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Wagner Group expected to free convict soldiers, exacerbating its personnel issues – UK Intel

Russian soldiers are pictured at the Wagner military base in Popasna, Ukraine, with the address clearly visible on a plaque in the top left corner, resulting in a deadly mid-August attack (Source: Sergey Sreda)
Russian soldiers pictured at the Wagner military base in Popasna, Ukraine, with the house’s address clearly visible on a plaque in the top left corner, resulting in a deadly mid-August attack (Source: Sergey Sreda)
Wagner Group expected to free convict soldiers, exacerbating its personnel issues – UK Intel

In its latest intelligence update, the British Defense Ministry says that the Wagner Group, currently banned from recruiting more prisoners in Russia, is expected to release thousands of convicts recruited last fall, which is likely to worsen the group’s personnel problems, while the influx of often violent offenders with recent combat experience may pose a challenge to Russian society.

The ministry tweeted:

  • “In the coming weeks, thousands of Russian convicts who have fought for Wagner Group are likely to be pardoned and released. Wagner prisoner recruitment peaked in autumn 2022, with inmates being offered commutation of their sentences after six months of service.”
  • “Although approximately half of the prisoners recruited have likely been killed or wounded, evidence from Russia suggests the group is following through on its promise to free survivors. The certificates issued to freed Wagner veterans claim to have been endorsed by the decree of President Putin.”
  • “With Wagner now likely banned from recruiting more prisoners, this exodus will worsen its personnel problems. In addition, the sudden influx of often violent offenders with recent and often traumatic combat experience will likely present a significant challenge for Russia’s war-time society.”

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