a political force in Russia.

Wagner POW who surrendered to Ukraine executed by his own with sledgehammer

You could close this page. Or you could join our community and help us produce more materials like this.  We keep our reporting open and accessible to everyone because we believe in the power of free information. This is why our small, cost-effective team depends on the support of readers like you to bring deliver timely news, quality analysis, and on-the-ground reports about Russia's war against Ukraine and Ukraine's struggle to build a democratic society. A little bit goes a long way: for as little as the cost of one cup of coffee a month, you can help build bridges between Ukraine and the rest of the world, plus become a co-creator and vote for topics we should cover next. Become a patron or see other ways to support. Become a Patron!
Total
0
Shares
Related Posts