Saturday, February 24, 2024

Russian Defense Ministry Facing Problems Recruiting Women Prisoners to Fight in Ukraine

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Feb. 20 – For more than a year and facing both demographic shortages and combat losses, Moscow has tried to recruit women to fight in its expanded invasion of Ukraine. Up to now, most of the female criminals who have agreed to fight there have gone into “private military companies” rather than regular army units.

            But there have been efforts to recruit them for the regular Russian army on a basis similar to that used for men (, and

            Now, in what it describes as the first documented case of this, the Important Stories portal points out that Moscow is facing an uphill battle, with many female prisoners interested in going in order to get amnesties but then refusing to do so when they learn they’ll be cannon fodder (

            The portal focused on the corrective labor colony for women in the settlement of Ulyanovka in Leningrad Oblast. There, initially 30 to 50 women expressed interest in serving initially but the numbers ready to do so dropped to only a handful once they learned what they would be facing.

            Important Stories was able to identify only two of them by making contact with their relatives; but the conclusion is inescapable that Moscow’s ability to recruit female prisoners by promising them amnesty is running into difficulties as soon as the women learn just how they will be used and the risks they will be running.

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