Russia Takes Desperate Approach To Recruiting New Troops… | The Mesh Report

Russia Takes Desperate Approach To Recruiting New Troops…

the Mesh Report Staff September 15, 2022 Comments Off on Russia Takes Desperate Approach To Recruiting New Troops…

Jailed Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny’s team has published a video showing a person that appears to be Yevgeny Prigozhin, a close associate of Russian President Vladimir Putin, recruiting inmates in a penitentiary in Russia’s Mari El region, promising them early releases if they fight in Moscow’s war against Ukraine.

The video, published on September 14, appears to have been taken either by a mobile phone or a guards’ body camera.

In it, a man who appears to be Prigozhin is seen addressing a large group of inmates at an unspecified prison. It is not clear how and from whom Navalny’s team obtained the video, which has not been independently verified.

Media reports have quoted inmates from various penitentiaries across Russia in recent months as saying that Prigozhin and his people have actively recruited thousands of inmates to fight in Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine launched in late February.

Prigozhin has rejected the reports, reiterating his long-held claims that he has nothing to do with the shadowy Vagner Group, a paramilitary force that Western governments say the Kremlin has been using in conflicts in Ukraine, Libya, Syria, Sudan, Mozambique, and the Central African Republic.

The man in the video introduces himself as a member of Russia’s Vagner private paramilitary group and explains the conditions that would apply for those who agree to join his group to fight in Ukraine.

The man says that inmates younger than 22 will need to get the written consent of a relative to join the group, while those over 50 may be considered if they show they are in good physical shape.

Looting, alcohol, drugs, and sexual contact with locals are prohibited, the man says, as is retreating from a position and defecting. Deserters will be shot dead on sight, he says.

The main goal, the man says, is to fight in Ukraine for six months. Those who survive their tour will be granted clemency, while those who want to continue services with Vagner will be allowed to do so.

“There is no way to get back to prison after that,” the man says, adding that he needs only “fighters for assault units,” those who are able only “to move forward.”

Continue Reading at Radio Free Europe

Photo: “IMG_1457” by UNDP Ukraine is licensed under CC BY-ND

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