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Media: Russia uses prisoners as cannon fodder in Ukraine

russian troops ukraine
Russian troops in Ukraine. Image by Ukrainska Pravda
Media: Russia uses prisoners as cannon fodder in Ukraine

Even though the Russian military has not confirmed recruiting prisoners to fight in Ukraine, there are numerous indications of them being sent to units known as Storm-Z, says BBC.

The name Storm-Z is unofficial and can be applied to different Russian army units in Ukraine which are reportedly often treated as an expendable force thrown into battle – without proper armaments and little consideration for the soldiers’ lives.

“Storm fighters, they’re just meat,” one soldier who fought in Storm-Z explained.

To promote service in those detachments, the Russian defense ministry promises convicts lavish payments – about $2,000 a month, $31,000 per injury and $52,000 to be paid to the recruit’s relatives if he is killed.

Many inmates agree to go on the battlefield due to high payments but soon after being deployed to Ukraine they realize they are being sent into a “total meat-grinder” without weapons or training, one of the members of Sotrm-Z units revealed.

There are also indications that members of other army units can be sent to Storm-Z detachments as punishment for disobedience or drinking.

Earlier, an intelligence update by the UK Defense Ministry confirmed Russia was recruiting members for Shtorm-Z units for Ukraine offenses from convicts and regular troops “on disciplinary charges,” underscoring the logistical and support challenges they face.

UK intel: Russia depends on convicts in Ukraine offensives

Russia’s Wagner Group private military company, which used to exist under the umbrella of the Russian military, heavily relied on convict soldiers during its assaults to capture Donetsk’s Bakhmut in 2022, largely employing the tactics of the so-called “meat wave” attacks.

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