Thursday, June 22, 2023

Criminals even Prigozhin’s Wagner PMC wouldn’t Take Now Joining Regular Army, ‘Verstka’ Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, June 18 – There has been a great deal of attention to the efforts of the Russian defense ministry to take control over PMCs like Prigozhin’s Wagner group, but there has been less to an associated development: even criminals that Wagner units wouldn’t take are now showing up in regular and even elite Russian army units, the Verstka news agency says.

            As a result, it says, “the Russian army is becoming ever more criminalized” in its staffing and thus likely in its behavior in the field, basing that conclusion on a series of well-documented reports about developments in the military over the last year (

            According to rights activists with whom its journalists spoke, Verstka suggests that the situation will only get worse given that Moscow is scraping the bottom of the barrel for men and now that the Duma is considering legislation that will effectively pardon criminals who serve in Ukraine.

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