The recidivist criminal Yevgeny Prigozhin personally came to recruit prisoners for the war in IK-3 "Tovarkovo" and IK-4 "Medyn", located in the Kaluga region. The ex-head of the Serpukhov district, Alexander Shestun, who is serving a sentence, told Sota about this.
According to him, about 500 prisoners were taken to Ukraine.
In December 2020, Shestun was sentenced to a fine of 49 million rubles and 15 years in a strict regime colony. He is accused of taking a bribe, fraud, money laundering and illegal participation in business activities (Article 289 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). The ex-head of the Serpukhov district himself considers the case politically motivated. In 2018, a few months before his arrest, he published a video message to Putin in which he spoke of being forced to resign under the threat of confiscation of his house and criminal prosecution. According to Shestun, the governor of the Moscow region Andrei Vorobyov sought his dismissal. Shestun posted a recording of a conversation with FSB General Tkachev, who blackmailed him and threatened him with a “skating rink” of criminal cases if Shestun did not resign. On May 21, 2021, the Memorial International Human Rights Center recognized Shestun as a political prisoner.
In September, a video appeared on the network in which Yevgeny Prigozhin recruited prisoners from IK-6 of Yoshkar-Ola to participate in the war against Ukraine. On the footage, he stands in front of a line of prisoners and tells them about the conditions of service. In the same video, Prigozhin for the first time explicitly says that he owns the Wagner PMC. The convicts told The Insider even before the video appeared that Prigozhin personally recruited prisoners in Russian colonies, offering release in six months for participation in hostilities in Ukraine. According to the prisoners, Prigozhin does not hide the fact that Putin personally sanctioned their recruitment. Not only rapists and murderers are sent to Ukraine from Russian colonies. The human rights activist, the head of the “Rus Sitting” Foundation, Olga Romanova, stated that a cannibal maniac would also go to war. According to her, in total, Prigozhin has already recruited up to 10,000 prisoners.
Yevgeny Prigozhin is a recidivist criminal convicted of theft, fraud and involvement of minors in criminal activities. Prigozhin's mercenaries are involved in many operations abroad, in many cases (such as the invasion of Ukraine) under the direct command of the GRU. He earned the nickname "Putin's chef" because he organizes Kremlin dinners. He also finances the Internet Research Agency, the largest "troll factory" in the Russian Federation. In February 2018, a federal court in the U.S. District of Columbia accused a troll factory of interfering in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.