Human rights group reports beatings of prisoners who opposed being recruited for war
Vladimir Osechkin, founder of the human rights group Gulagu.net, posted photos and videos, which he claims are “from the official archive of the IK-4 of the Federal Penitentiary Service in the Kaluga region.”
According to Osechkin, Federal Penitentiary Services special forces and operatives “decided to carry out ‘educational work’ with prisoners who refused, because of their own convictions, to take part in the war against Ukraine, and who didn’t approve of sending other prisoners to war.”
Vladislav Shapsha, head of the Kaluga region, told the news site Podyom that Yury Zelnikov, the regional ombudsman, would investigate the prison in question. “He’ll definitely go check it out. We don’t leave appeals of any kind unattended to,” said Shapsha.
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PMC Wagner actively recruits in Russian prisons, and Evgeny Prigozhin, the founder of the private military company, personally travels to prisons for the purpose. Olga Romanova, head of the human rights group Russia Behind Bars, said in September that as many as 11,000 prisoners may have joined PMC Wagner. Later, Mediazona reported that in September and October, the number of prisoners in Russian penal colonies decreased by 23,000 — a larger decrease than releases due to amnesty in recent years.