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Krasnoyarsk priest gives blessings to around 100 convicts recruited by PMC Wagner

A parson in Elita, a settlement in Russia’s Krasnoyarsk region, says he gave his blessings to around 100 convicts from the local penitentiary who had been recruited by PMC Wangner to fight in the Ukraine War, as per NGS24.

“They volunteered, they did this not for the sake of shortening their prison term. I gave them crosses, icons, and belts with the text of Psalm 90. I baptised 12 persons that day, and when the baptising was over, four more approached me. I’m not sure but I believe around a hundred of them went [to war against Ukraine],” the priest said.

Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of PMC Wagner, a paramilitary mercenary group, was reported to have visited penitentiaries in the Krasnoyarsk region, as per NGS24.

A group of wives and other relatives protested against their men being sent to the Ukraine War near a penitentiary in the Novosibirsk region yesterday.

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Dual-purpose parishes

Events in Ukraine have reminded Western governments that the Russian Orthodox Church’s branches abroad perform not only religious functions

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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