In many regions of Russia, temperatures have plummeted to -35°C. Meanwhile, authorities are deliberately turning off heating in penal colonies to make prisoners more inclined to join the war against Ukraine, claims the German newspaper "Bild," citing the Russian non-governmental organization "Ruś Siedząca."
According to Polish Wiadomosci, the newspaper indicates that in this way, Russian President Vladimir Putin has decided to use the freezing weather to replenish the losses of troops fighting in Ukraine.
Authorities Act Deliberately
Olga Romanova, the founder of "Ruś Siedząca," asserts that the Russian authorities are acting with premeditation.
"Heating was turned off intentionally when the outside temperatures dropped well below zero. They wanted to create such unbearable conditions for prisoners that they would volunteer to serve in Ukraine," she said.
"Putin Wants to Create an Illusion of Normality"
According to Romanova, there are three groups of people in Russia whose deaths on the front line most of the Russian society does not sympathize with: prisoners, national minorities living in poor regions far from Moscow, and people who have just received Russian citizenship.
"As long as these three groups are fighting and dying in Ukraine, Putin can create an illusion of normality for the rest. Generally speaking, the success of some prisoners is quite limited, as seen in the current events on the front. Prisoners are simply being sent en masse to the front line in Ukraine and sacrificed there," Romanova said, adding that in Russian prisons, women are increasingly being recruited.
Currently, about a thousand Russian women are fighting in Ukraine.