TE24 International Desk:
An aide to Putin, a sanctioned Russian businessman linked to the notorious Wagner Group, has personally visited Russian prisons and recruited inmates to join the fight in Ukraine. That’s it
That’s according to a new report published Saturday by the independent newspaper Mediazona, which interviewed two of its inmates held at different facilities in different parts of Russia.
In recent weeks, many reports have surfaced about Wagner’s campaign to recruit new convicts from the Russian civilian army to support the exhausted Russian army after nearly six months of fighting and heavy losses. It is said that
However, it appears to be the first time that Evgeny Prigogine, known as Putin’s cook, is known to have personally appealed to a prisoner.
“They are primarily concerned with murderers and robbers, and treat drug addicts and rapists with suspicion. It is better, he says, if it is a clean account, not a common murderer – you will like it with us, he says. In general, he thinks Given that he is crazy, an anonymous inmate told MediaZona.
Bandi also said that although “a very large number” of inmates applied, they were not forced to participate and estimated that at least 200 inmates enthusiastically accepted the offer. The prisoner was reportedly given a free amnesty and salary in exchange for their services. A man known as Prigogine promised only a 15% chance of death from experimental placement of prisoners in early July.
On April 8, Prigozhin allegedly visited a penal colony in Rybinsk, Yaroslavl Region. Prisoners reported to MediaZona that they were told that World War III was underway and that they would be given the opportunity to fight for their country.
My people go to African countries, but nothing has survived in two days, and now they are also crushing the enemies of Ukraine. Your decision to serve [private military company] is a deal with the devil. If you leave here with me, you will either come back a free man or die. You must defeat your enemies and follow your guide’s instructions. Those who retreated would be shot on the spot, Prigozhin quoted Prigogine as saying. Your decision to join [Private Military Company] is a contract.
Mediazona inmates received a visit from Prigogine on July 25 in which he complained, “I have special authority from the president, I don’t want to give anything, I need to win this damn war at any cost,” said an inmate at a penal colony in Plavsk, Tula region. .
After the visit, during which Prigogine was reportedly accompanied by other representatives of Wagner, inmates were reportedly blocked from using phones. And according to a friend of an inmate in Plavsk, Wagner’s representatives said that if they “got rid of” the prisoners from the first wave of recruitment, they would return for another visit in two or three months.
Several human rights groups have also reported on Wagner’s alleged recruitment drive, including Rus Sidyshaya, which said both prisoners and their families heard of Wagner’s overtures, and Gulagu.net, a human rights group that monitors the conditions of prisoners in Russian penitentiaries. colony
Vladimir Osechkin, founder of the human rights group Gulagu.net, recently wrote on Facebook that Prigozhin, a Putin crony incarcerated in a high-security facility, arrived by helicopter in late July to persuade about 150 prisoners to join the war.
According to Mediazona, the man identified by the inmates as Prigogine tried to establish a relationship with them by pointing out that he himself had served in prison.
According to Verstka, an independent newspaper that detailed Wagner’s alleged recruitment campaign, the mercenary group has so far recruited more than 1,000 prisoners to 17 different penal colonies across Russia.
Western authorities have long accused Wagner of funding investigative journalists and investigative journalists, Prigogine has denied ties to militias, a shadowy group with a long track record of alleged war crimes in Ukraine, Syria and the Central African Republic. i’m gone
In a statement to Verstka about Wagner’s recruitment efforts for the Ukrainian war, Prigogine’s Concord management press service turned down the businessman’s comments. I was in the [exile] colony in the 80s.
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