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The founder of Russia’s Wagner has announced that the private military group will no longer be recruiting any more prisoners to fight in the invasion of Ukraine.
The announcement was made by Yevgeny Prigozhin on Thursday, February 9, after a comment was requested by him from the Russian media.
Prigozhin said, “The recruitment of prisoners by the Wagner private military company has completely stopped”, as cited by Reuters.
“We are fulfilling all our obligations to those who work for us now”, he added.
The group started the process of prisoners from Russia in the summer of 2022.
Prigozhin who himself has served nine years in prison during the Soviet Union offered to grant a pardon to prisoners who survived for six months while fighting against Ukraine.
As per local reports, even though Wagner has not announced how many prisoners were recruited by them since the Russian invasion, “figures published in November showed the country’s prison population dropping by over 20,000 between August and November”.
It was also reported in December that according to an estimate by U.S. intelligence, over 40,000 Russian convicts are believed to have been deployed in Ukraine.
They also said that the prisoners were in majority, among all the fighters from the group.
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