While some “zeks” are dying en masse in Ukraine, others will make weapons for them

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The Russian defense industry is likely to start using prisoner labor in an attempt to meet wartime production needs, according to an intelligence review by the UK MoD on Friday.

It is noted that in November 2022, Uralvagonzavod, Russia's largest tank manufacturer, told local media that after a meeting with the Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN), it will recruit 250 prisoners.

The tradition of using labor of prisoners is a very old one in the terrorist country, but since 2017 forced labor as a separate criminal punishment has been introduced again.

The Federal Penitentiary Service, which has one of the highest incarceration rates in the world, controls an empire of more than 400,000 prisoners, and often accused of extreme brutality and corruption.

The prison population is a unique human resource that Russian leaders can use to support the war in Ukraine, which the Russian Federation calls a “special military operation”, while volunteers remain in short supply , say British intelligence.

Prisoner labor is likely to be particularly sought after by low-tech weapons manufacturers such as Uralvagonzavod, which are almost certainly under heavy pressure from Moscow to increase production.

< p>Prepared by: Nina Petrovich

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