British secret services consider pardoning the Wagner mercenaries recruited from prison to be a risk to Russian society. Thousands of Russian prisoners who fought for the Wagner mercenary group in the Ukraine war are expected to be pardoned and released in the coming weeks, according to the daily summary report by the British Ministry of Defence. When recruited from prisons as part of an increase in Russian troops, the Wagner veterans were given the prospect that their prison sentences would be lifted after six months of military service.
Since the recruitment of Wagner prisoners peaked last autumn, according to the British, the period of six months is now running out for many of those affected – with around half of them, according to British information, being killed or injured in combat. The sudden incorporation of often violent ex-offenders with recent traumatic combat experiences is likely to pose a major challenge for Russia’s wartime societyit is said from London.
In addition, the shortage of personnel in the Russian troops will increase, since Wagner is no longer allowed to recruit in prisons. According to the information, this had previously taken place with the consent of the Russian leadership.