The Russian military may have recruited up to 10,000 prisoners in April to fight in Ukraine, the UK Defense Ministry said in a Thursday morning intelligence update, APA reports citing Jerusalem Post.
Russia has increased the campaign to enlist convicts since the beginning of 2023, said the UK ministry.
"From summer 2022, prisoners were the key pool of recruits for the Wagner Group private military company’s operations in Ukraine. However, the group highly likely lost access to the Russian penal system in February 2023 when its public feud with the MoD was escalating," the ministry of UK said.
"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 mobilisation, which would be very unpopular with the Russian public," it wa snoted.