Of the 50,000 Russian prisoners recruited by the Kremlin-approved Wagner Group PMC to participate in a full-scale war against Ukraine, 10,000 remain, the head of the Rus Foundation, Olga Romanova said in an interview with the My Russian Rights project on Jan. 22.
“... According to our data, 42,000 to 43,000 (prisoners) were recruited by the end of December. Now, most likely, there are more than 50,000 of them. Ten thousand of them are fighting at the front, because all the rest have either been killed, or (wounded), or have disappeared, or deserted, or surrendered,” Romanova said.
According to her, in the fall, prisoners began to escape from the Wagner PMC “like crazy.”
Romanova said that the owner of the Wagner Group PMC, the oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin, who “promised Putin to win the war,” does not keep a count of militants who surrendered or escaped with weapons, and many of them are considered killed.
Romanova also said that some relatives of the “Wagnerites” receive empty coffins.
According to a December estimate by the United States, 50,000 Wagner soldiers are stationed in Ukraine, of which 10,000 are contract workers, and the rest are recruited from Russian prisons.
According to Mykhailo Podolyak, adviser to the head of the President’s Office, the Wagner Group took 38,244 prisoners out of Russian prisons and colonies in total to use them in a full-scale war against Ukraine. As of mid-January, according to his data, 29,543 of them have already been killed, wounded, disappeared or captured.