Some 10,000 prisoners enlist into Russian military in April for Ukraine war - UK

The Russian military may have recruited up to 10,000 prisoners in April for its ongoing invasion of Ukraine, the UK Defense Ministry said in a Thursday morning intelligence update.

Russia has increased the campaign to enlist convicts since the beginning of 2023, said the UK ministry.

“The MoD’s prisoner recruitment campaign is part of a broader, intense effort by the Russian military to bolster its numbers, while attempting to avoid implementing new mandatory mobilization, which would be very unpopular with the Russian public,” said the UK Defense Ministry.

Previously the Wagner mercenary group had been recruiting prisoners for frontline combat in Ukraine in return for a pardon, but a rift between the PMC and the Russian Defense Ministry led to an end to the program.

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