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Sadly, no one can make this movie

The head of a notorious pro-Kremlin mercenary group has told inmates at a Russian prison that they will be set free if they survive a six-month tour of duty in Ukraine, but executed if they try to desert.

The offer was made to convicts at a prison camp in central Russia by Yevgeny Prigozhin, a wealthy tycoon who runs the Wagner Group private military contractor. The group’s fighters have been accused of war crimes in Ukraine and Syria.

“In six months you will go home, having been pardoned,” Prigozhin, 61, told inmates at the prison in central Russia. “There is no chance of returning to prison.” Those who refuse to fight after arriving in Ukraine would be classified as deserters, he said. “And then they will be shot.”

The plot’s already been used, hasn’t it?

21 thoughts on “Sadly, no one can make this movie”

  1. La Femme Nikita comes to mind.. One or two classic WWII movies..

    And a host of US-ian propaganda action movies, usually direct-to-Video/DVD/Stream.

    The trope is rather old… And, if I’m not mistaken, an important part of Glorious Brit Naval History…

  2. Grikath

    And indeed the Army too. I have just been reading about it. One yob in particular had been locked up, much to the relief of his village, was pressed into the army, served in the Seven Years War and then returned to terrorise his village again.

  3. Even if I did have a way through the Times paywall, one look at the link “don’t have sex with locals or livestock” would deter me anyway…

  4. Can’t say what the Ruskies are doing makes much sense to me. Sure violent criminals might make good troops. What are armies but perpetrators of violence with the sanction of the law. But violent criminals in prison are stupid violent criminals. The clever one’s don’t get get caught. With even the military, there’s a limit to how much stupidity is required.

  5. The Dirty Dozen is a pretty nasty tale, for a more optimistic take on human nature I prefer Kelly’s Heroes.

    It’s an uplifting story about hu-mons setting aside their petty squabbles to unite for something better than murdering each other: beautiful, lovely money.

  6. Bloke in North Dorset

    bis,

    As the head of the Wagner group has pointed out, the choices are:

    1. Violent criminals (made more violent and then released back in to the community)

    2. A general call up, which means eventually the sons of the middle classes in Moscow and St Petersberg and that will lead to the end of Putin.

    We could add

    3. Emulate the Romans. Completely flatten Ukraine, call it peace, declare victory and go home. The problem with this scenario is the Romans didn’t have a NATO and UN to deal with.

  7. Dennis, Asking For A Friend

    Emulate the Romans. Completely flatten Ukraine, call it peace, declare victory and go home.

    How’s the Roman Empire doing these days?

  8. Just what an army needs when discipline has broken down and it’s abandoning both basic supplies and high-end hardware – reinforcement with hundreds of convicted criminals.

  9. Dennis, Twatty Something or Other

    Just what an army needs when discipline has broken down and it’s abandoning both basic supplies and high-end hardware – reinforcement with hundreds of convicted criminals.

    That’s not a real army, that’s the Russian Army. And as the Russians retreat we will start finding evidence of the atrocities they committed. It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when.

    Adding convicted criminals to a horde of poorly trained conscripts lead by an incompetent and corrupt office corps is likely to change very little. It’s kind of like supposing the SS would have been better behaved if the Dirlewanger Brigade had not been created.

  10. It’s still unclear how much of the Russian army in Ukraine actually is conscripted. Most appear to be on contracts – they’re doing it for the money, for the loot and for the chance to murder Ukrainians. The Donetsk and Luhansk “People’s Republic” formations do appear to be conscripted though.

    But no argument with your general point.

  11. Bloke in North Dorset

    Russian army conscripts don’t have to serve in Ukraine but they were offered contracts and many were volunteered without knowing what they were getting in to.

    “ The Donetsk and Luhansk “People’s Republic” formations do appear to be conscripted though.”

    Press ganged is closer to the truth.

  12. Bloke in North Dorset

    Snag,

    Probably waiting to be told what line to take:

    https://twitter.com/markmackinnon/status/1570769770097647617?s=21&t=Us63xT9m7pU6MMAXOFgELg

    False flag, propaganda fake news or mass suicide seem to be the options.

    And that they shouldn’t forget to add that Putin’s voluntary withdrawal is a magnanimous victors move to. Let Ukrainians consider how much they’ve been duped by the fascists in Kiev or is it a tactical and strategic regrouping.

    So many lines to take, the Putin verstehers must be struggling to keep up. Still, as long as Putin is winning that’s all that matters.

  13. BiND
    A closer look at the picture in that tweet clearly shows it’s a cemetery, not a forest. Who tries to hide war crimes with 400 individual graves marked with wooden crosses?

  14. Bloke in North Dorset

    Good point, I forgot that one.

    Independent war crimes investigators are in the pay of Ukraine and don’t know the differences between tortured bodies in a mass grave and those that have been legally interred in a random forest.

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