‘Very Dangerous People’: Russia’s Convict Fighters Are Heading Home
Tens of thousands of inmates have joined a mercenary group fighting with the Kremlin’s decimated forces in Ukraine. Some of them are returning to civilian life with military training and, in many cases, battlefield traumas.
“These are psychologically broken people who are returning with a sense of righteousness, a belief that they have killed to defend the Motherland,” said Yana Gelmel, a Russian prisoner rights lawyer who works with enlisted inmates. “These can be very dangerous people.”
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