Desperate Putin mercenaries enlist women prisoners and kids while museums raided for tanks as Ukraine decimates invaders | The Sun
VLADIMIR Putin's mercenaries have stooped to a new low as they attempt to enlist women prisoners and kids, while national museums are raided for tanks.
The desperate war efforts continue to play out as Ukrainian forces decimates their invaders and inflict heavy losses on Russia's military.
It has been reported the Kremlin is now sending women prisoners to the frontline for the first time.
According to Ukrainian armed forces, Putin has sought "alternative sources of replenishment of manpower" due to heavy losses in the war.
A spokesman 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."
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It is believed Russia has moved women convicts to Kuschevka in the Krasnodar region, just east of the Sea of Azov.
Olga Romanova, of Russian Behind Bars Foundation, claimed about 100 women have already been sent to Ukraine.
Thousands of male prisoners have also been recruitedin the process and were offered a deal which pardons their horrific crimes if they serve and manage to stay alive for six months.
This has seen murderers, rapists and other violent criminals released and ultimately freed by Putin.
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With the majority of them being recruited to the Wagner private army.
Yevgeny Prigozhin's hired killers have made a statement on the battlefield and are responsible for some of Russia's major advances.
The bloodthirsty thugs most recently seized control of Bakhmut.
But warmonger Prigozhin claimed that he is no longer recruiting convicts after signing up more than 40,000 crooks.
However, there is evidence the Russian defence ministry is directly signing up convicts in a separate effort to replenish its cannon fodder.
Last month the Ukrainian general staff said Russia was actively "trying to recruit convicted women to participate in the hostilities".
Some had been recruited from a women’s penal colony in Snezhnoye, in occupied Donetsk region.
A spokesman said: "It is also known that they are sent to the territory of the Russian Federation for training."
Putin empties museums of tanks to repurpose them for war
The unscrupulous recruitment drive comes as desperate Putin empties Russian museums of obsolete tanks to repurpose them for his creaking war effort.
Russia's failed campaign in Ukraine has seen its military already lose more than 1,700 tanks and its dwindling armoury stockpile has meant the Kremlin needed to improvise.
Pictures have emerged of Soviet-era T-62s being revamped at a factory in Chita, Siberia.
Some of the tanks are believed to be 60-years-old and date back to when Nikita Khrushchev and Leonid Brezhnev's were at the helm of the USSR.
Russia halted T-62 production 12 years ago but still have more than 2,500 of them in stores and museums.
Andrey Gurulev, a prominent state TV personality and propagandist, claimed there was method in the redeployment of old tanks.
Gurulev said: "Tanks, more than 50 years old, are being transformed into modern, normal machines capable of carrying out tasks and meeting the current frontline challenges.
"A tank battalion has already been shipped to the front.
"These T-62 tanks are completely modernised."
The former tank commander further claimed the refashioned machines were "no worse than modern ones".
Gurulev said: "Our guys dismantle them, make them completely, and take off the turrets.
"They completely disassemble the machines.
"All the old units are removed and new ones are installed and upgraded."
The scramble for old kit follows reports of "Frankenstein tanks" with ageing naval guns welded on top seen in Ukraine.
Footage from an undisclosed location appeared to show a 25mm 2M-3 twin-barrelled naval anti-aircraft turret fitted to a Soviet-era MT-LB amphibious fighting vehicle.
The bizarre contraption is believed to be built with machinery parts from 1945.
Its guns were likely taken from a naval patrol boat, while its tracks could date back to the 1950s.
The "Frankenstein tanks" are believed to be an improvised response to the Kremlin's shortage of essential war materials.
Ukrainian forces have also destroyed large numbers of Russian tanks through the use of drones, which Putin has been unable to replace.
Wagner Group mercenaries hold "career talks" with kids
A sick photo appearing to be a Wagner Group mercenary convincing school kids to join the invasion of Ukraine has surfaced on social media.
The image showed a burly man, masked in a black balaclava and clad in military apparel, addressing a room full of children.
The picture was posted by Jason Jay Smart, a special correspondent at Kyiv Post, who claimed Russian students were being encouraged to fight against Ukraine.
The Twitter post read: "Russian students' Spring Break.
"Now Russian high school students get visits from Wagner Group, where ski-masked, armed men regale them with stories of how they can 'defend the Motherland' by joining-up.
"Sound like fun."
Russian soldiers slaughtered every day in Bakhmut
The control of the heavily contested wasteland city of Bakhmut has been described as the bloodiest battle of the war so far.
As both sides attempt to hold their ground, Ukraine estimated some 30,000 Russians have died in the "meat grinder" – with the battle raging for the past nine months.
According to British intelligence, Ukraine controls the area to the west of the now ruined city, while the Wagner Group controls most of the eastern part.
However, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky said Russia continued to lose troops as a result.
Zelensky said: "In less than a week, starting from the March 6, we managed to kill more than 1,100 enemy soldiers in the Bakhmut sector alone.
"Russia’s irreversible loss, right there."
On Monday, Russia’s defence ministry said its forces were conducting further military operations in the eastern Donetsk region.
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A ministry spokesman said Russian forces had killed more than 220 Ukrainian service members in the past 48 hours.
The spokesman said: "In the Donetsk direction, more than 220 Ukrainian servicemen, an infantry fighting vehicle, three armoured fighting vehicles, seven vehicles, as well as a D-30 howitzer were destroyed during the day."
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