Russian President Vladimir Putin has freed rapists, murderers and other criminals, unverified reports have claimed. More than 28,000 such prisoners have been released from jail to fight in the Ukraine along with the Russian army, the Daily Star claimed.
It's being claimed that prisoners are released in return for pardon after six months of their service at the time of war. Under the current pardon system, Russia has released more than five percent of its male prisoners.
Murderers Rapists Are Released From Jail
Yet the system is being abused with some "wealthy inmates" paying bribes to buy their way out of prison without going to fight, it is claimed. This has so far netted the team of a close Putin crony along with criminal and prison bosses, some Â£33 million, according to Daily Star.
Putin's Chef Is Behind Jailbird To Fighter Scheme
The 28,000 figure and other shocking details have come from the Volya Telegram channel, which claims that Yevgeny Prigozhin is the man behind the jailbird-to-fighter scheme.
A recent video uploaded on the internet shows hundreds of prisoners being taken in dozens of vans for their training before the war.
Inmate Will Be Pardoned If After Their Six Months Of Service
Prigozhin, who is a chef of Putin, was also seen in a bleak Mordovian penal colony, where he offered inmates a deal. Under the terms, prisoners will be pardoned by Putin and released from the jail if they fight against Ukraine in the ongoing war.
28,000 Prisoners Were Handed to Wagner group
From April to September, the Federal Penitentiary Service handed over 28,000 prisoners to Wagner group, a private militia unit, according to Volya.
Some of them have not gone into the war as they paid heavy amount to the superiors and were told to lie low for next six month. However, officially they should have been fighting in Donbas for Putin. Such inmates include wealthy money launderers who paid for formal recruitment and went for their places rather going to war.
A prison service source told the channel: "An inmate pays [criminal bosses], the head of the prison colony who shares it with his chiefs, and Prigozhin's people. Then he signs a contract for service in Ukraine, and is taken out of the colony and [immediately] freed," according to Daily Star.