Wagner Group founder Evgeny Prigozhin says more than 5,000 former prisoners are now free since they received pardons after fulfilling contracts with Wagner Group.
Prigozhin adds that 0.31 percent of the prisoners who have returned to the Russian Federation committed new crimes within a month. He says that’s “10–20 times less than standard indicators” recorded before the start of the full-scale war in Ukraine.
“Basically, people who commit crimes [inflict] varying degrees of injury on people who yoke themselves to the Kyiv regime and oppose the work of the special military operation. Therefore, I can say with confidence: we’ve lowered crime in Russia tenfold, and we’ve trained former prisoners better than they trained Pioneers and Little Octobrists during Soviet times,” said Prigozhin.
Olga Romanova, head of the foundation Russia behind Bars, said in January that of the 50,000 former prisoners recruited by Wagner Group, only 10,000 remain with the private military company. “The rest have either been killed, wounded, gone MIA, deserted, or surrendered.”