Russia Behind Bars: Wagner Group’s losses 80 percent of 50K inmate-recruits
Out of the 50,000 conscripts recruited by the Wagner Group among the convicts kept in Russian prisons, 40,000 are either dead or missing, and only 10,000 are still fighting in Ukraine, says Olga Romanova, the head of Russia Behind Bars, a charity advocating prisoners’ rights.
In a video published by the YouTube channel My Russian Rights, Romanova says:
Romanova claims that desertion has been a massive problem for the Wagner Group since last fall. Some of the deserters return to Russia, fully armed with weapons from the frontline. Last December, for example, an armed Wagner deserter opened fire on local police officers in Rostov.
Romanova thinks that the Wagner Group founder Evgeny Prigozhin doesn’t keep tabs on soldiers who go MIA for different reasons, writing them off indiscriminately as dead. This may be why he’s been caught sending empty zinc caskets to the families of the “war dead” back in Russia.