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Several independent Russian media outlets have released footage recorded in a prison facility showing the recruitment of Russian prisoners, allegedly by the private mercenary company Wagner to take part in the Russian military campaign in Ukraine.
The video was released by the team of jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, which claims that the person recruiting the prisoners is businessman Evgueni Progozhin, who is said to be the founder of Wagner and who is close to the Kremlin.
“We have been sent a video in which (Vladimir) Putin’s ‘chef’ recruits prisoners without rights. And without dissimulation,” Ivan Zhdanov, former head of the outlawed Anti-Corruption Fund (FBK), wrote on Telegram.
Progozhin is called Putin’s “chef” for organizing his official banquets.
In the video, the recruiter claims that after six months of fighting in Ukraine, the convicts would get their freedom.
He also warns that “war is hard” and that not all would return alive. In addition, he puts an age limit of 50 years for people who want to take advantage of the offer. It indicates that they recruit prisoners from the age of 22.
Among the things prohibited for the duration of the contract are desertion, the use of alcohol or narcotics, looting, as well as “sexual contacts with women” Ukrainians.
The recruitment of prisoners for the military campaign in Ukraine was previously denounced by some Russian human rights organizations.