Wagner recruits mercenaries from prisoners in occupied areas of Ukraine
PMC Wagner Center opened by Evgeny Prigozhin in St. Petersburg (Photo:REUTERS/Igor Russak)
Russian private military company Wagner Group now recruits prisoners in temporarily occupied areas of Ukraine – to fight against their own country, Ukraine’s National Resistance Center (NRC) reported on Dec. 6.
"In particular, we are talking about the temporarily occupied territories of Donetsk Oblast; Local (Russia-appointed ‘authorities’) gave their consent to the start of recruitment by a special decision," NRC said in a message on its website.
The message added these prisoners will be sent to the front line as “cannon fodder,” lacking any meaningful training.
Ukrainian Military Intelligence spokesman Andriy Yusov previously said that the Wagner Group troops, initially conceived as an elite unit, are now relegated to serve as cannon fodder for the Russian military.
Wagner started to recruit prisoners from Russian penal colonies to compensate for substantial personnel losses Russia is suffering in Ukraine.
The total number of prisoners in Russian penitentiary institutions in September and October decreased by 23,000 people, Russian outlet Mediazona reported in November.
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