Thursday, January 5, 2023 11:30:41 AM
The Russian news agency RIA Novosti reports that the first group of prisoners who were recruited into the private military company Wagner Group has completed their contract. They were cleared of all convictions. The owner of the Wagner PMC Yevgeny Prigozhin hismself came to congratulate them.
“They have completed their contract with honor, with dignity,” the founder of the PMC told a group of former prisoners who were going to return to their homeland “with a clear conscience”.
During his speech, Prigozhin told the former inmates a story about a 52-year-old “guy” who was 30 year sentence in prison and “heroically” died near the Uglegorsk thermal power plant in the Donbas. One of the inmates who witnessed the death of the “hero” added “he had nowhere to retreat, he just blew himself up”.
Prigozhin gave his mercenaries the last instructions: “Do not drink a lot, do not use drugs, do not rape women, don’t be poor. The police should treat you with respect.”
The Wagner boss added that Russian society has an obligation to accept former prisoners with “the deepest respect”, since they fought in the ranks of his PMC.
“If you see a person who came after the war, and before that he was serving a sentence and signed up as a volunteer, we must understand that they are full-fledged members of society, ” Prigozhin appealed to the Russians.
In July 2022, first reports about recruitment of inmates to Wagner PMC began to appear. Wagner owner Prigozhin personally toured Russian prisons promising inmates a salary of 200 thousand rubles ($2,746) and a full removal of criminal records within six months. It does not matter for what crime the sentence was: theft, rape, or murder. Being in the ranks of PMCs guaranteed freedom.
The head of the Ukrainian Presidential Administration Andriy Yermak said tjat Russian officers sacrificed lives of a huge number of prisoners to achieve a slight advance near Bakhmut.
“They send to death hundreds of these people in the hope that they will be able to weaken our defenses. Cadres of military are behind this “meat”. Nothing changes in the horde. People there have always been meat, and they will remain so until they raise their heads,” Yermak said.
Looks like out of the 4,000 he recruited there are only 10 going home…