Wagner Group reduces convict recruitment prorgamme - British intel

Wagner Group reduces convict recruitment prorgamme - British intel

The scale of the programme to recruit convicts for the war in Ukraine, run by the Russian private military company Wagner has probably significantly reduced from its peak between summer and autumn of 2022.

This is stated in an update by British intelligence, posted on Twitter by the country’s Defense Ministry, Ukrinform reports.

According to the Russian Federal Penal Service (FSIN), since November 2022, the total number of prisoners in the country has decreased by 6,000, while for September-November – by 23,000. In total, Russia’s penal population now amounts to 433,000.

British intelligence believes that recruitment by the Wagner Group was likely a “major contributing factor” in this drop.

Read also: Ukraine presses charges against Wagner boss Prigozhin

Separately, anecdotal evidence from Ukrainian combatants over the last ten days suggests “a reduced Russian reliance on human wave style assaults by Wagner convict fighters in key sectors.”

"Significant tensions between  Wagner and the Russian Ministry of Defence are playing out in public; competition between factions in the Russian elite is likely to be partially responsible for the reduced supply of convicts," the update says.

As Ukrinform reported earlier, British intelligence stated that Russia's role as a reliable arms exporter was likely undermined by its invasion of Ukraine and international sanctions.

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