Vladimir Putin is releasing killers and rapists from prison in order to bolster his ravaged Russian army it has been revealed.
According to human rights activists, more than 100,000 people have been freed from Russian prisons to fight in Ukraine, with some convicted of some of the country’s most brutal crimes.
Putin is increasingly relying on the tactic, which was pioneered by late Wagner Group boss Yevgeniy Prigozhin, to avoid calling another controversial mobilisation ahead of presidential elections next year.
One of those released was Vladislav Kanyus, a young man who killed his ex-girlfriend Vera Pekhteleva, by torturing, suffocating and stabbing her for hours.
Kanyus’s pardon made the headlines in Russia after Pekhteleva’s mother, Oksana, received a photo of him out of prison and surrounded by other soldiers.
She told the Washington Post: “I thought I was going crazy, I keep zooming into this photo and staring into his face in disbelief.”
FOLLOW BELOW FOR LIVE UPDATES ON THE WAR IN UKRAINE