By Matthew Roscoe •
Published: 25 Oct 2022 • 10:50
Wagner Group recruited Russian prisoners reportedly suffering from HIV and hepatitis C. Image: gur.gov.ua/Official
The Wagner Group – a network of mercenaries and a de facto private army of Russian President Vladimir Putin – have reportedly recruited prisoners from Russian prisons suffering from serious infectious diseases, in particular HIV and hepatitis C.
According to information gathered by the Main Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, Russian military officials have been forced to mark such sick fighters with appropriate bracelets on their arms.
Ukraine’s defence intelligence department said: “The phenomenon has already become widespread.
“Thus, only from one correctional colony №5 in the village of Metallostroy, Leningrad region, more than a hundred prisoners with confirmed HIV or hepatitis C were “mobilised” to the PMC “Wagner”.
“To “mark” infected militants, the command of the “Wagner” forces them to wear red bracelets in case of HIV, and white – in case of hepatitis.”
It added: “Among other militants who are forced to serve alongside the infected, there is growing indignation at this situation. It is known that Russian doctors systematically refuse to provide assistance to the wounded with hepatitis or HIV.
“Captured militants with HIV and hepatitis have already been found in Ukraine, which confirms the information about mass “recruitment” of infected prisoners to the PMC “Wagner”.”
Earlier this month, a former Russian prisoner, who said he had been recruited personally by Wagner Group founder Yevgeny Prigozhin, said all recruited prisoners were being used as “cannon fodder” to reconnoitre Ukrainian positions on the front line.
“Recruiting prisoners in Russian prisons, the head of the PMC “Wagner” promised them that they would be able to “wash away their sins” with the blood of Ukrainians and receive “clean” documents. But despite the promises, they are thrown to the front line as “cannon fodder,” the SBU said on Tuesday, October 18.
“So some “volunteers”, interrogation by the SBU, “fought” in Ukraine for two days – he arrived on September 21, and the next day he was taken, prisoner by Ukrainian forces.”
The man captured by Ukraine’s Security Service revealed that when Prigozhin recruited him and other prisoners, they were told a completely different story to what actually ended up happening in Ukraine.
The man told the SBU: “We are used as cannon fodder. Our commander sent us forward, at first we walked together, and then looked back – they were very far away. We are just cannon fodder: to know where the positions are, who is standing where… We are like cannon fodder… When we were recruited, we were told a completely different story.”
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Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at email@example.com.
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