UK Defense Ministry: Thousands Of Russian Convicts Who Fought For Wagner Likely To Be Pardoned, Released


In the coming weeks, thousands of Russian convicts who have fought for Wagner Group are likely to be pardoned and released, Britain’s Defense Ministry said in a recent Defense Intelligence Update.

According to the Defense Ministry, Wagner prisoner recruitment peaked in autumn 2022, with inmates being offered commutation of their sentences after six months of service.

“Although approximately half of the prisoners recruited have likely been killed or wounded, evidence from Russia suggests the group is following through on its promise to free survivors,” the British Defense Ministry noted, adding that, “The certificates issued to freed Wagner veterans claim to have been endorsed by the decree of President Putin.”

With Wagner now likely banned from recruiting more prisoners, this exodus will worsen its personnel problems, but perhaps more concerning the sudden influx of often violent offenders with recent and often traumatic combat experience will likely present a significant challenge for Russia’s war-time society, the Defense Intelligence Update concluded.

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