Fight in Ukraine against the reduction of the sentence. This is what the Wagner Group, a private military company associated with the Russian presidency, offers to common law prisoners. After more than four months of war in Ukraine, the Russian army appears to be suffering from a lack of manpower. Russian President Vladimir Putin has not decreed general mobilization, so he is fighting to ensure a rotation of troops in combat. To avoid a shortage of fighters, the Wagner group recruits in Russian prisons in exchange for reduced sentences.

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The prisoners they accept will go to fight in Donbass, the main front of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. At least 15 people died on Sunday 10 July in a strike that hit a building in Chassiv Iar, north of Donetsk. Rescuers estimate that 24 people remain under the rubble. The budget is therefore destined to grow.

The Wagner militia conducts a recruitment campaign in the prison ofObukhovo in St. Petersburg. Nadezhda’s fiancé is serving an eight-and-a-half-year prison sentence for drug trafficking. The companion of another prisoner gave him the news: prisoners who undertake to go to war for six months in Ukraine could have their sentences reduced.

“He told me that the proposal was valid for six months, after six months it is ‘total amnesty’explains the Russian. “My friend called me and confirmed it. He said that in fact in the penal colony we only talk about this: we recruit for war! He tells me that many prisoners are still thinking about it.” An inmate from this prison has already entered the war.

The Wagner group recruits Russian prisoners for war in Ukraine

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Journalist Julia Krasnikova, from the online media Vajnie istorii, collected many other testimonies. It is clear to her that the Wagner group is dealing with these “recruits”. “It was the detained section heads who openly announced to the others that the Wagner group was recruiting. One of them even mentioned Prigojine’s name.”explains the reporter.

Evgueni Prigojine aka “Vladimir Putin’s cook” is considered the real boss of the Wagner group. Western military sources confirm that most of the Russian fighters on the Ukrainian Donbass front are Chechens or auxiliaries recruited by Wagner.

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