Wagner looking for recruits among convicts in occupied Melitopol
Wagner Center in St. Petersburg (Photo:REUTERS/Igor Russak)
Moscow has dispatched prison guards to occupied Melitopol, Zaporizhzhia Oblast, looking for potential Wagner PMC (private military company) recruits among local convicts, Melitopol Mayor, Ivan Fedorov, said in a Telegram post on Jan. 31.
According to Fedorov, they are recruiting people to become “cannon fodder” in future Russian attempted offensives.
“The Russians have turned the occupied territories of southern Ukraine into the largest prison camp in Europe,” said Fedorov.
“And they are trying to amass cannon fodder for the front using male prisoners.”
He noted that in almost a year of occupation, Russians imprisoned around a thousand civilians in Melitopol. Some residents have been hiding in the basement for six to eleven months, and some of them were forced to dig trenches, while others were “sentenced” to life imprisonment.
“According to the Center for National Resistance, 3,500 prisoners from Zaporizhzhia and Kherson oblasts were taken to Crimea,” the mayor added.
“They are trying to recruit Ukrainians into private military companies.”
Fedorov said the Russians have created at least five torture chambers for prisoners in the city. In total, Moscow’s occupation “authorities” are working to establish 28 new prison colonies across occupied Ukrainian territory.
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