Putin has recruited up to 35,000 prisoners including rapists

Putin has recruited up to 35,000 prisoners including rapists, murderers and even a ‘maniac’ CANNIBAL who will all be pardoned if they survive six months in Ukraine

  • Prisoners will have their convictions scrapped if they survive six months of war
  • Wagner chief visited prison in Russia’s Far East to sign up yet more convicts
  • Among the new recruits are murderers, rapists and even a ‘maniac’ cannibal 

Russian President Vladimir Putin has already recruited up to 35,000 prisoners including rapists, murderers and even a ‘maniac’ cannibal to fight in his war in Ukraine.

The new recruits will be pardoned and will be free to live in society no matter how heinous their crimes if they survive six months of war.

This week, Wagner chief Vevgeny Progozhin visited the former Gulag prisoner camp territory of eastern Siberia and the Russian Far East to sign up yet more convicts.

It is suspected thousands of these prisoners have already died in battle as they have been used as cannon fodder to slow Ukraine’s fightback. 

As many as 40 of the prisoners have been executed for desertion or treason by the Wagner private army,’ Olga Romanova, from human rights group Russia Behind Bars told Mozhem Obyasnit media outlet.

Speaking about the new recruits, who have been plucked from prisons across Russia, Romanova said: ‘We have started to hear that he has begun taking rapists, too.

‘They have also taken a maniac from [a jail in] Saratov region, who has cannibalism in his ‘portfolio’.’

Putin’s chef Yevgeny Prigozhin filmed recruiting inmates in one of Russian colonies in October 2022

Putin’s chef Yevgeny Prigozhin filmed recruiting inmates in one of Russian colonies in September 2022

Romanova put the latest figure of inmates freed to fight at between 30,000 and 35,000, with another source saying the number of murderers ‘runs into hundreds’.

The higher figure is almost one-third the size of the British army.

Those who survive six months will have their remaining sentences wiped. 

But at least 40 had been killed in extrajudicial killings, said Romanova.

They are executed for desertion, surrendering, looting, alcohol or drug abuse, and for sexual intercourse, she said.

Such killings are illegal but will now be hidden as state secrets, she said.

The recruitment of inmates from high security jails began in June and with Priogozhin’s trip to Primorsky region, it now stretches from the Baltic to the Pacific. It covers some 30 oblasts or regions.

Last night a report came about him visiting Spassk-Dalny, around 6,000 miles east of Moscow.

Some 200 inmates wrote statements seeking to go and fight.

Earlier Priogozhin had been in Yakutia, a region notorious for old Stalin-era GULAG camps.

Early November 2022, recruited jail inmates from Kemerovo region, Western Siberia, were transported to war

Guards at a strict regime colony in Yakutia, Russia

He visited strict regime Penal Colony 6 in Mohsogollokh and recruited an unknown number from a notorious jail that houses murderers, rapists, terrorists, robbers and repeat offenders.

Successful applicants are taken by paddy wagon to the nearest airport and then to a Wagner military training base before being sent to the front.

Videos show prisoners being transported from jails in Kemerovo, in Siberia, and Udmurtia, in the Volga federal district.

Prigozhin was recorded on video at one penal colony saying: ‘Those who go through an interview and then have doubts – they don’t need to go

‘We only need those confident that they want to fight, who like to fight, who need it, and whose physical shape allows for it.

‘If you walk towards a paddy wagon [taking you from jail to war], and change your mind, I’ll treat it with respect.

‘This is not cowardice, but a conscious decision. But if you do go with us, there is no way back. No-one will come back to jail.’

The world was sickened by recent footage of the sledgehammer killing of convicted murderer-turned-mercenary Yevgeny Nuzhin, 55 – yet there are dozens of such extrajudicial killings, it is claimed.

Prigozhin this week denied Wagner killed Yevgeny Nuzhin with a sledgehammer, claiming it was the work of US special services.

Earlier, he sought to justify the killing of the ‘traitor’, saying it was a ‘dog’s death to the dog’.

Putin (L) is seen standing alongside Prigozhin (R). Prigozhin is often referred to as ‘Putin’s chef’ thanks to his previous reputation for providing the Russian president with catering services

It is suspected thousands have already died in battle while being used as cannon fodder to slow Ukraine’s fightback.

Billionaire Prigozhin, himself a former prisoner, boasted in one meeting with convicts at Planks in Tula region: ‘I have special powers from the President [Putin].

‘I don’t give a f*** about anyone, I’ve got to win this f****** war at any cost.’

He is scathing about the performance of the regular Russian army headed by defence minister Sergei Shoigu, a man he reportedly wants to replace.

IStories reported an account from an inmate at a jail in Kopeysk when Prigozhin came on a recruiting drive.

‘A green helicopter with a red star on its sides flew low over our heads, and landed,’ said the prisoner.

‘Prigozhin walked in, wearing his khaki coat with medals of Russia, [and the Luhansk and Donetsk ‘people’s reblucs’.

‘He said he was flying [and]recruiting volunteers [telling us that] the defence ministry’s army is totally useless.

‘That they drink, take drugs, and don’t want to fight.

‘They present their defeats as ‘regroupings’, while [Wagner] are doing well.

‘This is why he now needs people, jailed for murder and robbery.

‘He said he would likely be back for the rapists in November.’

Others criticising the army like this are currently being jailed for up to 15 years – but Prigozhin is a Putin friend.

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