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Russian Mercenaries Recruiting HIV-Positive Prisoners to Fight

Russian soldiers
Photo by Pixabay

The private military company is enlisting and marking prisoners with HIV and hepatitis C.

Wagner, a private military company in Russia, has initiated a mass recruitment of Russian prisoners who have a severe infectious disease.

The main targets of the prisoners are those with HIV and hepatitis C, according to the Kyiv Post. In a report on October 25 from Ukrainian Defense Ministry’s Main Directorate of Intelligence, more than 100 prisoners with confirmed HIV or hepatitis C have been “mobilized” to Wagner.

The fighters, who came from penal colony No. 5 in Metallostroy, a suburb of St. Petersburg, were then further “labeled” to show who suffered from which infection. HIV-positive prisoners were issued a red bracelet, while those with hepatitis C received a white.

Systematically, Russian medics refuse to provide care to wounded soldiers with HIV or hepatitis.

A wide range of investigative reporting shows that Wagner is financed through Yevgeny Pirgozhin, who operates in the inner circle of Russian president Vladimir Putin. The private military company actively participates in Russia’s wars in Libya, Syria, and other parts of Africa.

Mercenaries from Wagner have also been involved in the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, including the attacks in Bucha and the recent attack on prisoners of war at the Olenivka penal colony.

Wagner also held Ukrainian territory in 2014, where they were alleged to have placed a decisive role in the battles for the Luhansk airport and Debaltseve in the Donetsk region.

Captive Russian fighters infected with HIV and hepatitis have been seized in Ukraine and confirmed the information about the mass “recruitment” to the Wagner private military company.

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Andrew J. Stillman