Russian crime suspects are told charges will be dropped if they go to war

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Several thousand Russian men are killed every week in Moscow’s war of aggression and military recruiters are now increasingly desperate to get hold of more storm troopers.

Also men awaiting trial, as well as men suspected of crimes, are now on the priority lists of the recruiters, the Russian version of the Barents Observer reports.

A journalistic investigation conducted by the BBC found a significant number of cases where charges against suspected individuals are dropped as soon as the suspects sign up for military service.

From before it is well known that tens of thousands of Russian prison inmates have been released from jail following agreements to sign up for war.

A representative of the Russian Investigative Service told journalists that “not only individuals accused of terrorism, treason, sabotage and other particularly serious crimes, including some sexual crimes, are  taken to war, also the others [crime suspects] are very quickly taken to the special military operation.”

The recruitment is based on a law adopted by the State Duma that allows lawbreakers to evade punishment if they go to war.

The legislation was adopted in summer 2023 and Russian investigators subsequently started to offer crime suspects the new “option.”

Among the ones that decided to go to war instead of standing trial is Ivan Sivolodsky, who was accused for serious mistreatment of a woman. The man had previously killed two people and was pardoned after signing up for the Wagner Group. When returning home after fighting in Ukraine, Sivolodsky soon attacked a woman in his home town. He is now again back on the battlefield.

The BBC found more than 20 cases where court hearings could not be held because the accused were either absent on occupied land, or killed. Several of them were in Karelia, the north Russian region.