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The war in Ukraine. British Defense Department: Russia’s Wagner group recruits convicts

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The mercenaries from the so-called Wagner Group are being sent to the front in Ukraine to strengthen line troops and replenish losses, the British defense ministry said. According to London, a private mercenary firm has lowered the standards of recruitment by recruiting inmates and people who were previously blacklisted. According to the ministry, with limited training of new recruits, this will negatively affect the group’s combat value and relations with the regular armed forces of Russia.

Russia used the private military company Wagner to strengthen the front forces and to mitigate staff shortages, including replacing victims. Wagner almost certainly played a central role in the recent battles, including the capture of Popasna and Lisichansk (in the Luhansk region – ed.). These fights resulted in heavy losses in the group, “according to the daily update of the British Defense Intelligence Data.

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According to London, “Wagner is lowering recruitment standards by hiring convicts and former blacklisted people.” “Very limited training is available for new recruits. This is likely to impact the future operational effectiveness of the group and reduce its value as a support for regular Russian forces,” the daily intelligence update wrote.

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“Wagner’s chief Yevgeny Prigozhin was recently awarded the title of Hero of the Russian Federation for Wagner’s actions in the Luhansk region. This happened at a time when many very high-ranking Russian military commanders are being replaced, which may aggravate the grievances between the military and Wagner. This may also have a negative impact on the morale of the Russian military “- added.

Wagner’s group

The Wagner group is a private military company linked – according to the media – to the pro-Kremlin businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin. Since mid-December 2021, Wagnerists have been subject to EU sanctions for torture, executions and killings, including in LibyaSyria and Donbas. On the crimes of the Wagnerists by St. Syria independent “Novaya Gazeta” reported in Russia. Mercenary activity is officially prohibited in Russia.

Main photo source: ALEXANDER ERMOCHENKO / Reuters / Forum

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