29 NOVEMBER 2022
The Wagner Group [a Russian private military company (PMC) – ed], owned by Russian businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin, is recruiting rebels from prisons in the Central African Republic (CAR) and is sending them, among others, to fight in Donbas, as was reported by two CAR senior military officials to The Daily Beast.
Source: The Daily Beast
Details: Sources in CAR, where armed rebels control a significant part of the country for the last ten years, say that dozens of men who have been convicted for such crimes as rape and homicide are being recruited from prisons by the local branch of the Wagner Group.
These squads include hundreds of fighters who are widely known as “black Russians”. According to the officers, many of the recruits are rebels, who are considered terrorists by the military for their violent and intimidating treatment of the local population to achieve political objectives.
Quote: “Since October they [the Wagner Group]… are freeing the rebels… nobody can stop them because of the power given them by the government to do whatever they wish,” states the source.
“They [the Wagner Group] said that there is an urgent need for a workforce in Mali and Ukraine… I think that more than 20 people, detained here for serious crimes, were freed,” said an officer working with the CAR army.
- On 4 July, Important Stories [an independent Russian investigative journalist website] reported that the Wagner Group has started to recruit convicts from prisons in St Petersburg to join their ranks in the war with Ukraine.
- On 20 July the website wrote that the Wagner Group is recruiting convicts in half a dozen Russian prisons.
- Later new information was published which reported that most of the convicts recruited by the Wagner group from the two Russian prisons to fight in Ukraine have been killed.