Russia promises freedom for prisoners who fight in war

Russian military agencies have offered freedom or high ‘wages’ to convicts willing to fight in the Russian-Ukrainian war, says new coverage from international broadcaster CNN. The investigation, carried out throughout July, spoke to several prisoners who confirmed the story.

According to the network, inmates, ranging from murderers to those convicted of drug offenses, are offered the offers and, if they agree to the terms, are taken to a two-week training course in southern Russia – after which they are sent to the front.

Several convicts discuss the matter with their families, weighing the pros and cons – but, according to one of the prisoners CNN spoke with, many accept. According to him, who was sentenced to nearly a decade for drug offenses, each offer is different.

“They accept murderers, but not rapists, pedophiles, extremists or terrorists. Amnesty or a six-month pardon is one of the offers. Some talk of 100,000 rubles a month.” [por volta de R$8 mil]another 200 thousand”, reported the prisoner.

Continuing: “This could make a big difference to me: It can make a real difference for me: being locked up for almost a decade or getting out in six months if you’re lucky. But that’s if you’re lucky. I just want to go to home for the children as soon as possible. If this option is possible, why not?”

Recruitment is done by a private company of mercenaries

According to activists and prisoners interviewed by the broadcaster, the Wagner company, military and private, is in charge of the recruitment of prisoners – especially considering that it is not subject to the ban on employing convicts, as the Russian Armed Forces are.

Up to R$410,000 was promised to families of prisoners who died during the war, according to, a group that defends the rights of prisoners in Russia. None of the contracts in these agreements were shared, which leads many sources to think that there is no guarantee of honor from the establishments.

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