NewsHistoric "minimum". Truly shocking data from Russian prisons

Historic "minimum". Truly shocking data from Russian prisons

Historic "minimum". Truly shocking data from Russian prisons
Historic "minimum". Truly shocking data from Russian prisons
Images source: © Mediazona, Russian Telegram
ed. MCZ

7:17 AM EDT, October 7, 2023

The Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation announced a historic "minimum of prisoners" who are in penal colonies. Over the course of the year, the number of convicts decreased by 54,000. Most of them died in the war with Ukraine.

This is the first public report on the number of prisoners in the colonies since the Federal Penitentiary Service ceased publishing these statistics in November 2022 in connection with the recruitment to the Wagner Group.

The number of prisoners in Russia has fallen

"The number of prisoners in Russian corrective colonies has dropped to 266,000 people", announced Deputy Minister of Justice Vsevolod Vukolov during a meeting of the Federation Council Committee on Constitutional Legislation and State Construction.

"Ten years ago, our contingent in prisons amounted to almost 700,000 people, but now there are about 266,000 people in corrective colonies," added the official.

Record low numbers

For many years, the number of prisoners in Russian colonies has been declining, but mass recruitment of convicts to the Wagner Group units began in 2022. As determined by the independent Russian portal Mediazona, during two fall months of 2022, 23,000 prisoners suddenly disappeared from Russian colonies. And by the end of 2022, the number had increased to 32,000 people.

From the statement of Deputy Minister Wukolow, it appears that by 2023 the reduction had already exceeded 54 thousand people. "Even if we assume that the official provided the latest data for October 1, this is a historic record in terms of reducing the number of prisoners since the beginning of the year. If he was referring to earlier indicators, then compared to previous years, the decline is even greater" - concludes from the journalists' analysis.

Without detailed data for each month, which the Federal Prison Service ceased to publish in November 2022, it is impossible to estimate how many of the 54,000 prisoners were recruited into the Wagner Group.

"However, in 2022, until the Federal Penitentiary Service stopped publishing data, two thirds of all 'outgoing' prisoners could only be accounted for by recruitment," warns Mediazona.

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