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Russia ‘sends WOMEN prisoners to Ukraine war zone for first time’

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Russia ‘sends WOMEN prisoners to Ukraine war zone for first time as Putin looks to make up for heavy losses’

Russia is believed to be sending women prisoners to the Ukraine war zone for the first time in a bid to make up for the heavy losses of Russian troops on the front lines.

Due to ‘heavy losses’ in the war, Vladimir Putin has sought ‘alternative sources of replenishment of manpower’, the Ukrainian armed forces general staff said.

‘Last week there was a movement towards the Donetsk region of a train with reserved seats for transporting prisoners. One of the carriages [was for] convicted women,’ the Ukrainian armed forces said.

Earlier there was credible information that Russia had moved women convicts to Kuschevka in Krasnodar region, close to the war zone.

Here some female prisoners – released under a special scheme linked to the war effort – were put to work as farm labourers in field as well as ‘greenhouses and cowsheds’, possibly deployed in supplying the military.

Russia is believed to be sending women prisoners to Ukraine on trains to make up for the losses of Russian troops on the front lines (file image)

Russia is believed to be sending women prisoners to Ukraine on trains to make up for the losses of Russian troops on the front lines (file image) 

Due to 'heavy losses' in the war, Putin has sought 'alternative sources of replenishment of manpower' - and this is believed to be in the form of female prisoners (file image)

Due to ‘heavy losses’ in the war, Putin has sought ‘alternative sources of replenishment of manpower’ – and this is believed to be in the form of female prisoners (file image)

Putin is believed to have sent female prisoners to fight in Ukraine

Putin is believed to have sent female prisoners to fight in Ukraine

Olga Romanova, of Russian Behind Bars Foundation, believes around 100 women were sent to Ukraine.

Male prisoners have been recruited in Russia in their tens of thousands and offered a deal which cancels their sentences if they serve – and stay alive – for six months at the frontline.

This has seen murderers, rapists and other violent criminals released and ultimately freed by Putin, most serving with Wagner private army.

Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin claimed last month that his group will no longer recruit prisoners to fight in Ukraine – without providing an explanation as to why. 

But there is now evidence the Russian defence ministry is directly signing up convicts.

Last month the Ukrainian general staff said that Russia was actively ‘trying to recruit convicted women to participate in the hostilities’.

This was to ‘compensate for losses in personnel’.

Olga Romanova, of Russian Behind Bars Foundation, believes around 100 women were sent to Ukraine (file image of female prisoners)

Olga Romanova, of Russian Behind Bars Foundation, believes around 100 women were sent to Ukraine (file image of female prisoners)

Some had been recruited from a women’s penal colony in Snezhnoye, a city in the  occupied Donetsk region.

‘It is also known that they are sent to the territory of the Russian Federation for training,’ the Ukrainian general staff said.

Several hundred women in prisons in Sverdlovsk region – in the Urals – requested local MP Vyacheslav Wegner to send them to Ukraine, it was reported.

Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of Wagner, said there had been ‘resistance’ among the Russian authorities to deploy women in the war zone.

However, the reports suggest women are now being deployed to the war zone although their precise role is unknown.

Heavy losses on the battlefields has also forced Putin to desperately empty Russian museums of obsolete tanks to repurpose them for his flailing war effort.

Footage shows ageing Soviet-era T-62s being ‘modernised’ in a round-the-clock factory in Chita, Siberia.

The drive to retrofit the decades-old tanks highlights the desperation of Putin’s military machine – while Ukraine is being supplied with the most modern Western tanks.

Vladimir Putin is desperately emptying Russian museums of obsolete T-62 tanks (pictured in a military history museum in Russia) to re-purpose them for his creaking war effort in Ukraine

Vladimir Putin is desperately emptying Russian museums of obsolete T-62 tanks (pictured in a military history museum in Russia) to re-purpose them for his creaking war effort in Ukraine

Some of the tanks being revamped at the 103rd Plant may be 60 years old, dating from the time Nikita Khrushchev and Leonid Brezhnev were ruling the USSR.

‘It is sad that the number of exhibits of military museums will be reduced,’ said one report.

The UK’s Ministry of Defence today said that Russian ammunition shortages have ‘worsened to the extent that extremely punitive shell-rationing is in force on many parts of the front’.

‘This has almost certainly been a key reason why no Russian formation has recently been able to generate operationally significant offensive action,’ the MoD said in its latest intelligence briefing.

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