Yevgeny Prigozhin patrols Russian prisons and is increasingly desperate to send more soldiers to Ukraine. Wagner’s supreme leader is now accused of using “pressure” to recruit raped and abused prisoners from Russian penal colonies into front-line combat units of mercenary groups.
Russia’s penal system retains vestiges of the Soviet-era prison caste system, with a lower class known as the “Shameds” at the bottom. This lowest caste, also known as the “rooster”, a homophobic slur, includes prison rape victims, homosexual inmates, and outcasts who are regularly beaten and abused. .
A Russian prison observer told the Daily Beast that ‘disgraceful’ are being recruited by Wagner (Putin’s private army) as cannon fodder who rarely live long in ‘Priggin’ meat grinders’ .
In an audio message provided to The Daily Beast, a prisoner at Novgorod’s IK-7 prison colony says his recruited friend was “thrown into battle” after just a week of training. The group was attacked near Bakhmut last week. One of his seriously injured friends called his IK-7 from his hospital bed. He is one of the “shameful”. His face was ripped out by a drone explosion and we talked on a video call,” the prisoner explained on tape. Most of them are no longer alive. Another “shameful” man Sashka Shabanov was killed. He was ‘shy’ but a good man. ”
This low-caste prisoner lives a nightmare behind the prisons of Russia’s correctional and labor colony. Both prison administrators and other inmates are forced to do the worst jobs like cleaning toilets, sexually abuse and urinate on weaker prisoners who are treated like contagious outcasts. Use labels for
“The prisoners of the Wagner Mercenary Army have no chance of survival and the ‘shameful’ are dying as if they were pushed into a meat grinder,” said founder of the Russian Behind Birds Group of independent prison observers. Olga Romanova told the Daily Beast…
Prigozhin, nicknamed “Putin’s Chef,” began recruiting Russian prisoners of war in July. The move followed his two-month failed attempt to capture the city of Bakhmut in Donetsk.
“This is dehumanization. To achieve complete obedience and control, Prigogine seeks to completely destroy all human beings in people,” said Nina Nina, professor of international affairs at the New School of New York. Krushcheva told the Daily Beast.
As the eight-month long war rages on, crimes are being committed against Russian citizens with impunity. Police have arrested thousands of people who dared to complain or march across Russia.
Former convict and torture victim, Ruslan Vakhapov, now works as a human rights defender observing the colony in his hometown of Yaroslav. He seeks to help prisoners avoid Wagner’s recruitment. According to Russia’s Behind the Bars, Prigokhin recruited more than 6,000 prisoners to fight in Ukraine, promising amnesty and a monthly salary of $1,500 to $3,000.
“We are trying to protect prisoners from slaughter, but they have no rights, no agreements, no paperwork. For the first few weeks, Wagner preferred to recruit only murderers and robbers, Vahapov told the Daily Beast on Friday. But as the violent fighting over Donbass continued, “they were catching everyone, including dozens of so-called ‘disgraced’ people who were severely humiliated in prison. At least nine coffins with nailed lids were returned to the IK-6 penal colony. ”
By September, it became clear that prisoners were the only option left for Prigozhin to continue to replace his depleted private army.
Marat Gabidulin, a veteran commander of Wagner’s mercenaries, told The Daily Beast that the entire enterprise had become grotesque. It’s not a war, Prigozhin is utterly indifferent to the loss of life and is turning Russia into another Syria.”
According to Russian human rights groups, Wagner has lost more than 50% of all conscripted POWs in the fight for Ukrainian cities. “The first group of his 47 prisoners recruited from the Leningrad province did not return. They all died,” said Olga Romanova. “Of the 68 prisoners taken to the front in the Bakhmut region in July, only one survived. He injured his back and lost one of his hands, but still I was taken back to the combat zone.”
The inmates’ mothers, girlfriends, and wives realized that Prigogine’s recruits had little chance of survival. Four women came to protest the conscription of loved ones they say were “pressured” at her IK-25 prison colony in the Chelyabinsk region on Saturday. They arrived on time just before two prisoners were sent to Ukraine. They manage to stop their departure, but are afraid that they will be severely punished by the prison administrators for refusing recruitment. This is intolerable,” the prisoner’s mother told local reporters.
Mercenary armies are technically outlawed in Russia, but Wagner and other groups have now stepped out of the shadows and openly advertised their recruitment on billboards. I am in constant contact with my colleagues.They say they will catch anyone who walks in with a passport and send them into a combat zone in a few days,” Gabidulin said. It claimed to be funded by the GRU, a military intelligence agency. “Many senior PMC Wagner officers hold anti-Semitic and far-right views, saying they belong to the pagan religion Rodnovers. There is none.”