Russia Defends Deploying Convicts in Ukraine Under Presidential Pardon: Paying Debts with Blood on Battlefield

Kremlin defends the deployment of convicted criminals in Ukraine, where they are to ‘pay their debt with blood on the battlefield.’

The Kremlin has defended the release of convicted criminals for military service in Ukraine, as reported by ZDF heute. Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin’s spokesperson, stated that these criminals should pay their debt through combat. According to ZDF heute, this practice has been in effect for more than 20 months since the start of Russia’s offensive war against Ukraine. Besides the conventional pardon process, Peskov mentioned a second method where the convicts can pay their debt ‘with blood on the battlefield.’

Putin’s Controversial Pardon: Murderer Becomes Frontline Fighter

ZDF heute emphasizes that the pardon of a convicted murderer by President Vladimir Putin has caused a stir. The man from Kemerovo, originally sentenced to 17 years in a labor camp, was released early after expressing his willingness to fight in Ukraine. This led to intense discussions and outrage in Russian media and social networks.

Wagner Group Recruits Criminals for War Effort

Furthermore, ZDF heute reports that it was known in the first year of the war, 2022, that the Russian mercenary group Wagner recruited criminals from prisons. A few months ago, a law was passed legalizing the recruitment of criminals by the regular army. This practice, especially the pardoning of murderers and other serious criminals, has repeatedly come under criticism.

Image:, CC BY 4.0,Military exercises Center-2019-02.jpg, via Wikimedia Commons (Image size changed)

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