Vladimir Putin’s forces are relying on convicts to plug gaps on Ukraine frontline

Vladimir Putin’s forces are relying on convicts to plug gaps on Ukraine frontline as troop numbers dwindle, MoD says as video emerges of recruiters touring jails

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Russia is increasingly relying on ‘convicts and blacklisted individuals’ to plug gaps in its frontline forces, the UK’s Ministry of Defence claimed yesterday.

With 50,000 Russian troops believed dead, wounded or captured since Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine, the Kremlin has contracted the Wagner Group, a mercenary firm, to supply soldiers.

But even the group’s resources are running low after fighting in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions. Russia has made territorial gains but at a significant cost. Yesterday the MoD said: ‘The fighting has inflicted heavy casualties on the group.

‘Wagner are lowering recruitment standards, hiring convicts and formerly blacklisted individuals while very limited training is available to new recruits.

‘This will highly likely impact on the future operational effectiveness of the group and will reduce its value as a prop to the regular Russian forces.’

It comes as a video shows the moment prisoners from a bleak Russian jail are recruited to fight in Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine.

Russia is increasingly relying on ¿convicts and blacklisted individuals¿ to plug gaps in its frontline forces, the UK¿s Ministry of Defence claimed yesterday, as 50,000 of Putin's troops are believed dead, wounded or captured since the President (pictured) invaded Ukraine

Russia is increasingly relying on ‘convicts and blacklisted individuals’ to plug gaps in its frontline forces, the UK’s Ministry of Defence claimed yesterday, as 50,000 of Putin’s troops are believed dead, wounded or captured since the President (pictured) invaded Ukraine

The inmates are taken into their jail yard to sign up with Wagner private army to boost Moscow’s fighting force.

Some 300 convicts from the prison in Russia’s impoverished Republic of Adygea opted to be frontline fighters in exchange for release from the penal colony and an amnesty.

The video filmed by an inmate shows prisoners meeting with representatives of Wagner which works closely with the Russian defence ministry and FSB security service.

It comes as a video shows the moment prisoners from a bleak Russian jail are recruited to fight in Vladimir Putin's war in Ukraine

It comes as a video shows the moment prisoners from a bleak Russian jail are recruited to fight in Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine

Critics see the recruitment of prisoners as ‘frontline cannon fodder’ as a sign of desperation by Russia.

A source told prison rights group gulagu.net: ‘It was on 7 July 2022 at Colony N1.

‘Inmates are waiting for a chat with Wagner Group recruiters.

‘About 300 inmates agreed to go.’

On the video, voices are heard saying: ‘F****** hell, so many people.’

This jail has 1,350 convicts including murderers.  

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