Russia now also sends female prisoners to the front in Ukraine to compensate for “heavy losses” | War Ukraine and Russia

Russia would now also send female prisoners to the front. This is reported by the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense and is confirmed, among others, by Olga Romanova of the NGO for prisoners’ rights ‘Rus Sidashchaya’ (‘Russians behind bars’).

The notorious Russian mercenary army Wagner group has been recruiting men in prisons and penal colonies in Russia since last year. If they fight at the front in Ukraine for six months, they will receive a reduction or remission of their prison sentence and a salary. However, most do not return.

According to the Ukrainian Defense Ministry, Russia is now tapping “alternative sources” to replenish its troops at the front, after the “heavy losses” it already suffered. “For example, a train with carriages for transporting prisoners to the Donetsk region was noticed last week. One of the wagons contained convicted women,” an update on Telegram said on Monday.

Wagner group

Expert Olga Romanova confirmed the news to the independent Russian website ‘iStories’. According to her, female prisoners have been deployed since the end of last year. Remarkable: Yevgeny Prigozhin, founder of the Wagner group, said in December that he thought it would be a good idea to send female prisoners from Russia to the front line in Ukraine. “There is resistance, but I think it will come,” he said at the time.


According to Romanova, the women come from penal colonies in the south of Russia. So far, about a hundred of the female prisoners have already been taken to the front. It is not clear whether they were recruited on a voluntary basis or pressured to join the Russian army.

Occupied city

Last month, the General Staff of the Ukrainian army reported that Moscow had recruited some 50 female prisoners from a penal colony in the Russian-occupied city of Snizhne in Ukraine. The women were first sent to Russia for training and then brought back to Ukraine to fight.

The Wagner group has stopped recruiting Russian prisoners since the beginning of last month. This was reported by Prigozhin himself. The Ministry of Defense took over, according to the think tank Institute for the Study of War.

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