Putin revives Stalin-era tactics: Deploys convicts, including cannibals, to fight in Ukraine

Written by Jeppe W

Dec.07 - 2023 2:18 PM CET

Photo: Shutterstock.com
Photo: Shutterstock.com

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Russian President Vladimir Putin has enlisted convicted criminals, including cannibals and murderers, to fight in Ukraine as part of the so-called "Storm-Z" squads, according to the media Neewsweek.

This decision marks a return to Stalin-era tactics, where convicts were used as expendable forces in warfare. The Kremlin's initiative involves recruiting tens of thousands of prisoners, offering them presidential pardons in exchange for six months of service on the front lines in Ukraine.

Among these convicts are individuals with heinous criminal backgrounds. For example, one of the pardoned individuals, Nikolai Ogolobyak, a confessed member of a Satanist sect, was convicted of ritualistically killing four teenagers. Another, Denis Gorin, killed at least four people and consumed the flesh of one of his victims.

These individuals, once serving lengthy prison sentences, are now fighting in Ukraine and potentially walking free in Russian society.

The creation of Storm-Z units reflects Russia's manpower shortages and a strategy to bolster forces without resorting to mass mobilization of the general populace, which could trigger political backlash. However, this approach has raised significant ethical and moral concerns, both domestically and internationally.

Critics argue that the use of convicts in such a capacity is not only a desperate measure but also a dangerous one, as it releases potentially violent individuals back into society.

The Kremlin, meanwhile, justifies this practice by claiming that these individuals have 'atoned with blood' for their crimes.

The use of Storm-Z units has significant implications for Russia's military strategy and societal dynamics. It highlights the Kremlin's willingness to resort to extreme measures in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, raising questions about the lengths to which Putin's government will go to achieve its military objectives.

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