‘Nurses And Snipers’: Russia’s Wagner Group To Deploy Women To Ukraine

The Russian mercenary group Wagner fighting in Ukraine and parts of Africa aims to recruit women jailed in Russia and deploy them to the front in Ukraine, Kremlin-linked founder Yevgeny Prigozhin has said.

“Not only nurses and communications staff but also in sabotage groups and sniper pairs. Everyone knows this has been done before,” the 61-year-old said on Wednesday, referring to World War II-era female sharpshooters hailed in Soviet propaganda.

“We’re getting there. There’s some resistance but I think we’ll overcome it,” Prigozhin added on social media.

His comments came in response to a Russian official east of Moscow who said women imprisoned in the city of Nizhny Tagil had asked him to be sent to Ukraine to help the Russian army.

In recent months, Wagner is understood to have recruited male inmates en masse from Russian prisons to fight on front lines in Ukraine with the promise of reduced sentences and high salaries.

In September, Prigozhin disclosed for the first time that he founded the Wagner group in 2014 to fight in Ukraine and acknowledged its presence in Africa, the Middle East and Latin America.

This month, Wagner opened a headquarters in Russia’s second city of Saint Petersburg.