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The Wagner Group recruits mercenaries in Russian schools



Ukraine war

March 14, 2023 | 9:39 a.m

Members of Russia’s notorious Wagner mercenary group are giving “career talks” at schools as part of a recruitment drive to sign up new fighters after heavy losses in Ukraine, according to British defense officials.

Britain’s Ministry of Defense said in an intelligence update on Monday that in recent days, masked Wagner recruits have been visiting several secondary schools in Moscow to talk to students and distribute “Application of Young Warrior” questionnaires to collect their contact information.

It comes after Wagner Group founder Yevgeny Prigozhin announced last week that he had opened 42 outreach centers across Russia to replenish the ranks of his private army, which has been depleted by bloody battles for control of Pakhmut in eastern Ukraine — a city he dubbed the “meat grinder” of Both sides because of the intensity of the fighting there.

Members of Wagner’s mercenary group reportedly visited schools in Moscow as part of a recruitment campaign.
The Russian private army is seeking to replenish its ranks after suffering heavy losses during months of fierce fighting in Bakhmut.
Social media / e2w

Wagner reportedly recruited as many as 40,000 convicts from Russian prisons, with Prigozhin offering them amnesty if they survived six months on the battlefields of Ukraine.

In early February, Prigozhin, a restaurant tycoon and close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, said recruitment of inmates had stopped.

British intelligence said on Monday that “around half of the prisoners Wagner has already deployed to Ukraine are likely to have become victims and it is unlikely that new initiatives will compensate for the loss of the convict recruitment pipeline”.

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Yevgeny Prigozhin (centre), founder of the Wagner Group, has opened 42 job centers across Russia.

The forces of the Wagner Group led the attack to take control of Bakhmut and managed to capture much of the ruined eastern part of the city, but at an enormous cost in lives. Kiev forces still control western Bakhmut and are repelling enemy attacks.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that Russian forces have suffered more than 1,100 deaths in the past few days of fighting in and around Bakhmut.

Desperate to bolster its forces fighting in Ukraine, Russia has reportedly been recruiting and deploying convicted women to the war zone.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine He said in the daily update Monday that “the enemy is using alternative sources to replenish manpower.”

The Ukrainian military said that a Russian train carrying female inmates was spotted heading towards the Donetsk region last week.
Social Media / East2west News

According to the military, last week a Russian train with several cars intended for transporting prisoners was spotted heading towards the Donetsk region.

The bulletin claimed that “one of the carriages contained condemned women”.

Olga Romanova, president of the civil rights organization Russia Behind Bars, confirmed reports that female prisoners were being recruited into the war effort by the Ministry of Defense.

In an interview with Independent Russian news outlet, Romanova said about 100 women appeared to have been shipped to Ukraine from penal colonies in Russia’s Krasnodarsky Krai after a month of training.

Romanova said she believed the women prisoners were sent to Donetsk “for one-time use in storming brigades.”

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Rainerio Manuel
Rainerio Manuel

"Infuriatingly humble alcohol fanatic. Unapologetic beer practitioner. Analyst."