Ukraine is releasing thousands of prisoners so they can join the fight against Russia

submitted by Stamau123

apnews.com/article/ukraine-prisons-parole-russi…

DNIPROPETROVSK REGION, Ukraine (AP) — At a rural penal colony in southeast Ukraine, several convicts stand assembled under barbed wire to hear an army recruiter offer them a shot at parole. In return, they must join the grueling fight against Russia.

“You can put an end to this and start a new life,” said the recruiter, a member of a volunteer assault battalion. “The main thing is your will, because you are going to defend the motherland. You won’t succeed at 50%, you have to give 100% of yourself, even 150%.”

Ukraine is expanding the draft to cope with acute battlefield shortages more than two years into fighting against Russia’s full-scale invasion. And its recruiting efforts have turned, for the first time, to the country’s prison population.

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26 Comments

The Snark Urge

The strictures on who gets released are quite tight. It's basically the most careful version of what the headline suggests.

Stamau123 [OP]

From the article:

Prisoners can get the conditional release after an interview, medical exam, and a review of their conviction. Those convicted of rape, sexual assault, murdering two or more people or crimes against Ukraine’s national security aren’t eligible.

Ukrainian officials are keen to draw a distinction between their program and recruitment in Russia of convicts to serve in the notorious Wagner mercenary group. Those fighters typically have been funneled to the deadliest battles, the officials say, but the Ukrainian program aims to integrate the inmates into regular Ukrainian frontline units.

PsychedSy

Killing one person is understandable. Once you get to two there's a pattern.

OsaErisXero

They can have a little murder, as a treat

ColeSloth

But they have the most experience...

JeffKerman1999

Are they going to murder the right people? Because maybe the thrill is sliding a knife in your fellow private's back

ShinkanTrain

Or sliding a knife in your fellow's privates

Steve

It doesnt make sense. If you killed 2 people are you overqualified for the army or what?

yokonzo

I think it means you've got a likely chance to kill again for personal means or even pleasure, single offenders are more likely to have killed for revenge or in self defence, I'm sure it's more nuanced than that though

peopleproblems

The murderer thing makes me go "ehhhhh" but otherwise I can see how this could be a beneficial move. You fight for your home, you get out of jail early. Yes it carries risk, but I would imagine plenty of inmates have family directly impacted by the invasion and have been asking to get sent into the fight.

Better dead fighting for your home than locked up and becoming a Russian prisoner potentially.

Zipitydew

Also, Russia did like the exact opposite of that. They emptied out their worst criminals into Wagner because they knew they'd have no qualms about what Wagner does.

hoshikarakitaridia

That's good to know because this is stuff does not inspire confidence.

ilickfrogs

Didn't like when Russia did it and I don't like that Ukraine is doing it. BUT, the review/per basis process does make a big difference and makes it an easier pill to swallow.

lennybird

If they have a genuine choice, the assembled units are closely monitored, and are clearly aware of the dangers, then I think I'm okay with it under the circumstances.

remotelove

The Ukrainian prisoners will probably get training and weapons, so that will be a huge bonus.

Deceptichum

Not if the Russian prisoners weren’t vetted.

ShinkanTrain , edited

So that's it, huh? We're some kind of Suicide Squad™?

Flying Squid

I have yet to see that film, but I have to ask- did they reveal the secret of Amanda Waller's amazing weight loss?

AutoTL;DR

This is the best summary I could come up with:


Ukraine is expanding the draft to cope with acute battlefield shortages more than two years into fighting against Russia’s full-scale invasion.

More than 3,000 prisoners already have been released on parole and assigned to military units after such recruitment was approved by parliament in a controversial mobilization bill last month, Ukrainian Deputy Justice Minister Olena Vysotska told The Associated Press.

Those convicted of rape, sexual assault, murdering two or more people or crimes against Ukraine’s national security aren’t eligible.

Ukrainian officials are keen to draw a distinction between their program and recruitment in Russia of convicts to serve in the notorious Wagner mercenary group.

“I decided to sign up for the Ukrainian Volunteer Army because I have a family at home, children, parents,” the 29-year-old said, speaking over the noise of gunfire at a shooting range.

Vysotska, the deputy justice minister, said interest in the military parole program has exceeded early expectations, and that it could provide as many as 5,000 new recruits.


The original article contains 725 words, the summary contains 163 words. Saved 78%. I'm a bot and I'm open source!

NateNate60

Where have I heard this one before?

Drusas

Forcing convicts to fight and giving them an option is not the same thing. It also matters very much which convicts you are sending to fight.

archomrade [he/him]

A choice under duress is never a choice.

Drusas , edited

I don't think it's necessarily under duress the way that Ukraine is doing it. Those who are on death row or their equivalent thereof are not getting this offer. From what I read, this is excluding the most dangerous and violent offenders.

So you don't have people with exceedingly long sentences who qualify.

That doesn't seem like too much duress to me. A few years of my life staying where I am in a prison versus taking my chances on the battlefield to get out of prison faster (and protect my country, for whomever that matters to).

archomrade [he/him]

Hmmm. Maybe you're right, maybe that's not duress.

Maybe it's fine.

barsoap

There's no death penalty in Ukraine. Russia still has it, but only under military law. To legally apply that Russia would have to admit that they're at war, though, at least presuming they want to pretend to give a shit about the treaties they signed.

ShinkanTrain

Hit film and novel The Dirty Dozen?