Putin’s ally recruits cannibals to send to Ukraine war, human rights activist reveals

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ally, Yevgeny Prigozhin, allegedly recruited a cannibal to join the Wagner mercenary group deployed in the war against Ukraine, a human rights activist has revealed.

In a video posted on the Popular Politics YouTube channel, Olga Romanova said Prigozhin recruited criminals to join the Ukraine-based Wagner group, including one person who was in prison for cannibalism.

“They take anyone no matter what they are in prison for. They took a madman who has cannibalism in his portfolio, so to speak. He was also sent to war,” Romanova said in Ukraine’s video, translated by The New Voice.

Romanova later noted that Prigozhin said they preferred to recruit people in prison for murder and theft for the war.

“Prigozhin said they prefer killers and robberies. They also take many of those who went to prison for aggravated assault. And now people convicted of rape are taken, but that’s them in a separate department. We know two stories from the absolutely horrible Saratov prisons,” said the human activist.

Towards the end of the video, Romanova cited data showing that the Wagner group had already recruited between 7,000 and 10,000 prisoners and intends to recruit more, with Prigozhin planning to visit more prisons across Russia.

The Wagner group is said to be linked to the Russian Defense Ministry. Prigozhin is also a close ally of Putin, with some calling him the Russian leader’s “cook.”

Romanova’s comments come two days after newly surfaced video showed a man who appeared to be Prigozhin offering forgiveness to prisoners at IK-6 prison in the Russian city of Yoshkar-Ola if they agreed to serve six months in the war . Prigozhin also promised the prisoners that if they were killed in battle, they would be buried on the Heroes Promenade.

Prigozhin also visited the IK-15 penal colony in Bataisk earlier this month, where he made similar promises to inmates, adding that people who join the war “can do whatever they want with the Ukrainians.”

Russia’s efforts to recruit prisoners for the war come as the military death toll rose by 200 on Thursday, bringing the total to 53,850 since the war began, according to Ukraine’s Defense Ministry estimates.

“Who can stop this war,” the Ukrainian soldier pleaded after being pinned in the same place for five hours by exploding Russian shellsAFP / ARIS MESSINIS

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