Russia to build 25 penal colonies in annexed Ukrainian territories

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The Russian government has commissioned the prison authorities to build 25 penal colonies in regions of Ukraine annexed since the beginning of the war, local media reported on Wednesday.

Twelve prisons will be built in the Donetsk region, seven in Luhansk, three in the occupied part of the Kherson region and two in the Zaporizhzhya region, where an open prison camp is also to be built, according to a Russian government order from Tuesday.

According to the civil rights organisation Russia Behind Bars, the mercenary organisation Wagner has so far recruited around 50,000 inmates from Russian prisons for the war in Ukraine.

Of these, however, only about 10,000 are still in action, the rest have fallen, been wounded, captured or deserted, the organisation reported.

The Ukrainian general staff reported on Wednesday morning that the Wagner Group is now recruiting among Ukrainian prisoners because of the high losses.