The Telegram channel of Russian oppositionist Alexei Navalny has published a video where a person is resembling Yevgeny Prigozhin, a member of Vladimir Putin’s inner circle and the head of the private military company Wagner, is giving a “motivational speech” to prisoners in a Russian penal colony.
Navalny’s team published the recruitment video for the war against Ukraine in the Mari El republic on Wednesday, September 14.
The video was sent by one of the prisoners there. However, judging by the temple in the footage, it is IK-6 in Yoshkar-Ola. The same video clip was published on other Telegram channels.
The video was filmed on a mobile phone or a video recorder. It is unclear who took the forage and how it got to Navalny’s supporters.
In the footage, a man who looks like Prigozhin is seen standing in front of a line of men in prison uniforms. He then introduces himself as a Wagner private military company member and discusses the conditions for going to war.
According to him, convicts who agree to take part in hostilities will stay on the front lines for six months; if such a mercenary is less than 22 years old, then the written consent of relatives is required; during the service, looting, drinking alcohol and drugs, engaging in “sexual contact” with the local population, as well as “retreating and surrendering” are all prohibited, for which they promise to give each mercenary two grenades. According to the person seen in the clip, desertion is punishable by being shot on the spot.
In the event of death in battle, the recruiter promises to bury prisoners either where they state in their wills, or “on the alleys of heroes in those cities where it exists,” or (those who do not know where they want to be buried) next to the chapel PMC Wagner in the Russian city of Goryachiy Klyuch, Krasnodar.
For those prisoners alive in six months, he promises a pardon or, if so desired, a continuation of service with the PMC Wagner. “There are no options to return to prison,” emphasizes the person, who resembles Prigozhin in the clip, adding that now he “needs only fighters that will advance,” and 60% of them are in PWC Wagner. The recruiter warns that “the war is hard” and that “ammunition consumption by PMCs is two and a half times more than in Stalingrad.”
Separately, he states that the first prisoners who fought as part of the Wagner PMC took part in an attack on the Vuhledar thermal power plant in Donetsk Region in early June. “Forty people from the St. Petersburg harsh regime colony relapse entered the enemy’s trenches with knives and cut them out.”
He names the losses of the attackers: 3 dead, seven wounded. Among the dead, he adds, is a prisoner who spent 30 out of 52 years of his life in jail.
At the end of the video, the recruiter gives five minutes to decide and says: “Do you have someone who can pull you out of the zone? There are two of them – Allah and God, but they pull you out in a wooden box. I’m taking you alive from here, but you don’t always come back alive.”
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