The first group of prisoners, in the amount of about twenty people, completed a 6-month contract with PMC “Wagner” – all criminal records were cleared from them.
According to Russian media, referring to the founder of PMC Yevgeny Prigozhin, most of them declared their desire to return to the front. Prigogine says:
“They worked out their contract. They worked with honor, with dignity. The first. They worked the way few people work in this world.”
The founder of the PMC gave the last parting word to his wards:
“Don’t drink too much, don’t use drugs, don’t rape women. The police should treat you with respect.”
They also pardoned and returned from the front those former prisoners who were seriously injured (lost limbs). The articles under which those who expressed a desire to go to the front received earlier prison sentences are not reported. The US State Department estimated in December that Wagner had some 40,000 prisoners who were found guilty of violent crimes, including banditry and murder.