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Russian women from prisons enlisted in mass mobilization for war in Ukraine

Russian women from prisons enlisted in mass mobilization for war in Ukraine Russian women from prisons enlisted in mass mobilization for war in Ukraine (Photo: Getty Images)

According to the Russian Telegram channel "Mozhem obyasnit" (We Can Explain), there is widespread recruitment of women from prisons in Russia for active participation in the war in Ukraine. The rationale behind this strategy lies in the perception that women are more susceptible to propaganda and, consequently, more willing to heed the call to arms compared to their male counterparts.

Incarcerated women, both convicted and unconvicted, are showing a notable willingness to join the military campaign. Olga Romanova, the founder of the project "Русь сидящая" (Sitting Rus), revealed that the desire among these women to engage in the war is exceptionally high.

This surge in female recruitment has been predominantly observed in the occupied territories, with around 50 women reportedly conscripted from a prison colony in the occupied city of Snizhne (Donetsk region), and an additional 100 female detainees from colonies in southern Russia enlisted for the same purpose.

Unlike their male counterparts, women within prison walls exhibit a considerable susceptibility to propaganda. "We can anticipate further developments from other women's facilities as well. In fact, women express an even greater eagerness to take part in the fighting," a human rights advocate explained.

Around 30 convicted women from Correctional Facility VK-7 in Novouglyantsi, Lipetsk, reportedly signed contracts with the Russian Ministry of Defense, effectively enlisting for military service. "Lipetsk witnessed a particularly widespread recruitment effort. I'm aware that women were even recruited from Moscow's remand facilities," added Romanova.

According to accounts from former prisoners familiar to Romanova, women are actively serving within the ranks of the Russian Ministry of Defense, particularly in assault units. Many are identified under the call sign "Вовчиця" (She-Wolf). Although they share quarters with male counterparts, they operate as distinct units.

Mobilization of women in Russia

The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation recently launched a recruiting campaign to attract women for contractual military service. These women could potentially be deployed to the war in Ukraine. However, due to substantial losses and a shortage of personnel in various regions across Russia's armed forces, the prospect of a general mobilization remains a possibility.