Yevgeny Prigozhin, the founder of the Wagner PMC, has said the organization no longer recruits prisoners into its ranks according to the press service of Konkord, a company Prigozhin controls.
“Recruitment of prisoners into the Wagner PMC has completely stopped. All the obligations to those who work for us now are being fulfilled,” Prigozhin says.
The day before, Agentstvo reported that security forces were using new methods to pressure prisoners into agreeing to be recruited by PMCs, threatening them with new criminal cases. Mediazona wrote that recruiters from the Wagner PMCs were again touring the colonies, where they had already recruited prisoners last summer and autumn. It was noted that there were far fewer people willing to go to war, as prisoners learned about the huge losses at the front.
According to estimates by British and American authorities, the Wagner PMC has recruited nearly 40,000 prisoners to participate in the war. Olga Romanova, head of the Russia Behind Bars Foundation, estimates their number at 50,000.