Russia is fighting in Ukraine not with the entire army, but only with its contractual part, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a press conference in Samarkand. Meanwhile, even Russian officials admitted that those who were doing compulsory military service were also sent to the front.
Earlier, Important Stories found out that more than 2,000 conscripts ended up in Ukraine in the first days of the war.
From the very beginning of the war, the Russian authorities denied the information that conscripts were involved in the hostilities. Putin assured that only officers and contractors, that is, professional military men, are in the war. According to him, "there are no conscripts" and no one "is going to send conscripts" there.
It soon became clear that this was not the case. The Ministry of Defense announced a few days later that the conscripts in Ukraine were nevertheless “discovered”, while those who were in the rear were allegedly taken prisoner. How many of them, the department did not specify. There were also no estimates.
In the very first days of the war, the Committee of Soldiers' Mothers announced the transfer of conscripts to the border areas and the loss of contact with them, and the native soldiers raised a panic. The media also wrote about conscripts in connection with the death of the crew of the flagship of the Russian fleet, the cruiser Moskva. One of the first to talk about the participation of conscripts was Dmitry Shkrebets, the father of sailor Yegor Shkrebets. For a long time, the Navy denied the death of a conscript in the war: he was " declared missing in a military unit." Only in June, the crew of the sunken cruiser were recognized as participants in the "special operation". At the same time, the Ministry of Defense claimed that the ship itself did not participate in the "special operation".
The Insider previously published appeals from which it became clear that the conscripts were sent to war by deception or forcibly. The officers who sent them did not even sign contracts with them, and simply fabricated documents.
As for the contract soldiers that Putin is talking about, there are so few of them that Yevgeny Prigozhin, co-owner of the Wagner PMC, who is close to the president, is recruiting prisoners in the colonies, which The Insider wrote about at the end of August. According to the prisoners, Prigozhin does not hide the fact that Vladimir Putin personally authorized the recruitment of criminals for the war, says that he “represents an organized crime group that helps the Russian army,” and promises prisoners from 100,000 to 230,000 rubles a month, giving preference to those convicted of murder.
On September 14, the Telegram channel of the Cheka-OGPU published a video in which Prigozhin stands in front of a line of prisoners of IK-6 and tells them about the conditions of service. A source from The Insider confirmed Prigozhin's visit to the colony and said that about 150 prisoners signed up for the war.
The head of the Sitting Rus Foundation said earlier in an interview with the Popular Politics channel that not only rapists and murderers, but also a cannibal maniac went to the war in Ukraine from Russian colonies. According to her, Prigozhin has already recruited up to 10 thousand prisoners.
The head of Gulagu.net, Vladimir Osechkin , told The Insider earlier that Ivan Neparatov, the leader of the gang, who was sentenced to 25 years for murder, received the medal “For Courage” posthumously. He was supposed to be released from prison in 2038, but died in the Donetsk region, being recruited to the front.
Prigozhin himself commented on reports of the recruitment of prisoners as follows: “Those who do not want PMCs to fight, prisoners, who talk about this topic, who do not want to do anything and, in principle, who do not like this topic, send your children to the front. Either PMCs and convicts, or your children - decide for yourself."
It was also reported that in St. Petersburg they began to recruit volunteers for the war in psychiatric dispensaries. Journalist Andrei Zakharov drew attention to the announcement of recruitment for the war from the St. Petersburg psycho-neurological dispensary No. 2.
In September, the Rotunda Telegram channel, citing a source, said that the authorities of St. Petersburg began to look for fighters for the "governor's battalion" among the homeless. So, an official from the administration of the Frunzensky district entered one of the shelters of Nochlezhka and tried to distribute propaganda leaflets. The administration itself said that they were faced with the task of “bringing information about contract service to everyone possible,” but the distribution of leaflets in the rooming house was supposedly a personal initiative of officials.