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Ukraine’s Intelligence claims that Wagner Group recruits convicts with hepatitis and HIV

The private military company Wagner has been recruiting convicts with hepatitis and HIV for the war in Ukraine, the Main Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine reports in a statement on its website.

“This practice has become widespread. For example, over a hundred inmates with confirmed diagnoses of HIV or hepatitis C have been ‘mobilised’ to the Wagner Group from one penal colony <...>,” the intelligence agency claims.

Soldiers of this kind are being made to wear special wristbands — red ones if they have HIV, white ones if they suffer from hepatitis, the agency adds.

Photo: The Main Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine

Photo: The Main Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine

Furthermore, doctors refuse to treat them, Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence subdivision claims.

According to the agency, Russian fighters with hepatitis and HIV captured by Ukraine confirm the information about mass recruitment of convicts with such diagnoses.

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To war or to prison?

Many Russian armed groups accept anyone as “cannon fodder” for Ukraine War, including convicts and severely ill. We tried to become volunteer fighters

In the middle of October, Russian senators Andrey Klishas and Olga Kovitidi drafted a bill on pardoning convicts for participating in hostilities. The bill applies to people who committed crimes of small and medium gravity.

In September, a video, in which a man resembling the alleged head of PMC Wagner, Yevgeny Prigozhin, recruits prisoners of a Russian penal colony for the war in Ukraine, appeared online. At the beginning of August, Mediazona reported, citing the convicts the outlet talked to, that Yevgeny Prigozhin had personally visited several penal colonies to recruit prisoners for the war. In August, the Verstka outlet reported that PMC Wagner had recruited over 1,000 convicts from 17 Russian colonies for the war in Ukraine.

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