Russia begins mass recruitment of female prisoners for Ukraine war
Mass recruitment of women from Russian colonies to the front has begun. They go to war more willingly than men and mostly end up in assault units
Olga Romanova, the founder of the Russia Behind Bars project, said this in an interview with the Can We Explain Telegram channel.
She noted that until recently, active recruitment of women had been taking place in the occupied territories of Ukraine. According to the human rights activist, about 50 women were recruited from the colony in Snizhne, and another 100 were recruited from colonies in southern Russia.
About 30 convicted women were recruited for the war in Lipetsk, having signed a contract with the Ministry of Defense, Sota reported, citing its source among the prisoners' relatives.
"Lipetsk had the most massive recruitment. I know that women are recruited even from Moscow detention centers," Romanova said.
"Unlike men, women in prison are extremely susceptible to propaganda. We can expect news from other women's zones. And women are even more willing to fight," the human rights activist says.
This is not a new phenomenon, Romanova notes, "we have been receiving reports that women are being recruited for the past year and a half." As early as October, Ukrainian media began reporting that Russian military women were being taken prisoner.
According to the testimonies of captured prisoners that Romanova knows about, women are fighting in the Defense Ministry in assault units. They are held together with men, but they fight separately.
It is not only convicted women who sign up for war. One of the soldiers in the DPR unit told the Defense Ministry that among his fellow soldiers was a female sniper from Moscow with the call sign Lucky. "She was captured. She was captured because of her stupidity, not even her stupidity, but the person she decided to move to the position with," the Defense Ministry's source said.
The law passed by the State Duma on June 24, which provides for the termination of criminal prosecution of volunteers who signed up for the war, does not specify what gender a citizen must be.
"A woman can now also go to fight in Ukraine and avoid punishment," Romanova said.
According to the White House, as of the end of 2022, about 50,000 convicts were fighting in the Wagner PMC.
In January, Olga Romanova said that only 10,000 of the 50,000 Russian convicts recruited by the Wagner PMC to participate in the war in Ukraine remained, the rest were killed, wounded, or escaped.
Since the beginning of 2023, Prigozhin has been deprived of the opportunity to replenish the stock of mercenaries in the colonies, and the Russian Defense Ministry has begun to do so, signing 18-month contracts with prisoners who have agreed to fight against Ukraine since February.