Russian ex-prisoners deployed to the Russian army in Ukraine in exchange for a future amnesty are “paying for their crime in blood.” This is what the spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, Dmitry Peskov, said. NGOs strongly criticize this strategy.
“The convicts, including for serious crimes, pay for their crime with blood on the battlefield,” Peskov told journalists. “They pay with blood in assault units, under bullet fire and bombings.”
The spokesperson responded to a question about Vladislav Kanjoes, a man who was sentenced to 17 years in prison for the murder of a 23-year-old student in 2020. According to some Russian media, the man had been released to fight on the front in Ukraine. This caused strong emotions among organizations committed to protecting women.
LOOK. This is how Russians recruit prisoners for war in Ukraine
Tens of thousands of criminals, some of whom have been convicted of murder or rape, have been recruited over the past year to fight for several months in Ukraine in exchange for a pardon.
According to Olga Romanova, a former journalist in exile who fights for the rights of prisoners and opposition figures in Russia, Moscow recruited a total of 100,000 fighters in its prisons. The Kremlin never gave an official figure. Some Wagner fighters were recruited directly in jail or prison by the paramilitary group’s former boss, Yevgeny Prigozhin, who was killed in the explosion of his plane in August.
Dangerous on return
According to NGOs, the Russian strategy could be dangerous for society once the convicts return from the front. This has already been proven several times. For example, a Russian criminal who was released to fight as a Wagner mercenary in Ukraine is suspected of double murder after his return to Russia.
Russian criminal released to fight as a Wagner mercenary in Ukraine, suspected of double murder after returning to Russia
Wagner soldier (37) stabs 6 people to death after returning home: killed everyone during home burglaries and then set everything on fire
WATCH ALSO. Russian propagandist predicts that war will last a long time: “Russia and the West cannot exist together”
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