SBU detains Russian agent who recruited ex-convicts for Wagner Group

22 February, 01:24 PM
The traitor was detained in Vinnytsia (Photo:SBU)

The traitor was detained in Vinnytsia (Photo:SBU)

Ukraine’s SBU security service has detained a Russian agent in the city of Vinnytsia, who recruited former convicts for Russian mercenary company Wagner Group to fight in the war against Ukraine, the agency reported on the Telegram messenger on Feb. 22.

The SBU said the suspected traitor selected “candidates” and recruited them. He offered each “recruit” a monetary reward of $2,000-4,000 for joining the Russian mercenary company and fighting against the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

The Russian agent turned out to be a local criminal who had spent 15 years in prison for robbery and gang rape, the SBU said.

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A Wagner representative contacted the suspected traitor because of his wide circle of connections in the criminal environment, including in Russia.

The detainee has been served with charge papers under Part 2 of Art. 111of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (treason committed under martial law). He is expected to be remanded in custody as a preventive measure.

Wagner mercenaries have been fighting in Ukraine since 2014 and have also been engaged in hostilities against the Ukrainian army since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion.

Russian oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin, who is close to dictator Vladimir Putin, admitted that he created Wagner Group in 2014 for the war against Ukraine.

According to UK intelligence, the Wagner Group has recruited some 50,000 mercenaries for the war against Ukraine.

U.S. national security spokesman John Kirby stated that of this number, 10,000 are contracted soldiers, and the rest are prisoners recruited from Russian prisons and colonies.

He also added that Prigozhin spends more than $100 million a month to finance the operations of the Wagner Group in Ukraine.

There were also data that Russia was transferring Wagner’s mercenaries to Syria, Mali and the Central African Republic.

Wagner selects for recruitment inmates serving sentences for crimes such as murder, serious bodily harm, robbery, and larceny.

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