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Evgeny Prigozhin says Wagner Group has stopped recruiting prisoners to fight in Ukraine

Evgeny Prigozhin, the owner of Russia’s Wagner Group, told journalists on Thursday that the mercenary company has stopped recruiting prisoners to fight in the war in Ukraine.

“The recruitment of prisoners into Wagner Group has completely stopped. All obligations to those who currently work for us are being fulfilled,” Prigozhin said. He did not provide a reason for why the practice is ending.

On Wednesday, the independent outlet Agentstvo reported that Russian authorities have been pressuring prisoners into joining Wagner Group by threatening to open new criminal cases against them, while earlier this week, the independent news site Mediazona published a report detailing Wagner’s difficulties recruiting prisoners in recent months amid rumors about the group’s high casualty rates.

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