About 20 armed inmates fled from the frontline in occupied Donetsk in recent days and the Russian military was forced to launch a manhunt for members of its own team, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said Thursday. Three of the “fugitives” were killed in the ensuing search, Ukrainian authorities said, wryly noting: “Beat your own, so that others are afraid, as they say.”
The hunt was reportedly still on for the other fleeing inmates. The news comes just two days after a suspected Russian deserter fleeing the battlefield in Ukraine’s occupied Donbas crossed the border into Russia before opening fire and injuring two police officers. Independent media outlets identified the gunman as a prison inmate recruited to fight in the war.
While many experts saw the prison-recruitment scheme for what it was from the get-go—a convenient way to bolster Russia’s fledgling troops using men deemed easily disposable—it seems many of the inmates are themselves finally coming around to that realization.
The public sledgehammer-execution of Wagner defector Yevgeny Nuzhin last month certainly didn’t help matters, no matter how much Yevgeny Prigozhin, the mastermind behind the prison recruitment scheme, told inmates they’d go down in history as “heroes.”
Now, Russian inmates say there have been other executions carried out against those perceived to have “betrayed” the mercenary group—and wannabe recruits are shown videos of it.
One inmate at a penal colony in the Far East told the BBC’s Russian service that Wagner recruiters showed execution videos to inmates in the facility’s recreation room.”
Comment: Well, what did they think was going to happen? These are either political prisoners or common criminals. Any officer who has led men in in combat, will tell you that such creatures are not suitable material from which to make soldiers. The Chop Suey Clausewitz opined otherwise but he was wrong. pl