Vladimir Putin’s forces are relying on convicts to plug gaps on Ukraine frontline as troop numbers dwindle, MoD says

  • Around 50,000 Russian troops are believed to be dead, wounded or captured
  • Kremlin has since contracted the Wagner Group mercenary to supply soldiers
  • Their resources are running low after fighting in Luhansk and Donetsk regions

Russia is increasingly relying on ‘convicts and blacklisted individuals’ to plug gaps in its frontline forces, the UK’s Ministry of Defence claimed yesterday.

With 50,000 Russian troops believed dead, wounded or captured since Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine, the Kremlin has contracted the Wagner Group, a mercenary firm, to supply soldiers.

But even the group’s resources are running low after fighting in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions. Russia has made territorial gains but at a significant cost. Yesterday the MoD said: ‘The fighting has inflicted heavy casualties on the group.

Russia is increasingly relying on ‘convicts and blacklisted individuals’ to plug gaps in its frontline forces, the UK’s Ministry of Defence claimed yesterday, as 50,000 of Putin’s troops are believed dead, wounded or captured since the President (pictured) invaded Ukraine

‘Wagner are lowering recruitment standards, hiring convicts and formerly blacklisted individuals while very limited training is available to new recruits.

‘This will highly likely impact on the future operational effectiveness of the group and will reduce its value as a prop to the regular Russian forces.’


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