They will be released if they serve six months at the front, but if they desert they will pay with their lives. It is the condition for russian inmates who want to join the ranks of the Wagner group in the war in Ukraine.
This is what the leader of these mercenaries, Yevgeny Prigozhin, offers him in a Russian prison where he tries to recruit inmates, as can be seen in the video that illustrates these lines. In it, he makes it clear to them what will happen if they leave: “Whoever goes [a Ucrania] and the first day he thinks it’s not for him, he will be executed,” he warns.
However, if they stay at the front, he promises that they will be released after six months: “After half a year you can go home getting forgiveness“, he assures them. The inmates only have five minutes to make the decision.
Inmates who want to join their ranks have to be 22 or 50 at the latest, although those under 22 can join with a family permit. The priority are prisoners convicted of murder and robberyruling out drug traffickers and sex offenders.
Once in the war, they have prohibited alcohol and drugs. Prigozhin himself warns them in the video that “the third sin is looting” and that “contact with women is not allowed [ucranianas]”.
It is the way in which Vladimir Putin, through his great friend Prigozhin, would add fighters to this group of mercenaries to make up for significant Russian casualties on the front.
The video has been released by the team of the imprisoned Russian opponent Alexei Navalnybut it would not be the first time, but the leader of the Wagner would have visited up to 17 Russian prisons and thus recruited a thousand prisoners.