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Putin’s New Ploy: Russia Sends Female Prisoners to Fight in Ukraine

Daniel Kim Views  

Amidst the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, it appears that Russia is now preparing to deploy female convicts to the battlefield.

The New York Times reported on June 10, citing an anonymous source of a former convict, that recruiting officers have drafted female inmates from a prison on the outskirts of St. Petersburg.

Previously, Russia had encouraged male inmates to participate in the Ukrainian war by offering them pardons and salaries. Since last fall, authorities reportedly began recruiting female inmates.

Last year, 40 of 400 female convicts at a prison near St. Petersburg expressed a willingness to serve. Over the course of the year, these women were offered roles not typically held by female Russian soldiers, including positions as snipers, combat medics, and frontline communication officers.

Russia began drafting female inmates last fall, more than a year after they started pardoning and deploying male inmates. However, the drafted female inmates are currently incarcerated without any explanation.

The Russian government’s decision to draft female inmates is believed to be an attempt to avoid repeating the conscription orders that have sparked public backlash in Russia. Besides convicts, the Russian government has also been drafting debtors, criminal suspects, and foreigners.

It is reported that the convict soldiers received a salary of about $2000 per month, roughly ten times the minimum wage, and a pardon.

The former inmates revealed that the harsh conditions in Russian prisons are leading female inmates to respond to enlisting. Women inmates in St. Petersburg prison are required to remain silent all day and are forced to saw wood for 12 hours a day in below-zero temperatures.

However, whether this recruitment is an isolated incident, a pilot program or part of a larger plan remains uncertain.

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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