Putin’s private military reportedly recruiting Chechen prisoners to fight in Ukraine

Putin's private military reportedly recruiting Chechen prisoners to fight in Ukraine. Image: Bumble Dee/Shutterstock.com

ACCORDING to Ukrainian intelligence, the Wagner Group – a network of mercenaries and a de facto private military of Russian President Vladimir Putin – has started recruiting prisoners from Chechen prisons.

On Thursday, January 5, intelligence from Ukraine claimed that Putin’s private military is recruiting Chechen prisoners to fight in Ukraine, most of whom were convicted for political activities.

“The recruitment of prisoners to the ranks of PMC “Wagner” is taking place in the colony-settlement №3 in Argun, as well as in the penal colony №2 in Chernokozovo,” the report read.

It added: “More than 50 prisoners have already been “mobilised” from both colonies, most of whom were convicted on fabricated cases.

“Employees of the colonies are already threatened with punishment for disclosing this information.”

Putin's private military reportedly recruiting Chechen prisoners to fight in Ukraine
Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin with Chechen rebel leader Ramzan Kadyrov. Image: GUR/Official

The news comes after Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin, who recently urged Russian MPs to join the ranks of the private military company (PMC), spent the better part of last year recruiting prisoners from Russia.

On Tuesday, October 25, 2022, Ukraine claimed that some of the prisoners recruited from Russian prisons suffered from serious infectious diseases, in particular HIV and hepatitis C.

Prior to that, 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, 2022.

“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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Written by

Matthew Roscoe

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 protected]